In every respect you demonstrated yourselves to be pure in this matter.—2 Cor. 7:11.
It is no easy task for the elders to determine whether someone who has committed a serious sin is now truly repentant. Why not? The elders cannot read hearts, so they must rely on outward evidence that their brother has had a complete change of viewpoint toward his sin. They need to see evidence of genuine changes in the sinner’s thinking, feelings, and conduct. It might take the man considerable time to make the needed changes. To show that he is genuinely repentant, a disfellowshipped person would come to the meetings regularly and follow the elders’ counsel to have a good routine of prayer and study. He would also diligently avoid the circumstances that led to his wrongdoing. If he works hard to repair his relationship with Jehovah, he can be assured that Jehovah will forgive him fully and that the elders will restore him to the congregation. w21.10 6 ¶16-18
You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or on the earth below . . . You must not bow down to them.—Ex. 20:4, 5.
Moved by his deep love for God, Jesus worshipped Jehovah exclusively, both when he was in heaven and when he was on earth. (Luke 4:8) He taught his disciples to do likewise. Neither Jesus nor his faithful disciples ever used images in worship. Since God is a Spirit, nothing that man could possibly conceive could even come close to representing Jehovah’s glory! (Isa. 46:5) But what about making images of so-called saints and praying to them? In the second of the Ten Commandments, Jehovah said the words of today’s text. Those words are clear to those who desire to please God. Secular historians have acknowledged that the early Christians gave exclusive devotion to God. Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses follow the pattern set by the first-century Christians. w21.10 19-20 ¶5-6
Let the man on the housetop not come down to take the goods out of his house.—Matt. 24:17.
Jesus warned the first-century Christians living in Judea that the time would come when the city of Jerusalem would be “surrounded by encamped armies.” (Luke 21:20-24) When that occurred, they needed to “begin fleeing to the mountains.” Their flight would lead to their salvation, but it would come at a high cost. Some years ago, The Watchtower put it this way: “They left fields and homes, not even gathering their possessions from their houses. Confident of the protection and support of Jehovah, they put his worship ahead of everything else that might seem important.” It added: “There may be tests ahead as to how we view material things; are they the most important thing, or is the salvation that will come for all on God’s side more important? Yes, our fleeing may involve some hardships and deprivations. We will have to be ready to do whatever it takes.” w22.01 4 ¶7-8