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What Hope Is There for the Dead?

What Hope Is There for the Dead?

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?​—Read John 11:21-24, 38-44.

Martha was already aware of the good news about the dead. She knew that Jehovah will resurrect the dead to live on earth again.​—Read Job 14:14, 15.

2. What is the condition of the dead?

God told Adam: “Dust you are and to dust you will return.”​—GENESIS 3:19.

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.​—Read Psalm 146:4; Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10.

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.​—Read Jeremiah 7:31.

Watch the video What Is the Condition of the Dead?

3. Can the dead speak to us?

The dead can neither speak nor hear. (Psalm 115:17) But some angels are wicked, and they may speak to people and pretend to be dead humans. (2 Peter 2:4) Jehovah forbids trying to inquire of the dead.​—Read Deuteronomy 18:10, 11.

4. Who will return to life?

Many millions of people who are dead in the grave will return to life on earth. Even some who did not know God and who practiced bad things will be resurrected.​—Read Luke 23:43; Acts 24:15.

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.​—Read John 5:28, 29.

5. What does the resurrection tell us about Jehovah?

God made hope for the dead possible by sending his Son to die for us. So the resurrection tells us about Jehovah’s love and undeserved kindness. When the dead return to life, whom do you especially want to see?​—Read John 3:16; Romans 6:23.