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What Must I Do To Be Saved?

 

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John: Hi, Chris.

Chris: Hi, John. Have you thought about our last conversation, remember we talked about the fact that the bible teaches that all who believe in Christ have a heavenly hope, not just the 144,000?

 John: Well...., yeah...., but you canít be saved by just believing in Jesus. Thereís a lot more to it.

Chris: What do you mean, John?

 John: Well, I brought this article from the Watchtower, February 15, 1983 with me. On page 12 it talks about the four requirements for gaining everlasting life. The first requirement is taking in knowledge. The second is to obey Godís laws. The third requirement is that we be associated with Godís channel of communication, His organization. Finally, we need to loyally advocate His Kingdom rule to others. Thatís why we go door to door, Chris.

Chris: Wow, John! Thatís a pretty tough standard. It must be hard to conform to.

John: It really is, Chris. But again, if I do my best in serving Jehovah, He may count me worthy someday to gain perfection on a paradise earth. Do you know that in the book, Life Everlasting in Freedom of the Sons of God, it says on page 400 that ďJehovah God will justify, declare righteous, on the basis of their own merit all perfected humans who have withstood that final, decisive test of mankind.Ē It says on page 392 that we will someday be able to stand before the God of holiness on the basis of our own righteousness.

Chris: John, you told me you didnít believe that youíre saved by your works.

John: I donít.

Chris: But thatís what that quote said that you just read to me. It said that the great crowd will stand before Jehovah based on their own merit. John, merit means something that is earned. In other words, a reward for your works.

John: I guess youíre right. But you canít expect eternal life to be just handed to you without it costing you something, can you?

Chris: John, itís not what it costs us, itís what it cost Jesus. Titus 3:5 says, ďHe saved us. Not because of righteous things we have done, but according to His mercyĒ. Isaiah 64:6 says, ďWe are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are like filthy ragsĒ. Did you hear that? Our righteousness is like a filthy rag in Godís sight. Why does the Watchtower teach that you can someday stand before Jehovah based on your own merit when the bible teaches that you canít?

John: Well...., I donít know, Chris. How do you expect to stand before God?

Chris: The bible answers that. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, ďFor He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us,  that we might become the righteousness of God in HimĒ. John, that means that when Jesus died, He took all our unrighteousness upon Himself. To complete the transaction, He gave us all His righteousness in return. It would be like you giving me a bag of worthless copper coins and me giving you a bag of priceless gold in return.

John: Hmm.... It sounds all great, Chris, but itís just too easy. I mean, not everyone is saved because Jesus died.

Chris: Youíre right. John 1:12 says, ďYet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of GodĒ. You need to receive Jesus, John.

John: But, how? I constantly try to please Jehovah. Iím always going to meetings and out in field service. Somehow, I still just donít feel like Iíll make it through Armageddon when it comes.

Chris: John, you donít receive Jesus by works, but by faith. Romans 5:1 says that, ďHaving been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus ChristĒ. Ephesians 2:8 says we have been saved by grace through faith. Itís really not hard, John, but you have to be willing to let go of all your efforts and put your faith in Jesus alone. He saves you, you canít save yourself. Thatís what youíre trying to do.

John: I donít know, Chris. Iím getting confused. Since Iíve been coming over here these last 4 weeks, things are changing in my heart. Iím starting to see all the pressure that the Organization is putting on people and the lack of love for members who are having a hard time conforming. Itís not right. I canít believe that Iím even telling you this. I could get into real trouble if anyone knew we were having this discussion.

Chris: John, youíre safe with me. I would never jeopardize your trust. The things that youíre seeing are because the Holy Spirit is opening your spiritual eyes to issues that you were once blinded to. God is calling you to salvation, John. I understand that this is a scary thing for you, but thousands of Jehovahís Witnesses have taken this step into new life in Jesus Christ. They have been given a peace that passes understanding and an assurance of salvation that only Jesus can give. When Jesus was dying, He said, ďIt is finishedĒ. He used a Greek word that means, paid in full. Again, Jesus paid the full price, all thatís left is for you to trust and obey Him by receiving Him into your life. Do you want to do that now, John?

John: Well....yes, I do.

Chris: Why donít you pray right now to Jesus, John?

John: Jesus, Iím confused. Iíve never felt this way before. These last few weeks have been difficult for me. I want to know who you are. I admit that I donít. I know that my effort falls so short of your perfect standard. I want to be saved, Jesus. I want whatever you have for me. I have seen from Your Word that what this man is saying is true. Come into my heart, Lord. Make me clean and holy in your sight. Help me to please you. Amen.

Chris: Welcome to the family of God, John!

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