Jehovah’s Witnesses and heaven
I am wondering how to respond to the Jehovah's Witnesses who come to my door. Lately, they seem to want to bring people to their faith by bringing up the point that they believe that they will inherit a new restored earth with no violence. They stress that they will enjoy the blessings of earth (family, fishing, building, etc.) and that they wouldn't want to spend eternity in heaven (What would you do when you can enjoy the earthly blessings?). They reference Psalm 37:10-11 and how the meek will inherit the earth and enjoy peace on earth. They also cite the Lord's Prayer (Thy Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven) and other passages in Isaiah referring to a new earth. My question is which passages can I refer them to to show that we will not be brought back to earth but will enjoy the blessings of heaven. What passages seem to hit the heart of Jehovah's Witnesses to show that we will not return to a restored earth after it is destroyed. The Jehovah's Witnesses I have talked to seem to be stuck on a few references and examples that they have been taught and refer back to those examples often in their talks with me, Thanks and May God bless our efforts to reach out to the Jehovah's Witnesses with the truths of Scripture.
One of the errors of the Jehovah’s Witnesses is their belief that only 144,000 people will go to heaven, while the overflow crowd will have an eternal home on a new earth. Jehovah’s Witnesses understand the numbers of Revelation 7:4-8 literally but the tribes figuratively. In addition, they fail to grasp what the apostle John writes immediately after that: “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb” (Revelation 7:9). Heaven’s capacity is not comparable to the population of Mesquite, Texas.
(On a side note, the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven,” belongs with “your will be done” not “your kingdom come.”)
What the Bible does teach (Isaiah 65:17; 66:22; 2 Peter 3:13; and, Revelation 21:1) is that on the last day God will destroy this world as we know it and fashion a new world to be the eternal home for his people.
But more than being wrong on how many people will be in heaven, Jehovah’s Witnesses are wrong on how people get to heaven. They deny the Trinity and Jesus’ deity—being co-equal with the Father (John 10:30). Sadly, theirs is a religion based on work righteousness.
What you can do in your next conversation with Jehovah’s Witnesses is ask them what they are doing to enjoy God’s forgiveness. When they point to their deeds, show them the demands of God’s law. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). Explain that there is no salvation through people’s efforts to keep God’s law (Romans 3:20).
Then, direct them to Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God (Matthew 26:63-64; John 8:58). Point them to Jesus’ perfect life (Romans 10:4) and sacrificial death (Ephesians 1:7) as the only means by which God has forgiven the sins of people.
Like me, you recognize that all we can do is speak the truths of God’s word to people. We cannot control what happens after that. But do pray that God will use your witnessing to change hearts and lives and lead people to trust in Jesus alone for their salvation.
If you find yourself hosting Jehovah’s Witnesses regularly at your home, you might benefit from these resources from Northwestern Publishing House. God bless your efforts!