How Can We Be Worthy Of Eternal Life?
Chris: John, last week we were talking about the difference between taking in knowledge and actually knowing someone personally. Remember?
John: Yes, I do. As a matter of fact, Chris, you kind of upset me. Just last month, after the events at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, I started putting 3 more hours per week into my field service. Iíve even been more diligent in reading the Watchtower lessons in advance so Iím more prepared at the meetings. And now youíre telling me that all this work wonít make me pleasing to Jehovah.
Chris: Thatís right, John.
John: I canít believe that! And what are you doing to please Jehovah?
Chris: John, do you know that the bible teaches that we canít earn our salvation?
John: Sure, itís a gift.
Chris: But thatís exactly what youíre trying to do. You are relying on your good works and hard effort to merit eternal life. Itís not that way, John. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, ďFor 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 boastĒ.
John: I know that verse. Are you one of those guys who think that youíre saved so now you can go around and do anything you want?
Chris: No, John. I do good works because Iím saved, not to get saved. Thatís the difference between you and me. I sense that youíre doing works in hope of someday obtaining eternal life from Jehovah.
John: No Chris. Everything I do, I do because I love Jehovah and want to serve Him. If I continue to be faithful to the organization, Heíll consider me worthy someday.
Chris: Youíre contradicting yourself, John. In one breath you are saying that salvation is a gift that canít be worked for, yet you are hoping to do enough works to be considered worthy. Do you know what grace is?
John: Sure, itís Godís undeserved kindness.
Chris: Read Romans 11:5-6.
John: ďIn this way, therefore, at the present season also a remnant has turned up according to a choosing due to undeserved kindness. Now if it is by undeserved kindness, it is no longer due to works; otherwise, the undeserved kindness no longer proves to be undeserved kindness.Ē
Chris: Do you see that Godís grace and our works are mutually exclusive? You canít have it both ways. All your works, as noble as they may be, wonít save you. John, I know Iím saved because Iíve repented of my sins and believed that Jesus died for me and rose from the dead.
John: There you go. Youíre one of those who think that youíre saved because you said a prayer or something. No way, Chris. Matthew 24:13 says, ďBut he that has endured to the end is the one that will be savedĒ.
Chris: Are you going to endure to the end, John?
John: Iím going to try. How about you? I donít see you knocking on doors. Are you going to endure to the end?
Chris: Sure am.
John: Thatís pretty cocky! You mean you know that you are saved and you will endure through Armageddon?
Chris: Thatís right. I know because Iím not relying on my power to endure. 1 Corinthians 1:8 says, ďHe will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus ChristĒ. And Ephesians 1:13-14 says, ďIn Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His gloryĒ.
John: So, youíre saying all I have to do is believe and Iíll be saved. Is that right?
Chris: John, who would you trust more, me or Jesus?
John: Nothing personal, Chris, but Iíd prefer Jesus any day.
Chris: Good. So would I. Read John 5:24.
John: ďMost truly I say to YOU, He that hears my word and believes him that sent me has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life.Ē Hmmm. I donít recall seeing that verse before. I think I may remember the Society saying that this is for the 144,000.
Chris: Look into it and weíll talk next week.Tower To Truth