“How Do I Show Jehovah’s Witnesses That Hell is Real?”

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I’m having problems dealing with some questions given to me by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Can you please help me?

The J.W. asked me the following: “Paul had a vision of Christ, right? So if Christ is God, then why does Paul say no one has seen God when he himself saw Christ and fell off the horse?”

How do I show Jehovah’s Witnesses that hell is a real place of torment and fire? They insist that the soul dies and that everyone goes to the grave, known as Sheol or hell.

How do I show to Jehovah’s Witnesses that more people go to heaven than the 144,000 people of the book of Revelation?

JW’s are probably referring to John 1:18 which states, “No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only…” What this means is that no one has ever seen God in His full glory and splendor. Throughout the Bible, God has revealed himself in temporary, physical and veiled form which we can withstand. These are called theophanies. Such examples are Isaiah 6, Exodus 3, and Genesis 15. Jesus is God the Son clothed in flesh which Philippians 2:5-11 makes clear. So although we have not seen God in the fulness of His glory, we have seen temporary theophanies of God. Paul saw the glorifed Christ and what happened? He was blinded. To see God in the fulness of glory would destroy us. Paul saw, although not in his total glory, the glorifed Christ. That is why he was blinded.

How do I show Jehovah’s Witnesses that hell is a real place of torment and fire? They insist that the soul dies and that everyone goes to the grave, known as Sheol or hell.

First of all, when one dies, his soul exists after the body dies. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:6 that we prefer to be absent from the body and at home with the Lord. In Matthew 10:28 Jesus states, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” So there is such thing as a soul that survives the body. Hell is a real place. In Luke 16:19-31 Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. JW’s will say this is a parable. Even if it is a parable, it still tells a story about what is true. What does the story symbolize? Their explanation is not consistent with the text at all.

How do I show to Jehovah’s Witnesses that more people go to heaven than the 144,000 people of the book of Revelation?

Concerning the idea that 144,000 go to heaven, ask this question. The 144,000 come from the “Sons of Israel” or the “Tribes of Israel.” A word study shows that when that term is used, it is referring to literal Jews. This would eliminate a vast majority of JW’s. Also Revelation 7:9 shows a multitude from every tribe and tongue. So heaven includes more than 144,000.

Hope this helps.

Patrick Zukeran
Probe Ministries

Dr. Patrick Zukeran

Patrick Zukeran, former Probe staffer, is the founder and Executive Director of Evidence and Answers, a research and teaching ministry specializing in Christian apologetics, the defense of the Christian faith. He is the host of the radio show Evidence and Answers (www.evidenceandanswers.org). Pat is the author of several books including The Apologetics of Jesus co-authored with Norman Geisler; God, Eternity, and Spirituality (ed.); and Unless I See . . . Is There Enough Evidence to Believe? Pat is a popular conference speaker and he also serves as an adjunct faculty for several colleges and institutes worldwide. He earned a B.A. from Point Loma Nazarene University, a Master of Theology (Th.M.) from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a Doctorate of Ministry (D.Min.) in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary. Pat lives in Honolulu, Hawaii and can be reached at pat@evidenceandanswers.org.

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