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The Gospel

 

Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that:

  • The gospel to be preached is that the kingdom of God was invisibly established in the year 1914 [1]
  • By loyally submitting to Jehovah’s organization, men can hope to survive Armageddon and enter directly into the earthly realm of the Kingdom [2]
  • The gospel preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses is the same gospel as that preached by the apostle Paul [3]

What does mainstream Christianity believe?

Q1. There are 119 occurrences of the terms “gospel” or “good news” in the New Testament (ESV) – what do they include?

Answer: The gospel is Jesus (Mark 1:1). The message centres on Christ’s crucifixion, resurrection and believing in him as our personal Lord and Saviour to lead us to God (1 Pet 3:18)

  • The message of redemption 71
  • Jesus Christ 26
  • God 9
  • The Kingdom 7
  • Grace 2
  • Peace 2
  • Joy 1
  • General good news 1

Q2. What was the gospel preached by the apostle Paul?

Answer: Christ crucified and raised as Lord. The Spirit moved many to repent and believe in response to this gospel, resulting in death to their old life and being raised to newness life in Christ – sharing the life of God (Col 3:1-4; Rom 6:1-4)

Rom 1:1-3,16-17 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God … concerning his Son … For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

1 Cor 1:17-18,23-24 For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God…. but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.

1 Cor 15:1-4 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved … that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

Col 1:19-23 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless

In this chart you see common factors in Paul’s explanations of the gospel as recorded in the Book of Acts:

Paul’s

sermons

Common ground

For all nations

Jesus’ death, resurrection

Jesus as Lord, Saviour, Judge

 Repent

Forgiven

Acts 10

vs 34-38

vs 34

vs 39-40

vs 42

 

vs 43

Acts 13

vs 16-25

vs 26

vs 28-37

vs 26

 

vs 38-39

Acts 17

vs 22-26

vs 26

vs 31-32

vs 24

vs 27,30

 

Acts 26

vs 1-14

vs 17,20

vs 23

vs 15

vs 18,20

vs 18

Q3. Does the gospel preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses differ from that preached by Christians throughout the centuries?

Answer: Rather than Christ being preached, their message emphasises faith in the Kingdom of 1914 and baptism into their organisation

“Let the honest-hearted person compare the kind of preaching of the gospel done by the religious systems of Christendom during all the centuries with that done by Jehovah’s Witnesses since the end of World War I in 1918. They are not one and the same kind. That of Jehovah’s Witnesses is really “gospel” or “good news,” as of God’s heavenly kingdom that was established by the enthronement of his Son Jesus Christ at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914.” (Watchtower, May 1, 1981, p. 17)

“Two Questions to Be Answered on the Day of Your Baptism” [4]

  1. Have you repented of your sins, dedicated yourself to Jehovah, and accepted his way of salvation through Jesus Christ?
  2. Do you understand that your baptism identifies you as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in association with Jehovah’s organization?

Contrast their baptism questions with: Matt 28:19; Acts 2:38-39; 10:48; 19:5

Q4. What should be our response to a gospel other than the one Paul preached?

Answer: Bible scholar Metzger says “A gospel that elevates man and dethrones God is not the gospel.” Evangelist Jerry Bridges, “By substituting man centered performance as the basis for acquiring righteousness, the very essence and foundation of redemptive truth is compromised.”

Gal 1:8-9 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

1 Cor 16:22-24 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come!

Summary

  • The gospel is primarily the good news of our redemption by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Paul preached “Christ crucified”
  • The gospel preached by Jehovah’s Witnesses is very different from that which was preached by the apostle Paul and by Christians throughout the centuries
  • Galatians 1:9 “If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed”

Endnotes

  1. Watchtower 2014 Feb 15th pp 3-7
  2. Watchtower 2011 Jan 15th pp 3-7, para 8
  3. Watchtower 2012 Mar 1st p 8

 

Article Credits: KevinQuick.com

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