One of the most effective passages with regard to coming to Jesus for forgiveness is John 5:39-40. Have one of the Witnesses read aloud Jesus’ statement to the Pharisees: “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Ask the Witnesses to explain to you what mistake Jesus said the Pharisees were making. Pray silently that they will realize that they are making the exact same mistake.

Because Witnesses consider Jehovah to be the ultimate authority, sometimes it is helpful to stress that whenever Jesus gave a command or a teaching, he was expressing Jehovah’s will for our lives. You can make this point by saying something like this: “John 8:28 says that Jesus only spoke the words that his Father gave him to speak, so when Jesus says we need to come to him for life, isn’t he expressing the will of Jehovah? Don’t we need to comply with that command by coming to Jesus?”

Having established that Jesus’ instructions are commands from Jehovah, ask the Witnesses to read aloud these “come to me” commands of Jesus. Ask, “If Jesus says, ‘Come to me,’ then what does Jehovah want us to do? In fact, I have done this. Have you?” (p. 77):

  • Matthew 11:28: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
  • John 6:37: “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
  • John 7:37: “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”

Witnesses believe that it is Jehovah who gives eternal life, not Jesus, so ask them to read aloud and explain the meaning of these scriptures (pp. 77-78):

  • John 6:44-45: “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
  • John 10:27-28: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
  • John 17:1-2: “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: ‘Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him.’”

Study Questions

  1. Please read John 5:39-40 and John 8:28. How might you use these passages to show Witnesses that Jehovah’s arrangement for salvation is that we must come to Jesus personally in order to get forgiveness and eternal life? (pp. 76-77)
  1. How might you use these words of Jesus to show Jehovah’s Witnesses the importance of coming to him personally? (p. 77)
  • Matthew 11:28
  • John 6:37
  • John 7:37
  1. How could you use these verses to show Witnesses that, in Jehovah’s arrangement, Jesus is the one who gives eternal life? (pp. 77-78):
  • John 6:44-45
  • John 10:27-28
  • John 17:1-2