Question and Answer

Eschatology of Jehovah's Witnesses

Question:

I am dating a Jehovah's Witness and I am trying to teach him the Christian teachings on the subjects in which our religions differ. I am struggling with the fact about the new heavens and the new earth after the second coming of Christ. They believe that when a person dies they go to sleep and then when Jesus comes again he is going to resurrect everyone and judge the faithful and the unfaithful. Then the faithful will be in the new earth in paradise and the unfaithful will be destroyed. Also, that 144,000 mentioned in Revelation will be ruling in the heavens with God. I was wondering what the Christian view of this is and the Scriptures in which they come from.

Answer:

Well, for starters, the Bible teaches that when a person dies his soul goes to be with the Lord, if he is a true believer in Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:1-10). Or, if he is an unbeliever and has not repented of his sin and embraced Christ by faith, he is cast into outer darkness. It is not that people "sleep" in the sense that they are unconscious during the time between their death and the return of Christ. It is appointed for man to die once, then the judgment (Heb. 9:27).

Secondly, the Jehovah's Witnesses speak of the judgment upon the unbelievers as "annihilation" meaning that they will be "blanked out of existence." But this does not square with the teaching of Scripture that describes the place of judgment for the unrepentant sinner as a place of eternal torment (Rev. 20:10).

They also believe that the 144,000 of Revelation 7 is a literal number describing all those who are particularly extraordinary Jehovah's Witnesses (that is, those Jehovah's Witnesses who have performed especially good works and service on earth). But such a reading of that text is not warranted, since (among other reasons) the book of Revelation uses such language not literally but metaphorically throughout.

Lastly, just a word of pastoral advice to you. I do not know about your church background or where you are personally with reference to your relationship with Jesus Christ. But if you are faithfully attending a biblical church and do love the Lord Jesus with all your heart, I would encourage you to cease dating this man who is a Jehovah's Witness and speak to your pastor about this situation.

Jehovah's Witnesses have a pseudo-Christian religion. That means that it pretends to be Christianity, but in reality is not. Their teachings and practices are not in conformity with Scripture. As such, your boyfriend—insomuch as he adheres to the Jehovah's Witness doctrine—is not a true believer in Jesus Christ. The Scriptures teach us not to be unevenly yoked (see 2 Cor. 6:14); meaning that we are not to seek marriage with a person who is not a Christian.

I hope my email here was helpful to you, and I would be happy to take any follow up questions you may have.

God's blessings to you.


About Q&A

"Questions and Answers" is a weekly feature of the OPC website. At least one new question is posted each week, so there should always be something new here for you to read. (For those who would like to look at previous questions and answers, they will continue to be available as well.)

The questions come from individuals like yourself. If you have questions about biblical and theological matters, you are invited to send them by e-mail by using the "Pose a Question" link on the OPC home page or by clicking here.

The purpose of the OPC website's "Questions and Answers" is to respond to biblical and theological questions. Matters of church discipline, disputes, or debates go beyond the scope of our work. We recommend that you present your concerns in these areas to the appropriate judicatory. In most cases this will be to a local pastor, elder, or session. We do not want the website to replace personal involvement in, or commitment to, the local, visible church.

While we will respond to every serious questioner, we are not bound to give a substantive answer to every question, should we deem the question to be beyond the scope of our purpose or our own ability to answer.

You will receive an answer by email. Please be patient as many of our respondents are busy pastors. The response to your question may take up to two weeks. Some of the questions submitted will be chosen to be posted here, along with the corresponding answers.

The answers come from individual ministers in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church expressing their own convictions and do not necessarily represent an "official" position of the Church, especially in areas where the Standards of the Church (the Scriptures and the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms) are silent.

Note that the "Questions and Answers" posted on the site have been edited—all personal references are removed, Scripture references may be added, and sometimes portions are expanded—to make the questions and answers more useful to a larger audience.

Return to Formatted Page