Summary: This sermon series explores cults and false religions and how their differ from Christianity
What Do You Believe”
A.Today we are continuing our series called “What do you believe?” We
are talking about some of the major false religions such as Jehovah
Witnesses, the Mormons, Scientology and Islam that we are faced with
today and why Christianity is different from them.
B.Many Christians today are confused about what they believe. They are
not sure if other religions are okay or if they are the same as
Christianity. Many Christians have bought into the lie that there are
many ways to God and Christianity is just another one of those ways.
C.Last week we talked about the three signs of all false religions. I
call them the three “S’s.” They stand for Savior, Salvation, and
Scripture. All false religions differ from the Christian view on these
three major issues.
1.Savior: All false religions change who Jesus really was. They do not
believe that He is the ‘only way’ to heaven.
2.Salvation: All false religions teach that a person must ‘earn’ their
way to heaven. They don’t believe we are saved by grace, God’s gift.
3.Scripture: All false religions teach that the Bible is ‘incomplete’
and there are ‘other’ holy books.
D.Today we will look at the beliefs of the Jehovah Witnesses.
Why am I doing this teaching?
A.I am not teaching this series so you can argue with the Jehovah
Witnesses when they come to your door.
B.The main reason I am teaching this is to help you establish what it is
that you believe so that you are not lead astray and deceived. Sooner or
later every Christian has to come to grips with what it is that they
really believe and if it is really different than other religions. To
help you to see the ‘distinctives’ of your faith. The second reason to
equip you so that you can help others, friends, relatives, co-workers,
who are open and looking for truth.
History of the Jehovah’s Witnesses
A. One of the things JW’s are known for is predicting the dates of when
Jesus would return. This started with their founder Charles Russell and
has continued to this day. But this is a problem when we look at what
Jesus had to say about His return. Turn to Mark 13:32. When Jesus was
asked in verses 3-4 by the disciples, about what date He would return He
said no one would know the day or the hour when He would return. “But of
that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the
Son, but only the Father.”
B. In the 1800’s, Charles Russell, who at that time was in his teens with
no formal theological education, began to study the Bible and the angles
and measurements of the corridors of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. He
felt the Great Pyramids of Egypt were prophecies in stone. He combined
Bible prophecies with the measurements of the pyramids together, and he
picked 1914 as the date when Armageddon would take place. He picked 1914
as the time when Christ would return to Earth.
C. He then started The Watchtower Society. He said, “If you are not a
member of The Watchtower Society, then you will not survive Armageddon.”
Thousands joined the J.W. movement. 1914 came and went, and Jesus didn’t
show on Earth. Armageddon did not happen. So Charles Russell went back
to the drawing board. He crunched some more Great Pyramid numbers and
read some more Bible verses. And he said, “Okay, I was wrong. I was
wrong. It’s not 1914; it’s 1915. That’s the date, 1915. Armageddon will
happen then.” But 1915 came and went, and in 1916, Russell died.
D. This is always a telltale sign that an organization is a false
religion, when they begin to predict when Jesus is going to return. It
is sad but for some reason Christian people seem to fall for this. The
JW’s are not the only ones who try to predict Jesus return. A number of
years ago a book circulated in many churches, titled 88 reasons Jesus is
returning in 1988. Of course He didn’t return, so an edited version came
out the next year, 89 reasons Jesus was going to return in 1989. They
get around these scriptures by saying the don’t know the day or the
hour, but they can know the year! Now Jesus could have told us the
E. In the prophet Daniel we were told the exact year the Messiah would
come, and Jesus came at that same time, but God has chosen NOT to tell
us the day, hour or year of His Second Coming. We are to live every day
ready for His return. But all false religions go beyond this and attempt
to name the exact time of Jesus return.