“No. Many millions who lived in centuries past and who weren’t Jehovah’s Witnesses will have an opportunity for salvation. The Bible explains that in God’s promised new world, “there is going to be a resurrection of both the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Acts 24:15) Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation. In any case, it’s not our job to judge who will or won’t be saved. That assignment rests squarely in Jesus’ hands —John 5:22, 27.
Saved from what? The FAQ does not specify, but it is reasonable to assume that Watchtower is talking about Armageddon, considering the supposed imminence of Armageddon is the core motivation behind Jehovah’s Witnesses’ beliefs and preaching work.
Jehovah’s Witnesses do believe that they are the only ones who will be saved at Armageddon, and this is stated outright in their publications:
- “Only Jehovah’s Witnesses, those of the anointed remnant and the “great crowd,” as a united organization under the protection of the Supreme Organizer, have any Scriptural hope of surviving the impending end of this doomed system dominated by Satan the Devil.” Watchtower 1989 Sep 1 p.19
- “During the final period of the ancient world that perished in the Flood, Noah was a faithful preacher of righteousness. (2 Peter 2:5) In these last days of the present system of things, Jehovah’s people are making known Gods righteous standards and are declaring good news about the possibility of surviving into the new world. (2 Peter 3:9-13) Just as Noah and his God-fearing family were preserved in the ark, survival of individuals today depends on their faith and their loyal association with the earthly part of Jehovah’s universal organization.” Watchtower 2006 May 15 p.22 “Are You Prepared for Survival?”
- “Is it presumptuous of Jehovah’s Witnesses to point out that they alone have God’s backing? Actually, no more so than when the Israelites in Egypt claimed to have God’s backing in spite of the Egyptians’ belief, or when the first-century Christians claimed to have God’s backing to the exclusion of Jewish religionists.” Watchtower 2001 Jun 1 p.16
- “Similarly, Jehovah is using only one organization today to accomplish his will. To receive everlasting life in the earthly Paradise we must identify that organization and serve God as part of it.” Watchtower 1983 Feb 15 p.12
The wording of the JW.ORG FAQ is layered in its deceptiveness:
- “Additionally, many now living may yet begin to serve God, and they too will gain salvation.”
Since Watchtower proclaims that the only way to truly serve God is to be a part of their organization, the sentence is something of an oxymoron when reworded to properly reflect the reality of their teachings:
- Do Jehovah’s Witnesses feel that they’re the only ones who will be saved? No, because many now living may yet convert to become one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Watchtower also mentions that those who lived in “centuries past who were not Jehovah’s Witnesses” have the opportunity to be saved via resurrection after Armageddon, but their publications have a difficult time explaining how exactly this will work.
- But what about those who may not seem to have been sufficiently exposed to the Kingdom message so as to have been able to make an intelligent choice for or against the truth before they died during these “last days”?—2 Timothy 3:1.
Many who die while the preaching work is in progress prior to the great tribulation will evidently receive a resurrection. This is indicated by what we read at Revelation 6:7, 8 concerning the ride of the symbolic horsemen. Many people have died as victims of wars, food shortages, and deadly plagues. Since it is “Hades” that claims these victims of “Death,” they will be resurrected during Christ’s Millennial Reign, when Hades gives up all the dead in it. (Revelation 20:13) A number of those raised to life may have had some contact with the Kingdom message before they died. w93 5/15 p. 31
Confusingly, Watchtower preaches that those who die before “the great tribulation” have a shot at being resurrected to a paradise earth. However, should a non-Witness not die before the great tribulation, he will die in the war of Armageddon.
- Let us remember that once the great tribulation begins, it will be too late for people to turn to Jehovah. That is why our preaching work is so urgent!* w19 October pp. 8-13
Even though Watchtower states that nobody will be able to turn to Jehovah once the great tribulation begins, Jehovah’s Witnesses are told in the same magazine that they are to begin preaching “a message of judgment” about the impending doom of Armageddon.
- During the great tribulation, the message that we proclaim will likely change. Currently, we are preaching the good news of the Kingdom and we are endeavoring to make disciples. But at that time, we may well deliver a message as hard-hitting as hailstones. (Rev. 16:21) We may proclaim the impending doom of Satan’s world. In time, we will find out exactly what our message will be and how we will deliver it. Will we use the same methods we have used for over a hundred years to accomplish our ministry? Or will we use some other methods? We will have to wait and see. In any case, it seems that we will have the privilege of boldly proclaiming Jehovah’s judgment message!—Ezek. 2:3-5.
Yes, according to Watchtower, when “the great tribulation” starts Jehovah’s Witnesses will have the “privilege” of proclaiming God’s judgment message, even though it will be “too late for people to turn to Jehovah.” They will be the only ones saved, and they will make sure people know it.