Do annihilation and resurrection make sense?

by Matt Slick

According to the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society when you die, you cease to exist (Let God be True, p. 59, 60, 67).  On Judgment Day, only faithful Jehovah's Witnesses will be resurrected to life eternal on Paradise Earth.  The rest of all mankind will be annihilated, wiped out, and made to not exist with no eternal punishment in a fiery hell.

There is a logical problem with this view.  If a Jehovah's Witness believes that he ceases to exist when he dies and that he will be resurrected at the Judgment Day, then is he really being resurrected?   In other words, if he was alive and then has ceased to exist, he is in the same state he was before he was created.  That is, he isn't.  He has no existence.  He is gone.  The only remnant of this person would be in the memory of God (not counting family and friends, etc.).  Only God would know if this Jehovah's Witness was good enough for Paradise Earth.  If he was, then the reward would be a new creation of someone in the exact image of the Jehovah's Witness who previously lived and did all the works mandated by the Watchtower Organization; but it wouldn't be the exact same person because that person ceased to exist and there is no continuity and no continuance of the person since he has ceased to be.

Therefore, on Judgment day, how can he be resurrected?  That is, how is he, as the same person, resurrected when he doesn't exist anymore?  Is he the exact same person, or did God make an exact copy of the person upon which to shower the blessings of Paradise Earth?

It would seem that simple logic would contradict the idea of existence, non-existence, and then existence all being the same person.  It also contradicts scripture which says,

  • "We are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord." (2 Cor. 5:8).
  • "I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago, whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows such a man was caught up to the third heaven." (2 Cor. 12:2).

The Bible teaches us that we have an existence away from our bodies once we die.  The Jehovah's Witnesses are incorrect.  We continue on after death.



About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.