Q. “What makes Jehovah Witnesses and Mormans ‘different’ than Christians?”
A. Good question. I know many argue that Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons are Christians. But I can faithfully and confidently argue against this, for one reason, plus thousands more (although they are unnecessary in light of it being my one primary reason). They do not believe in the same Jesus. It is very similar to the question, do Christians and Muslims worship the same God/god? If they did, then assuredly they would come to the same conclusions about how God draws those who He loves to Himself, but alas, they do not.
If someone was talking about me (supposedly), when I was not around but were describing me in a way completely contrary to who I am, then really, they are not describing me. Because that is not who I am. Jesus states that He is the only way to Father, and no one comes to the Father but through Him. He specifically gives all necessary truth to describe Himself and His work that saves us, therefore if you decide Jesus is someone other than who He says He is, then you are not believing in the same Jesus. You have your faith in an idol, whatever kind of Jesus that would be.
Specifically, these two groups believe that Jesus is this:
Jehovah Witness- Hold that Jesus was created by Jehovah (God) as the archangel Michael prior to the creation of the world. The first half of this sentence already is a long-debunked heresy known as Arianism. Arianism is the heresy that God “created” Jesus as a less mighty deity, and this heresy attempts to refute the Biblical truth that Jesus has always been and is a co-equal member of the Trinity. This is not the same Jesus we worship.
For this fact alone, Jehovah Witness doctrine is heresy and they do not worship the same Jesus.
Morman- Hold that Jesus is a procreated being, much like humans are. They claim that God has a wife by which Jesus and Lucifer were both born. There are many problems with this view and unfortunately, it does not stop there. Nonetheless, this twisted theology is the groundwork for a continuing web of heresy, propagated by the Book of Morman. The Book of Morman is held as a continued revelation of Jesus Christ, intended to correct misconceptions about “Christianity.”
Heresy may be defined as anything that undermines a critical component of the Gospel message, and both of these groups fall within these groups.
Q. “Can you lose your salvation?”
A. I know many of you are holding your breath as you read my answer to this question. This question may become a heated debate with Christianity. But my answer is this. You can by no means lose your salvation; however, you can lose your faith. There is a difference. Allow me to explain.
When you accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a number of things happen. There is an acronym which covers the breadth of the Holy Spirit’s work at the moment of your belief. It is called C.R.I.B.S. and each letter has a strong Biblical precedent.
- Circumcised (Romans 2:25-29)
- Regenerated (Titus 3:5)
- Indwelt (Romans 8:9)
- Baptized (1 Corinthians 12:13)
- Sealed (Ephesians 4:30)
These are all very firm actions with various purposes, many of which are permanent. Not to get graphic, but there is no way to “uncircumcise” yourself or degenerate yourself when you have been regenerated. That is likened to a caterpillar who has been regenerated into a butterfly proclaiming, “This flying stuff is too hard! I am going to be a caterpillar again.”
Allow me to place emphasis on the sealing aspect of the Spirit’s role. We are sealed until the day of our redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30). That is otherwise known as our glorification when we reach our Heavenly destination.
I am not preaching to live however you want from salvation on, but we must realize that our Christian duties forward are repaid by a Heavenly reward (1 Corinthians 3:12-14; 2 Timothy 2:19-20). If there is nothing, we can do to ascertain our salvation (as it is a gift), what could we possibly do unseal the work of the Holy Spirit?
Nonetheless, there are examples of men in the Bible who have erred from the Faith. One example of this can be found in 1 Timothy 1:19-20. There is an account of two men who had “shipwrecked” their faith, yet Paul delivered them unto Satan (a form of excommunication), so that they can learn and be restored. There are numerous cases of Paul doing such, yet it was for restorative purposes of their faith, not their eternal salvation.
Q. “How can God send someone to Hell if He sent His Son into the world to bear our iniquities?”
A. This is a classic question which is often phrased in a number of ways. I once heard it explained this way- “God does not send people to Hell, they simply decline His offer to come home.” Since then, I have heard this explanation offered up in different ways and it almost seems too simple to be true. Metaphors can only go so far, but the point is this-
God is holy. In order to ascertain a holy eternal residency is to be, well, holy. Imagine this, someone wants to live in a multi-million-dollar mansion. So, they go to a real estate agency and tell the agent which house they picked out. When the agent ultimately asks the person how they intend to pay for it, they reply, “Well, I can’t. I am broke.” It would not make sense. You cannot live above your means. In the same way, it is the pride of a human to say, I want to live somewhere holy, but they are depraved or sinful.
Now let us reimagine the above situation. The poor man goes to the real estate agent and says he wants to live at the mansion, and the real estate agent exclaims, “Great! We actually have a very rich and powerful person who gave everything up so that you can live there! The cost is paid!”
At this point, you have two options:
- Humbly accept this free gift.
- In pride, deny it and work for something you will never be able to grasp.
This is the same situation as the question asked, but metaphorical. Hell is a real place, instituted by separation from God. It is contrary to His holiness and what we deserve. But when Christ died for us and was buried, He rose again in victory so that we may also have victory in death. When you are saved, Christ’s righteousness makes you holy, and you are deemed acceptable.
The only requirement to accept His holiness, is to believe this message.
Q. “Can God love and hate me if I sin at the same time? Does He separate the sinner from the sin, or hate both?”
A. Once again, we examine a question that requires us to look at the nature of humanity in light of the nature of God. There is a common folk theology that states that God does not hate sinners, but only their sin. This is not accurate Biblical theology. I can provide ample Biblical evidence that shows God does hate sinners (Psalm 5:4-5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Malachi 1:3).
Many attempt to do Biblical gymnastics with these verses, but the truth is, even if there were not countless verses to defend this fact, only one verse is needed. One verse is enough. We truly need to ask ourselves some hard questions about God’s character if we cannot believe the Scriptures for what they say. Wrath and righteous vengeance are attributes of God, just as much as His love is.
Yet, even with His strong disdain for the sinfulness of man’s being, the attribute of His love still presides, and He opens the doors for a right relationship with Him. The two inherently do not seem to jive, but God is the ultimate anomaly. This is why we should never overlook verses such as 2 Corinthians 5:17 where in Christ, we become new creations. God does not and will not tolerate painted over sin, He desires a new and totally acceptable creation provided by Jesus Christ’s righteousness.
Q. “Why does God allow one to choose their own path, which therein leads to eternal separation from the Father? Why is that process so important?”
A. Free will. Churches have split and systems of theology have been written all revolving around this very question. But may I suggest this question, “Why wouldn’t God allow someone to choose their own path?”
God in creating humanity intended a relationship with humanity and through a number of dispensations, offered ways by which a relationship could be ascertained. Once hinging on covenant of works, we now live in an age of grace by which an intimate relationship with the Father is possible by the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the indwelling of the Spirit.
It is often (possibly oversimplified) said that God did not create us as robots, rather He created us in original form to desire a relationship with Him, yet sin soiled this original nature. But before that ever happened, God had a plan to restore us to the right relationship and call us to Himself (Ephesians 1:3-6). Christ fulfilled this plan.