[Quotes from Watchtower publications, including their New World Translation, are in blue.]
The word “Gospel” means “Good News”. In Rom 1:16 Paul says, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”
At 1 Cor. 15:1-4 Paul says the Gospel is of “first importance”, and he defines the Gospel this way: Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; he was buried, he was raised on the third day. This is the Gospel. Paul says, by this Gospel we are saved.
So the Gospel is the death and resurrection of Christ for our sins. Everyone who believes this Gospel is forgiven of his sins and has eternal life.
Let us compare this with the WT’s gospel.
The Dec. 15, 1992 WT asks, What Really Is the Gospel? In the two articles given to the subject there is no declaration of the Good News as Paul defined it. The Gospel ends up being something Witnesses themselves have to accomplish. The WT gospel is not good news.
In fact, the June 1, 1995 WT, p 30, says, “Certainly we do not expect that in the present system Jesus would apply to us the full merit of his sacrifice. Even if he did, we would still not have everlasting life.” And in reference to the paralyzed man to whom Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven you” (Luke 5), the article states, “What Jesus said did not mean that the man got eternal life on the spot. But the man was blessed with a degree of forgiveness.”. What good does a degree of forgiveness do? But Jesus did not say to the man, “some of your sins are forgiven you”, and he didn’t say, “some day your sins will be forgiven you.” He said, “Your sins are forgiven you.”
The WT has a different gospel. 2 Cor. 11:4 warns against those who preach a “different gospel”.
And Gal 1:6-7 says, “I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--which is really no gospel at all.” The WT’s “gospel” is no gospel at all!
In this WT article of June 1, 1995, p 30 (Questions...) the WT teaches that:
1. Jesus does not apply to us the full merit of his sacrifice in the present system
2. Just a degree of our sins are forgiven in the present system
3. We do not get eternal life in the present system
But what do the Scriptures say about that?
I John 1:9 - “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” - all our inherited sins, all our actual sins.
Acts 13:38-39 ".. through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the Law of Moses.”
A degree of forgiveness will not do. The Bible knows no such category.
2 Cor 5:21 “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” - an exchange; the full merit of Jesus’ sacrifice applied to the believer.
Eph 1:7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace”
Rom. 5:20 “The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more.”
Col 1:13-14 “For he has rescued (past tense) us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (present tense)
I John 5:11-13. “This is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (present tense)
John 3:36 “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life...” (present tense)
John 6:47 “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. (present tense)
John 5:24 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
These verses were written to people who were still living. And there is no support for the WT’s two-class system so these words are written to all who believe.
The WT will not allow the Scriptures to stand that proclaim full forgiveness and eternal life here and now in Jesus Christ! The Watchtower may be short on forgiveness, but God’s grace and forgiveness is without limit in the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Written by Greta Olsoe