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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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Awake!  |  June 2014

 THE BIBLE’S VIEWPOINT

Death

Death

Where are the dead?

“Dust you are and to dust you will return.”Genesis 3:19.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Some envision life in a Hereafter—heaven, hell, purgatory, or Limbo. Others believe in rebirth as a different life-form. On the other hand, those who reject religious concepts believe that death is simply the end of a person’s existence.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

Ecclesiastes 9:10 states that “there is no work nor planning nor knowledge nor wisdom in the Grave, where you are going.” The Bible also explains what happens to both humans and animals at death. It says: “All are going to the same place. They all come from the dust, and they all are returning to the dust.”Ecclesiastes 3:20.

 What is the condition of the dead?

“His spirit goes out, he returns to the ground; on that very day his thoughts perish.”Psalm 146:4.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Many have been taught that a person’s experiences in the Hereafter depend on what he did while alive on earth. If he did good things, his reward would be eternal bliss; if he was bad, his destiny would be eternal torment. It is claimed that humans have to be cleansed of sin before being allowed into the presence of God after death. Those who are not cleansed are said to be forever deprived of that joy.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

The dead experience neither joy nor torment. Indeed, since they are unconscious, they cannot experience anything at all; neither can they help or harm the living. According to Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6: “The living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing at all . . . Also, their love and their hate and their jealousy have already perished, and they no longer have any share in what is done under the sun.”

Is there any hope for the dead?

“If a man dies, can he live again? I will wait all the days of my compulsory service until my relief comes.”Job 14:14.

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

It is commonly believed that once a person has been assigned to hell, there is no hope for him. Hell’s torments are said to be eternal. Those in purgatory, on the other hand, are said to attain to heavenly bliss only after a fiery purging of their sins.

WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS

After resting in death, the dead will be resurrected, or brought back to life, on earth by God’s Son. The Bible says: “Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out.” (John 5:26, 28, 29) A person’s conduct thereafter will determine whether he is granted everlasting life. *

^ par. 14 For more information on the resurrection, please see chapter 7 of the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.