COVER SUBJECT | LIFE AFTER DEATH—IS IT POSSIBLE?
Hope for the Dead—How Can You Be Sure?
Is it naive to think that the dead will live again? The apostle Paul did not think so. He wrote under inspiration: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are to be pitied more than anyone. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep in death.” (1 Corinthians 15:19, 20) Paul saw the resurrection as a certainty. It was, in effect, guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus himself. * (Acts 17:31) That is why Paul called Jesus “the firstfruits”—he was the first one raised to eternal life. If Jesus was first, then logically there would be others.
Here is another reason you can be sure of the resurrection hope. Jehovah is the God of truth. “God . . . cannot lie.” (Titus 1:2) Jehovah has never lied, and he never will. Would he hold out the resurrection hope, even demonstrating that he can fulfill it, and then turn his promises into lies? The very notion is absurd!
Why has Jehovah arranged for the future resurrection? Because of his love. “If a man dies, can he live again?” asked Job. “You will call, and I will answer you. You will long for the work of your hands.” (Job 14:14, 15) Job was convinced that his loving heavenly Father would yearn to resurrect him. Has God changed? “I am Jehovah; I do not change.” (Malachi 3:6) God still longs to see the dead brought back to life healthy and happy. This is just as any loving parent would wish after losing a child in death. The difference, of course, is that God has the power to do as he wishes.—Psalm 135:6.
Death is a terrible problem, but God has the perfect solution
he “gave way to tears” himself. (John 11:35) On another occasion, Jesus encountered the widow of Nain, who had lost her only son in death. Jesus “was moved with pity for her, and he said to her: ‘Stop weeping.’” Immediately he raised her son. (Luke 7:13) So Jesus feels deeply about grief and death. How delighted he will be when he will turn sorrow into elation all over the world!Jehovah will empower his Son to bring unbounded joy to those who have mourned the loss of loved ones. And how does Jesus feel about the resurrection? Before raising Lazarus to life, Jesus observed the anguish of Lazarus’ sisters and friends, and
Have you been touched by grief? You might feel that death is a problem that has no solution. But there is a solution—namely, the resurrection that God will carry out by means of his Son. Remember that God wants you to see that solution. He wants you to be there to embrace your loved ones again. Imagine planning together for an everlasting future, never again to say good-bye!
Lionel, quoted earlier, reflects: “Eventually, I learned about the resurrection. At first, it was hard to believe, and I did not trust the person who told me about it. But I checked it out in the Bible and found it was true! I can hardly wait to see my grandfather again.”
Would you like to know more? Jehovah’s Witnesses would be delighted to show you in your own Bible why they are convinced of the future resurrection. *
^ par. 3 For evidence that Jesus was resurrected, see the book The Bible—God’s Word or Man’s? pages 78-86, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
^ par. 9 Please see chapter 7 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.