Or why the hell do you proselytize when you know the Inn is Full?
Jehovah's Witnesses is a Christian sect that teaches much of the same afterlife via salvation as all of the hundreds of splinter sects, just with a few curious differences. They don’t accept that being saved once is a permanent thing, believing instead that the salvation has to be maintained by good works. And unlike most of their cousins, JWs aren’t believers in fate or predestination, believing that God gave man free will.
So far so good for an evangelical cult, but then they go and jump the rails. Here they come down my driveway knocking on my door, as they did just last week, asking the classic, “Brother, do you have a few minutes to speak with us about Jesus Christ?”
As I normally do I stepped out on the porch and invited them to go on with their snake oil pitch. It wasn’t long before they got to the salvations part and asked, “don’t you want to go to heaven?”
When I responded that I figured by now that heaven was already full to the gills, both of the Witnesses first looked at me with a quizzical expression, and then to each other. Neither understood my reference. This is just another anecdote indicating that often it is the non-believers who know more about the religion then do the believers.
The JWs preach that there are varying levels of God’s grace, basing their beliefs on the biblical verse found in Revelation 14:1-4. According to their own literature, heaven is a limited playground that is capable of holding only 144,000 of the faithful. There is no mention of which I am aware of any criteria differentiating one convert from another, so I’m left to believe that only the first 144,000 to get in line get a ticket to the show, and I figure they sold out a long time ago. These lucky few are called, the anointed.
So what does God do with the overflow? According to the sect’s teachings, Revelation 12:17 says the unlucky riff raff will simply remain alive or be resurrected to reside on the earth, much as we have been doing all along. The difference, according to John 3:3, is that we will be able to “see” heaven. Seems to me that it would be quite the bitch if you happened to be number 144,000 and your spouse was 144,001.
This band of not-quit-good-enough-for-prime-time-players are called the “other sheep”, from a term Jesus used in John 10:16. Nobody really know who is anointed or who is a sheep, other than a few of the Witnesses who are convinced that they are anointed. For the most part none of the others pay these egotists much attention.
So I sent my would be saviors packing back down the driveway in the direction from whence they'd come. Given the options and understanding the odds, I think I'd rather laugh with the sinners than cry with the saints, the sinners are much more fun… with apologies to Billy Joel.
[All references King James Version]