I had some nice Jehovah’s Witnesses come to the door the other day. I have noticed that they are not near as pushy as they used to be and are quite pleasant. They handed me a brochure called Can the dead really live again? I took a look at it and I must admit that there is not much wrong with it. In fact the only thing I noticed that is not quite accurate is they call the raising of the dead in the New Testament resurrections when they are more accurately resuscitations, since those people all died again at some point. But I hear evangelicals being just as loose with language.
The point of the brochure is that what the Bible teaches is that the dead are to experience a resurrection. I think their hope is that people will notice that the Bible’s emphasis is on the resurrection and not on heaven. Most Christian churches point to heaven rather than the resurrection. In this case, the Jehovah’s Witnesses are correct. The Bible is much more interested in the resurrection than heaven.
I believe the problem here is not that Jehovah’s Witnesses are trying to deceive but that churches are failing to teach the biblical doctrine of the resurrection. I have preached the resurrection of the dead in church and have experienced Christians tell me that they have never hear this before. That is the church’s fault. If you are a pastor or a Bible study leader, please emphasize the resurrection of the dead. The best place to start is 1 Corinthians 15. If people understand that, they will not be surprised when this truth is revealed by groups such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses.