SHORT CHRISTIAN READINGS SELECTED FOR FORMER JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES
Reasoning with Jehovah's Witnesses: The Gospel
By Kevin Quick
Jehovah's Witnesses believe that:
a. The gospel to be preached now is primarily the good news that the kingdom of God was invisibly established in the year 1914.
"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.)
b. By believing in Christ and by taking refuge in Jehovah's organization, men can now hope to survive the coming great tribulation and enter directly into the earthly realm of the Kingdom. (The Truth that Leads to Eternal Life, pp. 23,121.)
c. The gospel preached by Jehovah's Witnesses is the same gospel as that preached by the apostle Paul. (Watchtower, 11/1/68, pp. 652-656.)
Scriptures commonly used by Jehovah's Witnesses: Matt 24:14, Mark 13:10: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end shall come.
Q1. In its 115 occurrences in the New Testament, to what does the term "gospel" apply?
Simply Good News - 48
Jesus Christ - 29
Redemption - 20
God - 7
The Kingdom - 7
Grace - 2
Joy - 1
Peace - 1
Q2. What was the gospel preached by the apostle Paul?
1 Cor 1:17,18,23,24: For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel-not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. For the message of the cross is foolishness 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 foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
1 Cor 15:1-4: Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of FIRST IMPORTANCE: that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
Col 1:19-23: For God was well pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has RECONCILED YOU BY CHRIST'S PHYSICAL BODY through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
Q. What should be our response to a gospel other than the one Paul preached?
Gal 1:8,9: But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again now, if any man is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.
a. The gospel is primarily the good news of our redemption by the blood of Jesus Christ, which redemption is to be appropriated by faith.
b. The gospel preached by the apostle Paul was primarily "Christ crucified."
c. 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.
d. The message and the messengers of the gospel preached by Jehovah's Witnesses are to be accursed.