What Happens When We Die? Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Soul of Man

Jehovah’s Witnesses deny that man has a soul or spirit that has conscious existence after death. What does the Bible say?To Jehovah’s Witnesses, the word “soul” is interchangeable with the word “human.” In other words, they don’t believe that humans possess souls which are separate and distinct from the body; rather, they maintain that humans are souls! This explains why Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that a person ceases to exist upon death.The Bible, however, makes it clear that everyone has an inner being which survives after physical death. Admittedly, this being is not conscious in the sense that he’s not fully aware of the physical world; yet he remains a person who possesses both self-awareness and a unique identity. The Bible refers to this inner being as the soul or the spirit of mankind.Matthew 10:28 demonstrates that Scripture distinguishes the soul from the body, thereby disproving what Jehovah’s Witnesses are clearly teaching. It reads: “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (NIV). Jesus tells us in this passage that the soul survives death, even though someone may kill the body. Furthermore, Matthew 17 — which recounts not only the transfiguration of Christ, but also His conversation with Moses and Elijah — shows that the soul is indeed conscious after death. After all, how else can Jesus carry on a dialogue with Moses, who passed away centuries earlier?John 11:26 states that whoever believes in Jesus will never die, which explains Paul’s statement in Romans 8:38 that not even death can separate us from God’s love. Conversely, Revelation 20 tells us that the unsaved will experience eternal torment. By denying the reality of eternal punishment, Jehovah’s Witnesses are saying that this passage can’t be taken seriously. Well, the truth of the matter is that Jesus not only taught us of heaven, but also taught us that hell is a tangible reality (Matt. 13:40-42; 18:8-9; 25:41.46).On Jehovah’s Witnesses and the soul of man, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.

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