7/25/2021 People Who Have Hope ~Rev. Bernie Chung
Many of the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses have no basis in the Bible. Unfortunately, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not think this is a serious problem. They continue to attract unsuspecting people to join their ranks. Many of their recruits claim to be Christians, but they have little knowledge of the Bible and the truth of salvation.
Jehovah’s Witnesses fail to grasp the Biblical concepts of the Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, and the resurrection of Christ, resulting in their distorted understanding of Biblical truth. Christians believe that our triune God is comprised of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit—the three equal persons. Christ is the second person of the Trinity, equal to the Father and the Holy Spirit. (See John 1:1; Colossians 1:15-19; Philippians 2:5-11). Matthew 3:16-17 says: “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.’” This was a joyous declaration from God the Father and the Holy Spirit, who like a dove, bore witness to Christ.
Regarding salvation, Jehovah’s Witnesses believe the death of Christ has provided salvation opportunities for mankind, but still deem it necessary to do good deeds and abide by the standards set by the Watchtower Bible Society. We Christians believe that the death of Christ has completely paid the price for all human sins. As believers in Christ, we are freely justified and reconciled to God through salvation in Christ. (See Romans 3:24,25; 5:12-19). 1 Peter 2:24 says: “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” This passage reminds us that Christ took the punishment of sin on our behalf to heal our souls.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Christ returned to earth invisibly in 1914 and now reigns from heaven. They also believe that humans do not have an immortal spirit, and our spirits no longer exist after death. As Christians we believe that Christ will return to earth in a physical way with sight and sound, and that humans have eternal and immortal spirit after death. When Jesus returns, Christians believing in Christ will be with him (see 2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:22,23) and be delivered from judgment (see John 5:24-30). 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says: "Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”
Those “who have no hope" are the people who do not believe in the Lord will be hopeless when death comes. Brothers and sisters, since we believe that "Jesus died and rose again," we should believe that believers who have died can also be resurrected when Christ returns. This is the “holistic redemption” we can look forward to as “people who have hope”. Amen!