2023 Convention, Little Rock, Arkansas | Photo - KARK.com

Why Should You Attend The 2024 Convention

The 2024 “Declare the Good News” Convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses begins in a few days. Should you attend?

Written by Lester Somrah - May 18, 2024

Table of Contents

Defintion of 'Good News'

According to the Insight on the Scriptures, Volume 1:

“good news includes all the truths about which Jesus spoke and the disciples wrote. While men of old hoped in God and had faith through knowledge of Him, God’s purpose and undeserved kindness were first “made clearly evident through the manifestation of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has abolished death but has shed light upon life and incorruption through the good news.”—2Ti 1:9, 10……

It refers to the good news of the Kingdom of God and of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. It is called in the Bible “the good news of the kingdom” (Mt 4:23), “the good news of God” (Ro 15:16), “the good news about Jesus Christ” (Mr 1:1), “the good news of the undeserved kindness of God” (Ac 20:24), “the good news of peace” (Eph 6:15), and the “everlasting good news” (Re 14:6).

The good news is the touchstone by which mankind is judged: Acceptance of and obedience to the good news result in salvation; rejection and disobedience bring destruction. (1Pe 4:5, 6, 17; 2Th 1:6-8) Particularly with this fact in view, the individual’s motive in preaching the good news must be pure and he must preach it from the heart, out of love for those hearing.”

From the above, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses believes that the “good news” are all the teachings of Jesus Christ and also includes faithfully adhering to the religious faith, beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, all of which are critical for salvation of their members.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses also believes that since 1919, they are the only religious group who have the “feet of the one bringing good news, the one publishing peace, the one bringing good news of something better, the one publishing salvation, the one saying to Zion: ‘Your God has become king!’” (Isaiah 52:7). As a result they believe that salvation is only possible by joining their religious organization, thus creating the perception that Jehovah’s Witnesses possess a monopoly on salvation. See the article Cry Out Joyfully in Unison for further details.

"Declare the Good News" 2024 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses - A Preview

Friday

In the last symposium on the Friday (Lessons From the Land of Jesus), the following lectures are worth paying attention.

Homelife – This lecture is based on Philippians 1:10 which states “that you may make sure of the more important things, so that you may be flawless and not stumbling others up to the day of Christ”. According to the article Maintain a Scriptural View of Health Care“the more important things” is “having an active share in the work of spiritual healing. It is accomplished by preaching and teaching the Word of God.” 

Therefore, the religious activities and events of Jehovah’s Witnesses must be assigned first priority and a failure to do so, can cause others to stumble. There are many ways this can happen in a domestic setting of a Jehovah’s Witness home. One example is the 2024 Summer Olympics scheduled to take place from 26 July to 11 August 2024 in France. The Governing Body can portray a family member giving priority to his/her favorite sporting event over a previously planned religious activity happening at the same time, let’s say, the Mens 100m finals is happening at the same time as his family worship session, thus “stumbling” his other believing family members.

Education – This lecture is based on Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 which states “These words that I am commanding you today must be on your heart, and you must inculcate them in your sons and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up.

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses will use this bible passage to remind Jehovah’s Witness parents the urgency in giving priority to the religious education of Jehovah’s Witnesses over secular education for their children, in particular, tertiary/college/university education and its associated “dangers” of critical thinking and human philosophies. Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known for their stance against tertiary/college/university education, as their Governing Body perceives such an education as unnecessary as well as a threat to their religion and its continued growth.

Saturday

The content of the Saturday is usually focused on the formal and informal public field service activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses as well as their recruitment skills and strategies.

Each individual Jehovah’s Witness must obtain prior approval of their local congregation elders to participate in field service activity.

The primary field service activity of Jehovah’s Witnesses is their door-to-door activity, knocking on the doors of individuals, also known as “house-to-house preaching”. Other formal activities are writing letters, using the telephone; distributing their religious literature on the streets; recruiting persons (known as “Bible Studies”). These activities are formal public ministry as they are arranged by the local elders of each congregation.

Informal field service activity (popularly referred by Jehovah's Witnesses as "informal witnessing") is activities other than the formal field service activities described above and is defined as follows:

“Many of Jehovah's Witnesses have fine opportunities to present the good news to people they meet daily in their secular work, at school or otherwise while going about their normal affairs. At times we have the opportunity to talk with fellow travelers when on a journey. There are many opportunities that present themselves, but individually we must be alert to turn ordinary conversation into a witness and be prepared to speak with others on every appropriate occasion. – “Organized to Accomplish Our Ministry” page 94.

Sunday

The most important lectures of the 2024 Sunday convention are the Public Discourse, the Dramatic Bible Reading and the last lecture of the Afternoon Session

The public discourse is generally directed the invited public. The public discourse for the 2024 Convention is entitled “Why We Don’t Fear Bad News” and is based on the bible passage of Psalm 112, which describes the attitudes and actions of a righteous person. The Governing Body may use this Psalm to claim that only Jehovah’s Witnesses meet the criteria of a “righteous person”; that the only way for an individual “not to fear bad news” and not to “perish with the wicked one”, is by associating and becoming a member of their religion. This public discourse is one example of a recruitment strategy used by the Governing Body to lure vulnerable members of the public into their religion. For a detailed Watchtower discussion of Psalm 112, please see the articleRighteous Ones Will Praise God Forever”.

The Dramatic Bible Reading is based on Revelation 10:6. The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses have long held the religious belief that there “there will be no delay any longer” regarding Armageddon as portrayed in the bible book of Revelation and that survivors of Armageddon will only be Jehovah’s Witnesses and their supporters. The Governing Body will use this opportunity to re-enforce their belief that during Armageddon, secular governments will attack their religion, resulting in God’s intervention to save Jehovah’s Witnesses and their supporters, who merit God’s sole salvation. This is a fear-inducing strategy that cults employ to retain their members. See the BITE Model for further details.

The concluding lecture of the 2024 Convention is entitled “Hold Firmly to the Good News”—Why and How? It is primarily based on Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Christians at 1 Corinthians 15: 1, 2 and 58. The entire chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 is dedicated to the proof of Jesus’ resurrection and the resulting resurrection hope. This proof was urgently necessary as the belief in the resurrection was under threat. Some were possibly being influenced by “Greek philosophers as Epicurus, who denied that there was life after death… Or some in the congregation who were of Jewish background may have been influenced by the beliefs of the Sadducees, who denied the resurrection.” As a result, some Corinthian Christians were influenced by the lifestyle “let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.” 

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses will most likely apply 1 Corinthians chapter 15 to not only their belief in Jesus’ resurrection and the resulting resurrection hope, but to their religious faith as well as their entire array of beliefs and practices. In fact, the alternative title of the concluding lecture of the 2024 Convention should be “Hold Firmly to Our Religion”—Why and How?. All things considered, the religious faith, beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses are under threat, just as the belief in the resurrection hope was under threat in the 1st century. What exactly are these threats? Why is it important for individual Jehovah’s Witnesses to “hold firmly to their religion” and how? – these questions are answered in this last lecture. 

I can assure you that the Governing Body will list any of the following as threats to their religion without providing any specific examples:

  • News and media that portrays Jehovah’s Witnesses in a negative light
  • Apostates and critics
  • Information published about their religion on the Internet other than those approved by the Governing Body
  • Higher Education (College and University)
  • ‘Independent’ Thinking (Critical Thinking)

Regarding the question “how can for individual Jehovah’s Witnesses hold firmly to their religion?”, the convention program provides the bible passages at 1 Corinthains 15:58 and Mark 6:30-34. The November 1984 articleThe Time Left Is Reducedstated the following regarding 1 Corinthains 15:58:

“Having spiritual discernment, we acknowledge the overwhelming evidence that we have been in “the time of the end” since 1914. Surely, then, we do not want to use the world to the full as though we would be missing out on something if we did not do so. Rather, let us fill our lives with “the work of the Lord.” We should ‘have plenty to do in the Lord’s work, knowing that our labor is not in vain in connection with the Lord.’ (1 Corinthians 15:58) So be absorbed in preaching and teaching Kingdom truths. Then what is likely to happen to the problems of life? Why, they will tend to recede into the background and become less important, less troublesome!” 

The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses will use the bible passages at 1 Corinthains 15:58 and Mark 6:30-34 to encourage individual Jehovah’s Witnesses to “hold firmly to the good news” by doing more in “preaching and teaching Kingdom truths”, that is, regularly participating as much as possible in religious recruitment activities – bringing in more persons into their religion for salvation as “there will be no delay any longer” (Revelation 10:6). Jehovah’s Witness parents would be admonished to encourage their children to pursue religious recruitment activities as a full-time job rather than pursue education and skills that can prepare them for life later down the road. “Having plenty to do in the Lord’s work” however, is not limited to religious recruitment activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, but also includes participating in much religious activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses as circumstances allow.

Why Attend the 2024 Convention of Jehovah's Witnesses?

Attending the 2024 Convention is a personal decision and an exercise of one’s freedom of religion. 

Annual conventions provide Jehovah’s Witnesses with an excellent opportunity for follow-up visits and potential recruitment of visitors, especially 1st time guests. Please bear this in mind if you choose to attend a 2024 Convention in your area.

The 2024 Convention series convention starts in Denton, Texas on Friday 17th May 2024 and runs right through from June to September 2024. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Denton would have already started to invite members of the public since Friday 26th April 2024, some three weeks before their 2024 Convention. This is public invitation campaign is done for each convention. 

Jehovah’s Witnesses may point out, during their public invitation convention campaign, the recent changes in their policy regarding dress and grooming at their religious events and 'improved' treatment of expelled members, as an inducement for the members of the public to attend a convention in their locality.

However such minor changes pales into insignificance compared to the continued characterization of Jehovah’s Witnesses as a “destructive sect” that has destroyed in one way or another, the lives of many individuals who were once members of the Jehovah’s Witness community. Similar to the characteristics and features of Jim Jones, David Koresh and their cults, Jehovah’s Witnesses meet the criteria for an authoritarian cult as set out in the BITE Model.

Jehovah’s Witnesses remain a threat to the safety and welfare of minors in the community as their leadership has continued to stubbornly be uncooperative with courts of laws as well as willfully withhold from law enforcement officials, vital documents that contain allegations of criminal wrongdoing against minors by their own church members. As an example, see Document # 135, Document # 318, Document # 388, all of which are 'Order on Motion for Sanctions' in Caekaert v. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York, Inc., 1:20-cv-00052, (D. Mont.), on CourtListener.

Jehovah’s Witnesses are great at the art of pretending to have your best interests at heart, a skill that they have perfected over the years of continuous practice. However, as pointed out in the above pre-convention preview, the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses only care about having their religious interests selfishly satisfied. See “Young People—Choose a Path That Leads to Peace” in my 2022 Convention – Saturday Morning Review, for further details.

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Lester Somrah

Lester Somrah writes about the beliefs and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses on his social media platforms and was baptized as a member in 1998.

Read more from Lester