IF MY JEHOVAH’S WITNESS FRIEND DOES NOT ACCEPT THE DEITY OF JESUS CHRIST, IS HE DESTINED FOR THE LAKE OF FIRE?
“I am a Christian. By this I mean I am a follower of Jesus Christ and a careful student of the Scriptures. I believe God’s Word is infallible and eternal, and I believe in the doctrine of the Trinity and Deity of Jesus Christ. A good friend of mine is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He does not believe in the Trinity and the idea that Jesus is Almighty God. He and I have debated these doctrines on a number of occasions and both of us have made some serious statements and stood our ground. I really admire this man for his commitment to study and his thirst for answers. If only his energy was focused in the direction of truth. He is convinced that the Jehovah’s Witness Bible, The New World Translation, ‘is truth’. His biggest stumbling blocks are found in the Scriptures that make Jesus’ subordinate to God the Father. He does not believe that Jesus is ‘uncreated and eternal,’ but that God created him as the greatest of His angels. I have not been able to adequately convince him otherwise. Are Jehovah’s Witnesses destined for the Lake of fire? Or will some spend eternity with God?”
Dear Christian friend,
It is admirable that you care enough about the eternal destiny of your Jehovah’s Witness friend that you are diligently studying the Scriptures to share your faith with him. Jehovah’s Witnesses are indeed sincere students of Watchtower publications, including the New World Translation Bible published by the Watchtower Society. However, these publications misrepresent the doctrine of the Trinity and distort some of the key verses in reference to Jesus Christ’s Deity. Since Jehovah’s Witnesses have been taught to trust the teachings and publications of their religion over the clear, simple reading of Scripture, you will need to address your friend’s trust in the false authority of the Watchtower Society before you will be able to adequately convince your friend of the clear testimony of the Scripture. So, to equip yourself to effectively share your faith with your Jehovah’s Witness friend, we recommend you study the following resources:
Now, before we address the implications of your Jehovah’s Witness friend’s rejection of Christ’s Deity, consider this: Salvation is God’s job, not ours. No amount of arguing about the Deity of Christ can save anyone or convince them of the truth of the Trinity because Scripture plainly says:
“…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”— 1 Corinthians 12:3
Your Jehovah’s Witness friend does not have the Holy Spirit. The Watchtower Society has taught him that Spiritual “adoption” and the privilege of being “born again” is reserved only for 144,000 people. Since the majority of Jehovah’s Witnesses are not part of this group, it is likely that your Jehovah’s Witness friend does not think he can be born again. As long as he rejects the New Covenant, he excludes himself from eternal life (John 6:53). Furthermore, Romans 8:8-9 and 14, demonstrates that without the Holy Spirit which is received by “adoption”, one cannot be led by the Spirit of God and without the Holy Spirit’s leading, your friend literally cannot say “Jesus is Lord / Jehovah” (1 Corinthians 12:3). Can you see the predicament your friend is in?
As long as you argue the Trinity, you are in a no win situation because your friend literally CANNOT understand it. Arguments like these often become the stumbling blocks that prevent Jehovah’s Witnesses from hearing the REAL Gospel, that Jesus is the Truth (John 14:6) and that we must “come to” Jesus (John 5:39-40) by praying to Him for forgiveness of our sins in order to receive eternal life (John 10:27-28). Only when he has embraced Jesus as his personal Savior, can he receive the Holy Spirit who will reveal Jesus’ identity to him. It is at this point, when a Jehovah’s Witness leaves the false authority of the Watchtower, puts his trust completely in Christ alone, and receives His Holy Spirit into his heart, that he will come to see the true Deity of Christ and the Trinity. So be patient with your friend and don’t let discussions on the Trinity, keep you from presenting the Gospel first and foremost.
Now to answer your question, you asked if all Jehovah’s Witnesses are destined for the Lake of fire, or if some of them will escape to spend eternity with God. First of all, we do not presume to stand in the place of God in judging the eternal destinies of our Jehovah’s Witness friends. Only God knows their hearts and He will judge them according to the light of creation and conscience He has given them as described in Romans chapters one and two as well as the written revelation of His Word, the Bible. Scripture warns against following “another Jesus” at 2 Corinthians 11:4 and at Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…”
We also believe that God will hold Jehovah’s Witnesses to a higher standard for their rejection of Christ’s Deity because they hold His Word in their hand and are incorrectly teaching it to others as James 3:1 warns. We can also see Jesus’ reaction to the Jewish leaders who rejected His claims to Deity at John 8:24. He said that anyone who does not believe He is the “I Am” (he is not in the original Greek) will “die in their sins.” This is a strong statement about why people must not reject who Jesus claimed to be (c.f. Exodus 3:14).
Other Scriptures that draw strong implications for the eternal destiny of Jehovah’s Witnesses who disregard the true nature of Christ are Romans 10:9-13 and Acts 22:16. Both passages talk about the importance of calling upon Jesus’ name for salvation. Jehovah’s Witnesses are taught by the Watchtower Society to address their prayers to Jehovah God in Jesus’ Name, but they are told not to address their prayers directly to Jesus, because they do not believe He is God. As a result, if your Jehovah’s Witness friend follows the rules of his religious organization, he will not be able to pray the prayer of salvation to Jesus because he won’t “come to” Christ in order to receive eternal life (John 5:39-40).
So to answer your question about whether “some” Jehovah’s Witnesses will make it into eternity with God, we would say that it is possible that a disillusioned Jehovah’s Witness may choose to go against Watchtower teachings by directly “calling upon” Jesus in prayer for salvation. We believe that if this person does call upon Jesus in prayer and ask Him for forgiveness of sins with a heart to reconsider the Watchtower teachings on Jesus’ identity, this person may very well end up in eternity with God because God promises to reveal the truth to those who call upon Him (John 10:26-28; Jeremiah 29:13).
Yet, only God knows the heart of your Jehovah’s Witness friend. He is the Savior. We are not. Remember, “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)
So, rather than spending your time debating the Trinity first with your Jehovah’s Witness friend, why not spend your time concentrating on the REAL message of the Gospel—that Jesus is “the Truth” (John 14:6), that we must “come to” Jesus for forgiveness of sins, that we must be “born again” by the Spirit, and adopted out of Satan’s family into God’s family in order to “please Jehovah” and “belong to Christ” (Romans 8:8-9, 16). Only then, once your friend has been “born of the Spirit,” can discussions about the Trinity have any affect upon your friend.
“But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” —1 Corinthians 2:14
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON PRESENTING THE GOSPEL AND DISCUSSING THE TRINITY SEE:
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