The Resurrection of the Righteous and the Unrighteous

by Perry 9 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Perry

    One Saturday morning after eating at a restaurant, my family and a group of Witnesses left the restaurant at about the same time. So, I struck up a conversation and eventuallly tactfully questioned them about how they hoped to have their sins forgiven since official WT doctrine is that Jesus is only the Mediator for the 144,000.

    After bantering a bit and trying to have it both ways, one man essentially claimed that the whole point was moot because there was going to be a resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous.

    So, just to clear this up, here's the scripture and the sound doctrine on this:

    Acts 24:15 And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust. - KJB

    Contrary to WT teaching, this isn't a single event with all the "good" and "bad" people brought back to bodily life together on a paradise earth. This is two separate events. Since there is "no one righteous, no not one", the righteous people here are simply declared righteous, or have had righteousness imputed to them because of their "belief" or faith in Jesus Christ ALONE. Contrastly, the unrighteous (or unjust) are that way by virture of their deeds. We'll come back to this belief vs. works distinction in a moment.

    No less of an authority of Jesus Christ himself refutes the Wt's sleep inducing doctrine and warns of two resurrections with two destinies:

    John 5:28 - 29 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

    The resurrection of the Just has a judgment as does the resurrection of the Unjust. First the one for the Just:

    1 Corinthians 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

    This judgment from Christ does not determine Salvation for the believer. That was secured on Calvary Hill with the declaration "It is finished". NOTHING can threaten that. However the judgment for the unjustified is far more consequential to works:

    Revelation 20:11 - 12 And I saw a great white throne .... And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

    This is the Great White Throne Judgment and does determine salvation because it IS based on works:

    Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

  • odie67

    If the wages of sin is question is: If your are ressurected what is your status? Do you have a clean slate? how are you righteous or


  • asilentone

    it would depend on their heart condition, it is up to God.

  • miseryloveselders

    Hey Perry, I agree with you, and for the life of me cannot understand why or how this doctrine became set in stone amongst JWs. How much sense does it make to state that a person can rob, murder, steal, rape, pillage, plunder, etc., but if that person dies, then all is forgiven because he has a clean slate. That just doesn't make sense. I also believe in works being a necessary part of salvation in the sense that if you have faith in Christ, your actions will be an open testimony to your love for and faith in Christ. Family members do things on behalf of one another because they love each other. The same should be with Christians in following Christ's example and His teachings. People should be able to recognize a Christian by their actions and words. I don't agree with works as JWs put it, in the sense of placing magazines, or how many hours you spent in the field, or how regular your meeting attendance is. With the exception of teaching people whats in the Bible, and helping them to correct whats wrong in their moral and ethical outlook in life, all those other JW Works are moot. I'm glad you did this thread, cuz this is one of those teachings where even as a teenager who could care less about the Bible, the JW teaching on this subject made absolutely no sense to me.

  • Perry

    Hi Odie,

    The biblical definition of "death" simply means the separation of body and soul. So, for instance when the bible declares that the soul that is sinning will die, it simply means that the elements of a man will be separated. This is not natural to the design of man and is a consequence of sin.

    Likewise, the statement "the wages of sin is death" in NO WAY indicates that there is some sort of clean slate after death....otherwise Christ died for nothing if we could pay our own sin debt. It simply means that the separation of the soul from the body is consequential to personal sin (not Adam's).

    The entire purpose of the WT is to obscure the fact that you need a personal savior to actually be righteous, as opposed to a corporate one that only makes a person feel righteous at times.

    Righteousness is imputed to us personally the instant that we believe upon Jesus ALONE. Anything added to the belief in Jesus, or subtracted away from belief in Jesus nullifies the contract that inputes righteousness. See Justification.

  • Perry
    it would depend on their heart condition, it is up to God.

    Why did Jesus die if all we need is a good heart? Instead of a willy, nilly subjective salvation .... Jehovah offers a legal RIGHT to it.

    for the life of me cannot understand why or how this doctrine became set in stone amongst JWs.

    Well it makes sense if you really think about it. Teaching that you can escape judgment and save yourself just by dying eliminates the need for a PERSONAL Savior.

  • Terry

    The bifurcation of Christianity's dealing with the "plot" that drives God's "plan" is never more explicitly revealed as not logically reasoned out than when it comes to the "good" and the "evil" being judged.

    What is the point in judging "evil" if God is going to simply call the same sinful, imperfect man "good" who confesses Christ?

    It makes about as much sense as putting a zero on top of a zero and calling it 8.

    Justification is nothing more than calling evil "good" by reframing the context.

    Sin kills man. Man is resurrected and is judged. Redundant.

    The condition of sin is merely natural behavior. A dog chases cars because it is a dog and not because the dog is a sinner.

    If the dog gets run over by the car and a team of surgeon's brings it back from near-death it is still a dog that will chase cars (unless the injury makes running impossible.) A crippled dog is not a former sinner. The damned dog simply can't run anymore.

    Man is crippled by sin. A justified sinner is saved by Grace. The same car-chasing dog is now "saved" and forgiven for continuing to chase cars.

    Utter simplicity of logic abused.

    Judging the nature of a living creature based on the actions of its nature is like calling a stone bad names because it falls when you let go of it.

    A thing IS what it is.

    Loving man, for God, means loving what man IS.

    Man is a sinner. God cannot love sin. So, God waves a magic wand and calls the sinner "forgiven".

    I hate liver. What if I call it chocolate pudding?

    That sort of silliness.

    There is no basis for God to "so LOVE the world that He gave His only begotten son...." because the World is a world of SIN.

    It violates God's previous punishment and destruction of the World by Flood. (They were sinners!)

    This all comes down to the various bible stories finding origin in human imagination. There is no OVER-ARCHING PLOT!!

    GRACE is a forced plot point that just doesn't work or make sense.

  • Perry
    What is the point in judging "evil" if God is going to simply call the same sinful, imperfect man "good" who confesses Christ?

    Yes, I know the WT taught us all to think that salvation by faith alone was a scam. I fell for it too. However, in order for your question to have foundation, two important Christian doctrines must be ignored the same way the WT ignored them. The truth is:

    Point 1 -God must judge evil or else he himself becomes evil for having the power to judge it, but refuses to do so. The WT claims that a person can simply die and absolve himself of guilt. God says no.

    Point 2 - Denied by both the Watchtower and you Terry, is the Substitutionary Atonement.

    Just as lack of belief caused death (Eve didn't really believe God was serious) , belief in the Substitutionary Atonement of Jesus causes life. The "point" is one of love .... undeserved I might add.

  • garyneal

    What I find interesting about the WTS teaching that our own deaths free us from our sins are taken from Romans 6:7 where is states that "because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." I remember them saying that at an Assembly where my wife got baptized only to find out later that they ripped it out of context to make it say something totally different than what the Bible was actually teaching.

    Romans 6

    Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ

    1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

    5 If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. 6 For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— 7 because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

    8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

    11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

    I mean for the society to take scripture that talks about our death to sin by our salvation in Christ and make it say that our literal death frees us from sin without Christ is totally disingenuous.

  • Perry

    Yea, it's nuts Gary. They take a passage showing the need to be born again and make it mean that we don't need to be born again!

    What makes matters worse is that 'ole Freddie Franz actually used the words "acquitted from sin" in this passage in the NWT, which has a legal connotation, falsely insinuating that death & judgment is not the huge threat to fallen man that it really is.

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