Jehovah`s Witness/The righteous and unrighteous
Hi Brother D,
If the righteous as well as the unrighteous will be resurrected. Then, why is there a need for salvation? Why is there a need for becoming a follower of Jesus Christ?
I have always wondered about these questions and hope you can give me an answer that is not to complicated to understand.
Thank you and the best to you and your family.
Thank you for inquiring with All Experts. You know what Terry, your question has merits. And why do we have to bust our behinds to be True Christians when in the future both righteous and unrighteous will be resurrected. The explanation is simple but tedious.
First line of business what does the resurrection mean? The Greek language in the New Testament word a•na′sta•sis literally means “raising up; standing up.”
Ok, now standing up from where?
The apostle Paul (1Corinthians 15:54, 55) is quoting from the book of Hosea 13:14 which says “From the hand of She′ol I shall redeem them; from death I shall recover them. Where are your stings, O Death? Where is your destructiveness, O She′ol? Compassion itself will be concealed from my eyes. Paul is speaking of the abolition of death and the rendering powerless of Sheol (Hebrew, sheʼohl′; Greek, hai′des). Sheʼohl′ is rendered in various versions as “grave” and “pit.” The dead are spoken of as going there. (Genesis 37:35; 1Kings 2:6; Ecclesiastes 9:10) Its usage in the Scriptures, along with the usage of its Greek equivalent hai′des in the Christian Greek Scriptures, shows that it refers, not to an individual grave, but to the common grave of mankind, gravedom. (Ezekiel 32:21-32; Revelation 20:13; To render Sheol powerless would mean to loosen its hold on those in it, which would imply the emptying of gravedom.
This, of course, would require a resurrection, a raising up from the lifeless condition of death or out of the grave for those there. Many of the Jews believed in the resurrection. Jesus reasoned that when Jehovah said He was “the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob” (who were actually dead), He counted those men as alive because of the resurrection that He, “the God, not of the dead, but of the living,” purposed to give them. God, because of his power, “makes the dead alive and calls the things that are not as though they were.” Paul includes this fact when speaking of Abraham’s faith.—Matthew 22:23, 31-33; Romans 4:17.
So we gather that all who have died will be resurrected, righteous and unrighteous, right?
A little trivia here, how many people have died since the beginning of mankind? Anybody? Anybody? Going Once! Going Twice! Ok, here is the answer. Somebody, I can’t remember the source, actually calculated the number of people who died since the beginning of mankind. The estimate stands at twenty billion that’s not including what he have now which is about six billion. Obviously this person had a lot of time on his hand.
Terry, in the beginning a resurrection was not necessary. It was not a part of God’s original purpose for mankind, because death was not the natural, purposed thing for humans. Rather, God indicated that he purposed the earth to be full of living humans, not a deteriorating, dying race. His work was perfect, hence without flaw, imperfection, or sickness. (Deuteronomy 32:4) Jehovah blessed the first human pair, telling them to multiply and fill the earth. Grow man, Grow have many many kids.<< Being facitious>> (Genesis 1:28) Such blessing certainly did not include sickness and death; God set no limited life span for man, but he told Adam that disobedience is what would cause death. This implies that man would otherwise live forever. Disobedience would incur God’s disfavor and remove his blessing, bringing a curse. Genesis 2:17; 3:17-19.
Consequently, death was introduced into the human race by the transgression of Adam. (Romans 5:12) Because of their father’s sinfulness and resultant imperfection, Adam’s offspring could not get a heritage of everlasting life from him; in fact, not even a hope of living forever. “Neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit,” said Jesus. (Matthew 7:17, 18; Job 14:1, 2) The resurrection was brought in, or added, to overcome this disability for those of Adam’s children who would desire to be obedient to God. Isn’t Jehovah great and merciful? 1 Samuel 2:6.
Jehovah Having resurrection power and being the biggety bomb, he can go to the extent of showing that his servants will be faithful to him to the very death. He can answer Satan’s accusation that asserted that “skin in behalf of skin, and everything that a man has he will give in behalf of his soul.” (Job 2:4) Jehovah can let Satan go the full limit, even to killing some in a vain effort to support his false accusations. (Matthew 24:9; Revelation 2:10; 6:11) The fact that Jehovah’s servants are willing to give up life itself in his service proves their service is, not for selfish considerations, but out of love. (Revelation 12:11) It also proves that they acknowledge Him as the Almighty, the Universal Sovereign, and the God of love, who is able to resurrect them. It proves they render exclusive devotion to Jehovah for his wonderful qualities and not for selfish material reasons. (Consider some of the exclamations of his servants, as recorded at Romans 11:33-36; Revelation 4:11; 7:12.) The resurrection also is a means by which Jehovah sees that his purpose toward the earth, as stated to Adam, is carried out. Genesis 1:28.
Terry this answers the first part of your question. We are here to serve our God, your God for selfless reasons, not selfish. By showing Satan that we can be tested to the limit, just as Jesus did and prove to him who started the problem of dying in the first place, that we can be faithful to the very end. Of course, if we die in the process, He will resurrect us.
Now, why the unrighteous too? They have undeserved kindness on God’s part. It is essential to mankind’s happiness and through Jehovah’s mercy to the undo of all the harm, suffering, and oppression that have come upon the human race because of Satan, Adam, and Eve. These things have befallen man as a result of his imperfection and sickness as children of Adam. The wars that he has waged, the murders committed, and the inhumanities practiced by wicked people at the instance of Satan the Devil will be undone. We cannot be completely happy if we do not believe in a resurrection. The apostle Paul expressed the feeling in these words: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.” 1Corinthians 15:19.
The apostle Paul also describes the situation that God permitted to exist following man’s fall into sin and His end purpose in doing so: “For the creation was subjected to futility [being born in sin and with death facing all], not by its own will [the children of Adam were brought into the world facing this situation, though they themselves had no control over what Adam had done, and by no choice of their own] but through him [God, in his wisdom] that subjected it, on the basis of hope that the creation itself also will be set free from enslavement to corruption and have the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20, 21; Psalm 51:5)
Terry there are many “unrighteous” persons buried in Sheol (Hades), mankind’s common grave, or in “the sea,” watery graves. The judgment of these along with “the righteous” resurrected on earth is described in Revelation 20:12, 13: “And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. But another scroll was opened; it is the scroll of life. And the dead were judged out of those things written in the scrolls according to their deeds. And the sea gave up those dead in it, and death and Hades gave up those dead in them, and they were judged individually according to their deeds. So all will be resurrected, even those who never had an opportunity to be a part of Jehovah’s earthly kingdom.
We note that this judgment is placed in the Bible in the account of events occurring during Christ’s Thousand Year Reign of Peace with his associate kings and priests. These, the apostle Paul said, “will judge the world.” (1Corinthian 6:2) “The great and the small,” persons from all walks of life, will be there, to be judged impartially. They are “judged out of those things written in the scrolls” that will be opened then. This could not mean the record of their past lives nor a set of rules that judges them on the basis of their past lives. For since “the wages sin pays is death,” these by their death have received the wages of their sin in the past. (Romans 6:7, 23)
Now they are resurrected that they might demonstrate their attitude toward God and whether they wish to take hold of the ransom sacrifice of Jesus Christ that was given for all. (Matthew 20:28; John 3:16) Though their past sins are not accounted to them, they need the ransom to lift them up to perfection. They must make their minds over from their former way of life and thought in harmony with God’s will and regulations for the earth and its population. Accordingly, “the scrolls” evidently set forth the will and law of God for them during that Judgment Day, their faith and their obedience to these things being the basis for judgment and for writing their names indelibly, at last, into “the scroll of life.”
Jesus gave the comforting assurance to mankind: “The hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed will live. . . . Do not marvel at this, because the hour is coming in which all those in the memorial tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who did good things to a resurrection of life, those who practiced vile things to a resurrection of judgment.”—John 5:25-29.
In Jesus’ words here, the word “judgment” translates the Greek word kri′sis. According to Parkhurst, the meanings of this word in the Christian Greek Scriptures are as follows: “I. Judgment. . . . II. Judgment, justice. Mat. xxiii. 23. Comp. xii. 20. . . . III. Judgment of condemnation, condemnation, damnation. Mark iii. 29. John v. 24, 29. . . . IV. The cause or ground of condemnation or punishment. John iii. 19. V. A particular court of justice among the Jews, . . . Mat. v. 21, 22.”—A Greek and English Lexicon to the New Testament, London, 1845, p. 342.
If Jesus, in speaking of judgment, meant a trial the result of which might be life, then there would be no contrast between this and the “resurrection of life.” Therefore, the context indicates that Jesus meant by “judgment” a condemnatory judgment.
In considering Jesus’ words, we note that when Jesus spoke, some of “the dead” were hearing his voice. Peter used similar language when he said: “In fact, for this purpose the good news was declared also to the dead, that they might be judged as to the flesh from the standpoint of men but might live as to the spirit from the standpoint of God.” (1Peter 4:6) This is so because those hearing Christ were ‘dead in trespasses and sins’ before hearing but would begin to ‘live’ spiritually because of faith in the good news.—Ephesians 2:1; compare Matthew 8:22; 1Timothy 5:6.
But a very important thing to notice, something that helps to determine the time feature of Jesus’ words concerning the ‘resurrection of life and the resurrection of judgment,’ is what he said earlier in the same context, in speaking of those living then who were spiritually dead (as explained under the subheading ‘Passing Over From Death to Life’): “The hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed [literally, word for word, “the (ones) having heard”] will live.” (John 5:25, International Version) This indicates that he was not speaking merely of someone audibly hearing his voice but, rather, of the ones “having heard,” namely, those who, after hearing, accept as true what they hear. The terms “hear” and “listen” are used very frequently in the Bible with the meaning of “give heed” or “obey.” Those who prove to be obedient will live. (Compare the use of the same Greek term [a•kou′o], “hear or listen,” at John 6:60; 8:43, 47; 10:3, 27.) They are judged, not on what they did before hearing his voice, but on what they do after hearing it.
Jesus was therefore evidently taking a similar position in time in speaking of “those who did good things” and “those who practiced vile things,” namely, a position at the end of the period of judgment, as looking back in retrospect or in review of the actions of these resurrected persons after they had opportunity to obey or disobey the “things written in the scrolls.” Only at the end of the judgment period would it be demonstrated who had done good or bad. The outcome to “those who did good things” (according to “those things written in the scrolls”) would be the reward of life; to “those who practiced vile things,” a judgment of condemnation.
The resurrection would have turned out to be either to life or to condemnation.
Consequently the viewpoint taken at John 5:29 is not identical with that at Acts 24:15 in which Paul speaks of the resurrection of “the righteous and the unrighteous.” Paul is plainly referring to those who have had a righteous or unrighteous standing before God during this life, and who will be resurrected. They are “those in the memorial tombs.” (John 5:28.) At John 5:29, Jesus views such persons after their coming out of the memorial tombs and after they, by their course of action during the reign of Jesus Christ and his associate kings and priests, have proved themselves either obedient, with eternal “life” as their reward, or disobedient, and so deserving “judgment [condemnation]” from God.
Jesus spoke of those who ‘have everlasting life’ because they hear his words with faith and obedience and then believe on the Father who sent him. He said about each one of such: “He does not come into judgment but has passed over from death to life. Most truly I say to you, The hour is coming, and it is now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who have given heed will live.” John 5:24, 25.
Those who have ‘passed over from death to life now’ would not be those who had literally died and were in actual graves. At the time when Jesus spoke, all mankind were under the condemnation of death before God the Judge of all. So the ones Jesus referred to were evidently persons on earth who had been dead in a spiritual sense. Jesus must have referred to such spiritually dead ones when he said to the Jewish son who wanted to go home first to bury his father: “Keep following me, and let the dead bury their dead.” Matthew 8:21, 22.
Those who become Christians with true belief were once among the spiritually dead people of the world. The apostle Paul reminded the congregation of this fact, saying: “It is you God made alive though you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you at one time walked according to the system of things of this world . . . But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, made us alive together with the Christ, even when we were dead in trespasses—by undeserved kindness you have been saved—and he raised us up together and seated us together in the heavenly places in union with Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:1, 2, 4-6.
Thus, because of their no longer walking in trespasses and sins against God, and because of their faith in Christ, Jehovah lifted his condemnation from them. He raised them up out of spiritual death and gave them hope of everlasting life. (1Peter 4:3-6) The apostle John describes this transfer from deadness in trespasses and sins to spiritual life in these words: “Do not marvel, brothers, that the world hates you. We know we have passed over from death to life, because we love the brothers.”—1John 3:13, 14.
So Terry just imagine living now under God’s grace and living through his day of destruction of Satan’s evil system. We’re talking about Armageddon. After the true Christians live through that day, they will have everlasting life forever contingent upon passing through the Day of Judgment. You will see how Jehovah God preserves your life and be able to tell your children’s children how the world was before and after. That my friend is the price of being faithful now.