A SERIES OF POST ANSWERING AND COMPARING WATCHTOWER’S TEACHING TO THE WORD OF GOD
Christians know that God created all things beautiful, but there will be a period of seven years of great tribulation before the millennium .
QUESTION 15 Watchtower asks.
15. How can we strengthen our endurance, and why is it important to do so now?
15 Endurance: The theme of the 2017 convention program was “Don’t Give Up!” This program helped us to strengthen our ability to withstand trials. We learned that our endurance does not depend on favorable circumstances. We can strengthen our endurance by relying on Jehovah. (Rom. 12:12) May we never forget what Jesus promised: “The one who endures to the end will be saved.” (Matt. 24:13, ftn.) This promise means that we must remain faithful despite any challenges we face. By enduring each trial now, we can become stronger before the outbreak of the great tribulation.
Watchtower interprets Matthew 24:13 to mean that in order to inherit eternal life, a person “must remain faithful despite any challenges.” They teach this to mean that in order to be saved a person must strive to endure trials and tribulations and continue in all that they are taught to do. Written on their website and in their literature is the following, and I am quoting…
”A person who has gained salvation by faith in Jesus Christ can lose that faith and the salvation that comes with it. The Bible says that maintaining faith requires great effort, a “hard fight.”
THE BIBLE TEACHES
Here we will study to learn whether Christ is saying all who are saved by grace through faith in the shed blood of Christ and sealed by His Holy Spirit WILL endure and be saved because of their faith, OR was Christ saying to be saved we must exert great effort and put up a hard fight in order to endure?
I, personally, do not find anywhere in the Bible that we are told maintaining faith requires great effort on our part or a “hard fight.” I find instead that we are called to eternal life, but we are to fight the good fight of FAITH by prayer and obedience. Who does this? Those who have PROFESSED A GOOD PROFESSION before many others.
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12
So what fight must we fight? We fight the reproaches and afflictions those receive who profess Christ.
But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used… Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Hebrews 10:32-33, 38-39
WORDS OF JESUS
And you shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved. Matthew 10:22
Either we are saved by grace through faith or we are saved by “great effort” and “hard work” which is human effort.
The Word of God says salvation is of the Lord.
Christians believe and scriptures support that Christ’s sacrifice is sufficient to save us to the uttermost and that His Holy Spirit’s seal is a pledge to us that God will keep us as His own as it says:
Now it is God who establishes both us and you in Christ. He anointed us, placed His seal on us, and put His Spirit in our hearts as a pledge of what is to come. 2 Corinthians 1:21-22
(The first three scriptures are the passages Watchtower uses to support what they teach, that they are saved by great effort and hard work that enables them to endure.)
Jude 1:3 Beloved, using all diligence to write to you concerning our common salvation, I had necessity to write to you, exhorting youto contend earnestly for the faith having been delivered once for all to the saints.
Jude 1:5 Although you are fully aware of this, I want to remind you that after Jesus had delivered His people out of the land of Egypt, He destroyed those who did not believe.…
Philippians 2:12 Therefore my beloved, just as always you have obeyed, not only as in my presence, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
(The scriptures below are some of the ones that support what Christians believe, ie. that we are saved by grace through faith in the work of Christ.)
Ephesians 2:4 But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ, even when we were dead in our trespasses. It is by grace you have been saved! 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,……8 For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and this not from yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.
2 Timothy 1:9
He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not because of our own works, but by His own purpose and by the grace He granted us in Christ Jesus before time eternal.
He saved us, not by the righteous deeds we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of new birth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and never shall they perish to the age, and never will anyone seize them out of My hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one is able to seize them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” John 10:27-30
John 6:29 Jesus replied, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.
Romans 8:29-30 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
Romans 8:35-39 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.read more.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth, and in your heart.” That is, the word of faith which we proclaim, 9 that if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him out from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For in the heart is belief unto righteousness, and in the mouth is confession unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord of all is rich toward all those calling Him, 13 for, “Whoever shall call upon the name of theLord will be saved.”
I will raise up shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or dismayed, nor will any go missing, declares YHWH.
1 Peter 1:5
who through faith are shielded by God’s power for the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
1 John 1:2
And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.
1 John 2:25
And this is the promise that He Himself made to us: eternal life.
1 John 5:11
And this is that testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
Who will inherit eternal life in God’s Kingdom? Will it be those who depend upon human efforts? Will it be those who depend upon being in the right organization? Will it be those who confess the name of the Only Begotten Son of God and believe that He was raised from the dead, who are born-again and sealed by the Spirit?
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains on him.”
See these passages concerning Our Identity in Christ.