Jehovah's Witnesses Teach Heresy of Lordship Salvation

by David J. Stewart | July 2016

Romans 4:5-6, “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works.”

       Kindly, errant churchgoers today who follow the heresy of Lordship Salvation are not saved. Our text passage of Scripture is very clear that salvation is “TO HIM THAT WORKETH NOT.” For the true believer, “HIS FAITH IS COUNTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS”!!! That is, God righteousness is imputed to the sinner by faith alone. Anything else is a false conversion. Any type of religious salvation that is not solely based upon God's righteousness, through faith alone in Christ's sacrifice on the cross, is a false Gospel. Salvation is not doing your best, it is having Christ's best put to your account through receiving Him by faith. God will not save anyone who is trying to be saved, He will only save those who are trusting to be saved.

While researching tonight, I noticed that the Jehovah's Witnesses (official website) requires a change of course in one's life to be saved. This is works (self-righteousness human effort) for salvation...

Salvation. Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4:12) To benefit from that sacrifice, people must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 3:16; Acts 3:19, 20) A person’s works prove that his faith is alive. (James 2:24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned—it comes through “the undeserved kindness of God.”—Galatians 2:16, 21. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovah-witness-beliefs/

Jehovah's Witnesses (JW's) also require water baptism to be saved, which is unscriptural and a false Gospel.

Albeit, for the scope of my article, I want to show the comparison between the false teaching of the JW's and numerous very popular preachers today who teach the heresy of Lordship Salvation. Many churchgoers are confused on how to be saved. This is Satan's doing, no question about it! Satan has published literally hundreds of English Bible revisions to confuse everybody. Consequently, Satan has fabricated hundreds of variations on how to be saved, but there is only one Gospel taught in the Holy Bible. Changing one's course of life to be saved (as JW's teach) is not a requirement to be saved, nor is it part of the Gospel. JW's are not Christians, because they are not saved, because they are trusting in a perverted plan of salvation.

Also, notice the forked-tongue doctrine by the JW's. In one statement they add to faith, changing the course of one's life, and getting water baptized; but then in then next statement they maintain that “salvation cannot be earned.” What a contradiction! If it can't be earned, then why does a person have to change the course of their life and get water baptized? Those are works! Lordship Salvation is a work! Being required to change one's manner of life is a work, human effort, for salvation. This is another Gospel, a false plan of salvation!

The Gospel truth should only give someone the mindset that salvation rests completely in the precious blood of Jesus Christ—the blood that He shed on the cross when He died for our sins, was buried, and resurrected 72 hours later! That is my only hope for Heaven (apart from all human effort or personal works). Jesus paid the price for my sins with His blood, and sprinkled that precious blood upon the heavenly Mercy Seat in the presence of the Father on my behalf (Hebrews 9:12, 24; 12:24). Redemption was finally finished once the blood of the sinless Lamb of God was sprinkled onto the Mercy Seat! JW's have a very different mindset, which places some of the burden and responsibility upon the sinner (to change the course of their life and be water baptized). That's not the simplicity of the Gospel.

Pastor Rick Warren errantly teaches:

Lord, I want to believe, help me with my doubts. Dear Jesus, thank you for making me and for loving me (even when I ignored you and went my own way). I realize now that I need you in my life, and I'm sorry for my sins—the things that I've done that I know I did, and the things that I've did that I don't know I did—I ask you to forgive me, and cleanse my life. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. And please help me to understand it more. As much as I know how, I want to follow you from now on. Please come into my life, and make me a new person inside. I accept your gift of salvation, one that I'll never deserve. And I want to live for your purposes the rest of my life. Amen.

SOURCE: Experiencing Salvation In Jesus, by Pastor Rick Warren

Rick Warren tells people that in addition to believing, they must also invite Christ into their life as their “Lord, Boss and Master.” Just as JW's teach, Warren says you must change the course of your life, letting Christ take the steering wheel. This is not the Gospel. The Gospel is how we are saved, simply by believing it; whereas discipleship is a separate matter that is not essential to be saved. Sure, God wants every believer to follow Christ as His disciple, but this is a choice that every BELIEVER must make, and it has nothing to do with receiving the gift of eternal life and forgiveness of sins. Christ paid for everyone's sins already. That is why salvation is freely available to whosoever wants it. Salvation is a take proposition, not a give proposition.

Pastor John MacArthur errantly teaches:

Don’t believe anyone who says it’s easy to become a Christian. Salvation for sinners cost God His own Son; it cost God’s Son His life, and it’ll cost you the same thing. Salvation isn’t gained by reciting mere words. Saving faith transforms the heart, and that in turn transforms behavior. Faith’s fruit is seen in actions, not intentions. There’s no room for passive spectators: words without actions are empty and futile. Remember that what John saw in his vision of judgment was a Book of Life, not a book of Words or Book of Intellectual Musings. The life we live, not the words we speak, reveals whether our faith is authentic. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: Dr. John MacArthur, Grace To You, an updated quote from his book 'Hard To Believe', page 93.

Dr. MacArthur is wrong to teach that getting saved is hard and difficult. In fact, he teaches that children are not old enough to be saved, but he says surrendering one's life to Christ is an adult decision. This is absolutely not “the simplicity that is in Christ,” which is the Gospel (2nd Corinthians 11:3). MacArthur is crafty with his words. The evidence of being saved is the presence of the indwelling Holy Spirit, and not a changed life. Many religious people experience reformation (a change of life), but then die in their sins and go straight to hell, because they were never born-again! This is what happened to the religious people in Matthew 7:21-23. They preached in Jesus' name, boasting of their “many wonderful works” performed in Jesus' name, but they still went to hell. They failed to do God's will, which according to John 6:40 is TO BELIEVE ON THE SON OF GOD!!!

JW's add doing good works and being water baptized to faith, which is no faith at all. Galatians 1:6-9, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

Evangelist Ray Comfort errantly teaches:

"If belief is all that is necessary for salvation, then the logical conclusion is that one need never repent.”

SOURCE: http://www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/browse.shtml

Clearly, Mr. Comfort misunderstands what it means to “repent.” Certainly, more than mere intellectual assent to the facts of the Gospel are required to be saved. However, it is going too far to teach that a person must change the direction of their life, forsake the world, cease from sinful bad habits, and invite Jesus into their life to be saved. These are not the Gospel, as evidenced by 1st Corinthians 15:1-4:

1st Corinthians 15:1-4, “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”

I heard Pastor Chip Ingram in 2013 while driving thru Ashville, North Carolina on the radio, errantly teaching that the dividing line between mere intellectual consent and actually getting saved is when a person turns away from their sins. That is not Biblical. The dividing line is when you personally place your trust in the Gospel, receiving Christ's sacrifice on the cross and and His resurrection as payment for your sins! Christ died, that's history; Christ died for me, that's salvation!

Ray Comfort further errantly teaches that no one is safe just because Jesus died on the cross. That is some dangerous doctrine! If you have received Christ's sacrifice on the cross as full-payment for your sins, believing that He raised up three days later from the dead, you are 100% safe in Jesus Christ!!! Clearly, Mr. Comfort believes that personal reformation is required to be saved:

“The forgiveness that is in Jesus Christ is conditional upon ‘repentance towards God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ’ (Acts 20:21). It is a gift that God offers to everyone, but individuals must receive it by repenting and trusting in Christ, or they will remain dead in their sins. No one has Biblical grounds to continue in sin, assuming that they are safe just because Jesus died on the cross. See 1 John 3:4-6.” [Emphasis added]

SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1513; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida

Here again below is Ray Comfort, teaching the heresy that to be saved a person must make a sincere attempt to cease from their sinful behavior. Mr. Comfort errantly understands this to be what it means to “repent,” but this is way wrong! Biblical repentance is seeing yourself as an unholy sinner in the eyes of a holy God, and admitting that you are a guilty sinner (Romans 3:19). Repentance is turning to God from whatever it is that has been hindering you from coming to Jesus Christ (1st Thessalonians 1:9). You don't get saved by repenting, you get saved by putting your faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 3:26). But you cannot turn to God in faith without of necessity turning away from your idols, false religion, sin, unbelief, et cetera. So the focus is upon believing the Gospel, not cleaning up your life or behavior. God does not require anything from a sinner to be saved, except that we BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.

Ray Comfort further errantly says:

“These are perhaps the most frightening verses in the Bible. Vast multitudes of professing Christians fit into the category spoken of here. They call Jesus 'Lord,' but they practice lawlessness. They profess faith in Jesus, but have no regard for the divine law. They tell 'fibs' or 'white' lies, take things that belong to others, have a roaming eye for the opposite sex, etc. They are liars, thieves, and adulterers at heart, who will be cast from the gates of heaven into the jaws of hell.”

SOURCE: THE EVIDENCE BIBLE, by Ray Comfort, pg. 1197; 2003, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Orlando, Florida

It is very obvious in the preceding statement that Mr. Comfort is teaching a works-based plan of salvation. Notice carefully in the earlier quote from the Jehovah's Witnesses that they believe eternal life is a gift that cannot be earned, yet they require water baptism and changing the course of one's life. Here is the same JW quote again (and by the way, this is basically what Seventh-day Adventists teach too, a false religion):

Salvation. Deliverance from sin and death is possible through the ransom sacrifice of Jesus. (Matthew 20:28; Acts 4:12) To benefit from that sacrifice, people must not only exercise faith in Jesus but also change their course of life and get baptized. (Matthew 28:19, 20; John 3:16; Acts 3:19, 20) A person’s works prove that his faith is alive. (James 2:24, 26) However, salvation cannot be earned—it comes through “the undeserved kindness of God.”—Galatians 2:16, 21. [emphasis added]

SOURCE: https://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/faq/jehovah-witness-beliefs/

Evangelist Paul Washer errantly teaches:

“My friend, if you repented and believed only in past tense, you’re lost and going to Hell. There is an initial work of repentance and an initial work of faith that continues on for the rest of your life, and that repentance grows deeper every day and that faith grows stronger. He said repent. Now what did He mean? He meant change. Change from what? From a life without God.”

SOURCE: Repent and Believe, Part 4 http://www.heartcrymissionary.com/download.php?file=04-True-Gospel-Pt-4-Repent-and-Believe.mp3

Paul Washer is teaching religion, not the Gospel. Repentance doesn't mean to change your behavior, it means “to change your mind.” Since the actual Greek work for “repent” (metanoia) simply means “a change of mind,” and doesn't tell us what to change our mind about, supplemental information is required. God deliberately used the beautiful word, metanoia, because it is all-inclusive. That is, to be saved a person must change their mind toward God and the Gospel itself FROM whatever is hindering them from doing so. For some people it may be false religion, for others love for sin, or idols, or intellectualism, et cetera. But the change of mind does not mean ceasing from these things as a requirement to be saved; but rather, of necessity admitting that one is a guilty sinner, otherwise you'd never come to Christ to be saved. John 3:20, “For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Acts 20:21 speaks of “repentance toward God” and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. It doesn't say “repentance from sins.”

WARNING!!!   LORDSHIP SALVATION WILL SEND YOU TO THE LAKE OF FIRE FOREVER!!!

I have nothing personal against the religious men that I have named, but they are false prophets. When their teachings are examined in light of 1st Corinthians 15:1-4 and Galatians 1:6-9, their plan of salvation is exposed as a perverted Gospel.


Psalms 116:15, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.”

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