1. What is the good news about the dead?
When Jesus arrived at Bethany near Jerusalem, his friend Lazarus had been dead for four days. Jesus went to the burial place with Martha and Mary, sisters of the deceased man. Soon, a crowd gathered. Can you imagine the joy of Martha and Mary when Jesus raised Lazarus back to life?
Martha was already aware of the good news about the dead. She knew that Jehovah will resurrect the dead to live on earth again.
2. What is the condition of the dead?
Humans are made from dust. (Genesis 2:7; 3:19) We are not spirits living in a body of flesh. We are physical creatures, so no part of us survives death. When we die, our brain dies too, and our thoughts perish. Thus, Lazarus said nothing about his experience of death because the dead are unconscious.
Does God torment people with fire after death? Since the Bible shows that the dead are unconscious, hellfire is clearly a false teaching that slanders God. The very idea of tormenting people with fire disgusts him.
3. Can the dead speak to us?
4. Who will return to life?
Resurrected ones will be able to learn the truth about God and to exercise faith in Jesus by obeying him. (Revelation 20:11-13) Those who return to life and do good things will be able to enjoy life forever on earth.