Fact a Day: May 24th - Ankerberg Theological Research Institute, John Ankerberg Show

Fact a Day: May 24th

The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses (Harvest House, 1988), pp. 16-17

 

What do Jehovah’s Witnesses believe about salvation?

 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that there are three classes of people that will be saved by good works. But each class is working to gain a different salvation.

The first class is an extremely small group of people the Jehovah’s Witnesses call “the 144,000.” Only these are elected by God for special spiritual privileges. For example, many of the blessings that the Bible teaches are given to every believer by faith alone are, according to the Watchtower Society, reserved exclusively for the 144,000. For example, this class is said to enjoy the spiritual privileges and blessings of justification and being born again. However, justification and being born again are redefined. Justification is not a once-for-all legal declaration God makes about a believer, giving him a perfect and righteous standing before God on account of the atonement of Christ, as is taught in Scripture (Romans 3:28; Philippians 3:9). Rather, they say justification is a “present justification” that may be forfeited at any time by disobedience.*…

The second class includes all other Jehovah’s Witnesses (called “the other sheep”). They cannot be justified in this life or born again. Indeed, the average Jehovah’s Witness has no hope of ever being born again. At death God does not recreate these people as spirit beings, as Jesus was changed into Michael, but recreates their physical bodies to live only on the earth. These people are told they will be ruled over by Jesus (Michael) and the 144,000 in heaven.

The third class includes non-Jehovah’s Witnesses who have lived good enough lives to be given the opportunity to earn salvation after death (a teaching that the Bible denies—Hebrews 9:27). All who are worthy of the second chance will be recreated by Jehovah to live in the new millennium. But they will only gain life beyond the millennium if they attain perfection during it.*

*For documentation, see The Facts on Jehovah’s Witnesses.

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