How can you get into Paradise where God reigns? Will your answer be a repeat of what so many man made religions teach? I asked you a similar question at the beginning of the first chapter. Has your reading made a difference, or are you still counting largely on the things you do? Are you trying to accomplish certain tasks or counting on being able to live by a set of rules that you will never succeed in following?
God gave rules in the Old Testament law that showed men how they should live but men did not live that way. Then when people sinned God had them sacrifice animals as a foreshadowing or preview of what Christ was going to do. Later He sent Jesus as the final sacrifice. He paid the entire penalty for all of our sins. The New Testament tells us that God's laws do not show us how good we are, but what we have done wrong. They show us our sinfulness, but don't give the power to live as God wishes. They turn us to Christ who saves by showing us that we can't save ourselves.
Good Works Don't Save. The Savior Saves!
God says: "Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But not the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:20-23).
A young Jehovah's Witness asked me, "Does this mean that all those things which I have done are worth nothing toward my salvation?" Rather than respond myself, I quoted another New Testament Epistle: "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by law, then Christ is dead in vain" (Gal. 2:21).
Do you shove aside the grace of God who is offering you salvation in Christ to try to save yourself by God's law or by the rules of the Watchtower? If so, how can you ever be sure you have done enough?
Perhaps you realize that not all your works have been good ones, and are counting on a mix of your works and God's grace. Jehovah says: "And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work" (Rom. 11:6).
If salvation is given to us who don't deserve it by God's grace, it is not earned by our works. If you are trusting that your works count for at least part of your salvation, you ar not trusting Christ to save you. You are like the drowning person that thrashes around so much that he won't let the person who has come to save him do it.
God wants to save you by His grace, through His Son. There is no other salvation. This matter is so important that I beg you to carefully study also: Acts 4:12, 13:37-39, Rom. 3:20-28; 4:16; 5:20-21; Gal. 3:1-19, 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5-7.
A Second Chance?
Some hope that after the resurrection there will be a second chance. They refer to Revelation 20 which tells of the judgment before the great white throne. Here people are judged for their works. Don't just take one of these verses out of context. The chapter builds up to the climax: "...and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire" (Rev. 20:15).
Not one was found with works good enough to merit life. Only those whose names were in the book of life were saved. This is judgment. There is no second chance. Your name is written in the Lamb's Book of Life at the time that you accept Christ in this life, or it is not there.
The Reason We Cannot Earn Any of Our Salvation Is Because It Is a Gift of God
- "For by grace are ye saved through faith ; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8-9).
- "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (I John 5:11-12). A gift cannot be earned. One must decide to receive it. You may decide right now to receive God's gift.
We Receive God's Gift of Salvation through Faith in Jesus Christ
"But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name, which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (John 1:12-13).
To enter God's reign, we must be born of Him by trusting Christ the Savior to save us!
A Purified Life Is the Result, Not the Cause of Salvation
- God said that our salvation is not a reward for our works, but a gift that He gives us when we trust Christ to save us. Immediately afterward He added: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Eph. 2:10)
God works in those who have been saved by grace that they might do good works.
- "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works" (Titus 2:14).
- "Therefore is any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new" (2 Cor. 5:17).
It is spiritual suicide to keep following doctrines that can't save and go against some of the most vital points of God's Word. We have seen from their books that the people who established Jehovah's Witness' doctrine made many mistakes interpreting the Bible. You must choose whether you will trust the system set up by these men who can't save, and don't interpret the Bible accurately, or put your faith in the real Christ of the Bible to save you: "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification" (Rom. 4:25).
If you receive the Savior and the salvation that only He can give, He will forgive your sins and make you a child in His family, giving you eternal life. In addition, you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit which will enable you to live a life which pleases God.
To choose to follow Watchtower doctrines in the crucial area of how to become one of God's people, is to reject Jehovah's provision for your salvation. "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).
It is that simple! People say you can get in without being born again but God says you can't. Who is it that reigns? God, or do they? Then who has the right to decide how you can enter?
Shift your faith! Stop believing your actions can save you and put your trust in the Savior to do it.
When you have decided, you may want to thank God for His gift of salvation with a prayer like this: "Father, I have sinned, and I believe that Christ came to save sinners. Right now I trust Jesus Christ to save me. I thank you that He has taken all my sins onto Himself and clothed me in His righteousness."
At this point it would be good to confess to God all the sins you can remember having done. Trust Christ to save you from each one of them and from the ones you can't remember too. Then thank God that the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ has washed away all your sins.
If you still haven't decided to trust Christ alone to save you, please go back and read the first chapter again. Then come back and red this chapter prayerfully, again and again, until you, too, understand, and are born spiritually through faith in Christ. "And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father" (Phlp. 2:11).