Salvation: How is it Found?
[ Author: Sally Peterson ]
How is salvation found? By means of faith or by means of an organization? The Watchtower teaches that one must be a member of the organization to be saved from Armageddon. Where is this found in Scripture?
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT of works, lest anyone should boast.” Eph. 2:8,9 NKJV
“…so they said, ’Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.’ ” Acts 16:31 NKJV
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” John 17:3 NKJV
“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans. 10:9
“He then brought them out and asked, ’Sirs, what must I do to be saved?’ They replied, ’Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.’ ” Acts 16:30, 31.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Does the Watchtower Organization teach the same thing? While on the surface they may say these things to the public, what is actually printed is something quite different. There are four requirements for salvation as taught by the Watchtower magazine:
- Jesus Christ identified a first requirement when he said in prayer to his Father: “This means everlasting life, their taking in knowledge of you, the only true God, and of the one whom you sent forth, Jesus Christ.” (John 17:3) Knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ includes knowledge of God’s purposes regarding the earth and of Christ’s role as earth’s new King. Will you take in such knowledge by studying the Bible?
- Many have found the second requirement more difficult. It is to obey God’s laws, yes, to conform one’s life to the moral requirements set out in the Bible. This includes refraining from a debauched, immoral way of life. 1 Corinthians 6:9, 10; 1 Peter 4:3, 4.
- A third requirement is that we be associated with God’s channel, his organization. God has always used an organization. For example, only those in the ark in Noah’s day survived the Flood, and only those associated with the Christian congregation in the first century had God’s favor. (Acts 4:12) Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.
- The fourth requirement is connected with loyalty. God requires that prospective subjects of his Kingdom support his government by loyally advocating his Kingdom rule to others. Jesus Christ explained: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” (Matthew 24:14) Will you meet this requirement by telling others about God’s Kingdom? (Watchtower, Feb. 15, 1983, p. 12)
You may notice that the first two qualifications are in accord with God’s word. Notice, however, points 3 and 4. Did you notice that the Watchtower points to itself as necessary for salvation? Where do we find this in Scripture? Simple answer is, we don’t! Have you ever come across a scripture saying we must be members of a certain church in order to attain salvation?
The Watchtower is well aware that to point to any man or organization for salvation is idolatry. Observe this quote:
“We cannot take part in any modern version of idolatry-be it worshipful gestures toward an image or symbol or the imputing of salvation to a person or an organization.” (Watchtower Nov. 1, 1990 page 26)
As we can see, the Watchtower is well aware that to point to any organization, or man, for salvation is idolatry. They’ve come out with this in print, there for all to see. Notice the next several quotes, however:
“They must appreciate that identifying themselves with Jehovah’s organization is essential to their salvation.” Kingdom Ministry 1990 Nov., p.1
Here the Watchtower has broken its own rule. The Watchtower for the public says the correct thing, but the Kingdom Ministry publication, which is only for those Jehovah’s witnesses who engage in the door-to-door activity, leads them astray by pointing to the organization as being necessary for salvation. Did the Watchtower not just say this is idolatry? Why then are they leading eight million people straight into idolatry, making them guilty of breaking God’s law?
“Come to Jehovah’s organization for salvation.” Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1981 page 21
“Where should your faith be placed-in a religious organization or in God?” Wt. Jan 15, 1970 pg. 37
As you can see from their quotes, the Watchtower says both things, but they are opposite teachings! So whom will you trust? God’s inspired word? Or the words of an uninspired, imperfect organization?
Take heed therefore, to pay attention to and obey the word of God. Here is what God’s word says:
“Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save.” Psalm 146:3 NIV
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who draws strength from mere flesh
and whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Jer. 17:5 NIV
So do not put your trust in men, for they cannot save you, regardless of their claims! Even if they should say, “Salvation is by means of following me!” there is only one path that leads to salvation, that is by means of faith in the Son of God, our Messiah, our Redeemer, our Savior. There is no other!
This article was originally featured on jwinform.com and was republished with permission of the author.