Why Jehovah’s Witnesses Are Different
JEHOVAH’S witnesses are different primarily because of the good news of God’s established kingdom that they preach in all the earth. Jehovah’s witnesses are the only organization today announcing that God’s kingdom government is established in heaven. Christ Jesus said, when foretelling the work of true Christians at the world’s time of the end or last days: “This good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for the purpose of a witness to all the nations, and then the accomplished end will come.” (Matt. 24:14) Christendom’s religions are not giving this Kingdom witness; Jehovah’s witnesses are.
In this age of easy religions, Jehovah’s witnesses are different because they really believe the Bible; they really live by the Bible. They do not take a higher critic or modernistic view and use only parts of the Bible. Nor do they water down God’s Word with traditions of men, as did the religious leaders in Jesus’ own day, to whom Jesus said: “You shove aside the word of God for your tradition.”—Mark 7:13.
Jehovah’s witnesses accept the Bible for what it is—God’s instructions, his commandments for man. They give God exclusive devotion, dedicating their lives to him, for the doing of the divine will. They heed Jesus’ commandment: “You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind.” (Matt. 22:37) Such love requires them to be obedient to God.
Why is it that Jehovah’s witnesses seem to be such a happy people?
Because of the hope they have, the hope of everlasting life in God’s new world. The Bible speaks of “new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.” (2 Pet. 3:13) “A new earth” does not mean a new planet earth but a new social system of things on the earth. Jehovah’s witnesses show that God’s kingdom will make possible “a new earth.” They show, too, that the vast majority of obedient mankind will gain everlasting life, not in heaven, but right here on the earth. They point out that Jesus really meant what he said in those well-known words from his Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.”—Matt. 5:5, AV.
For the meek to inherit the earth, the planet earth must last forever and not be destroyed at a future day, as it is commonly taught. So Jehovah’s witnesses point out the Bible facts about our earth: “This is what Jehovah has said, the Creator of the heavens, He The true God, the Former of the earth and the Maker of it, He the One who firmly established it, who did not create it simply for nothing, who formed it even to be inhabited.” “He has founded the earth upon its established places; it will not be made to totter to time indefinite, nor forever.”—Isa. 45:18; Ps. 104:5.
The new-world hope is real in the lives of Jehovah’s witnesses; it brings true peace of mind and genuine happiness even in the midst of this troubled old world.
Why do Jehovah’s witnesses preach to people who have their own religion?
Because Jehovah’s witnesses want other people to enjoy their hope and their happiness. It would be unloving for Jehovah’s witnesses to keep their source of happiness to themselves. Jesus commanded: “You must love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matt. 22:39) Jehovah’s witnesses would not really be loving their neighbor if they kept “this good news of the kingdom” to themselves or limited it just to so-called churchless people. In fact, to be obedient to Christ’s prophecy concerning the Kingdom witness at the end of the world, Jehovah’s witnesses cannot discriminate. Christ did not say that “this good news of the kingdom” would be brought only to those who profess no religion; on the contrary, Christ foretold that the good news “will be preached in all the inhabited earth.” So Jehovah’s witnesses cannot discriminate. All are entitled to hear this best news.
There is also this vital fact: Jehovah’s witnesses know that no other organization is advocating God’s kingdom as the only hope for mankind. So it would be entirely unloving for them to discriminate against persons who profess a religion.
Do Jehovah’s witnesses try to be different in the way they live?
They do not try to be different to be seen of men. When the conduct of Jehovah’s witnesses stands out as different, it is because they are conforming to God’s will and not to the ways of this evil world, just as the Bible commands: “Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and complete will of God.”—Rom. 12:2.
In their living so as to do the “complete will of God,” Jehovah’s witnesses sometimes come into the news. The course of action they have taken may not be popular with the world, but the important thing is that it be in harmony with the will of God. Thus Jehovah’s witnesses obey the laws of the country in which they live, except when a man-made law conflicts with divine law. In such a case Jehovah’s witnesses take the course that the early Christians took and say: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men.”—Acts 5:29.
Jehovah’s witnesses believe that right religion is far more than a matter of sincerity. One may be sincerely wrong or he may be sincerely right. Right religion, Jehovah’s witnesses show, involves right motive, right belief and right action. Right action means doing the will of God daily.
Why do Jehovah’s witnesses not seek favor with the world?
Seeking favor with God is what really matters, and God’s will stated at James 4:4 is: “Do you not know that the friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.” This same inspired writer also said: “The form of worship that is clean and undefiled from the standpoint of our God and Father is this: . . . to keep oneself without spot from the world.”—Jas. 1:27.
To keep themselves “without spot from the world,” Jehovah’s witnesses do not mix in worldly politics as many religions do. These Christian witnesses are concerned with pleasing God rather than men, just as the apostle of Christ did, the one who declared: “Am I seeking to please men? If I were yet pleasing men, I would not be Christ’s slave.” “We request you and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, just as you received the instruction from us on how you ought to walk and please God.”—Gal. 1:10; 1 Thess. 4:1.
Also, Jehovah’s witnesses know that popularity with the world is not a sign of right religion; for it was Christ himself who warned: “Woe, whenever all men speak well of you, for things like this are what their forefathers did to the false prophets.”—Luke 6:26.
Are Jehovah’s witnesses religious ascetics who do not believe in entertainment?
No, they are not ascetics. They believe in balanced living, because the Bible rule is: “Keep completely balanced.” (1 Pet. 1:13) Jehovah’s witnesses know the value of recreation, but in seeking it they are moderate in habits so that they will not turn into mere pleasure lovers. As to choice of entertainment, Jehovah’s witnesses believe that this is purely a personal matter, but they do believe that the Christian, in choosing, should be guided by Bible principles. In a world of loose morals, Jehovah’s witnesses are different in this matter of entertainment, because they seek that which is wholesome. They then suffer no regrets, no stabbings of the conscience after it. Their recreation, instead of leaving them physically or spiritually devitalized, contributes to their happiness.
What are meetings of Jehovah’s witnesses like?
They are quite unlike orthodox church services. For instance, no collection is ever taken; contributions are wholly voluntary. At the meetings the Bible is studied, in conjunction with Bible study aids. There are upbuilding discussions in which all can participate. No one is looked down upon either because he is a beginner in Bible knowledge or because of economic circumstances. There is no clergy-laity distinction. At the meetings all—men, women and children—learn how they can walk in the footsteps of Christ, sharing their faith and hope with others. Their meetings are not limited to Jehovah’s witnesses. They would like you to know that all persons of good will are welcome. By attending, you will better understand why Jehovah’s witnesses are different and, above all, you will learn more about the Kingdom good news—the only basis for true happiness today.