Part 1: Why do Jehovah's Witnesses contemplate suicide?

 

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A problem common among Jehovah's Witnesses is the feeling that they are not going to make it to live past Armageddon. Even though they keep a rigorous schedule of activities designed to earn them a righteous standing with Jehovah, the Witnesses themselves are keenly aware that they fall far short of the perfect standard set by God.

Why do so many Jehovah's Witnesses consider suicide at one time or another? The Watchtower has made surviving Armageddon a major goal for every Jehovah's Witness, but it is not an easy goal. The Society teaches that only faithful Jehovah's Witnesses qualify to survive Armageddon but faithfulness is not good enough unless one finishes completely faithful. Any slacking off before Armageddon may disqualify you. The entire world including disqualified Jehovah's Witnesses will be killed by such things as earthquakes, fire, hailstones, lightning and floods. According to the Watchtower, everyone alive on earth at the time of Armageddon who is not a faithful Jehovah's Witness will be executed by Jehovah God and will never see a resurrection. But what about people who have died before Armageddon? The Watchtower's teaching is that everyone who dies before Armageddon, aside from Jehovah's Witnesses who have been expelled from the Watchtower Society, will go into the common grave of mankind and all will be resurrected onto paradise earth to have a second chance. That means that all Jehovah's Witnesses and non-Jehovah's Witnesses alike get a second chance as long as they die before Armageddon.

Why does death guarantee a resurrection into paradise yet being alive at the time of Armageddon means destruction for everyone not worthy enough? The Watchtower teaches that at death one's record of sin is wiped clean. Because of this clean slate, a person is fully qualified for a resurrection. But for Jehovah's Witnesses who are alive at the time of Armageddon, their slate has not been wiped clean, therefore their acceptance in Jehovah's eyes will be based on the amount of their good works and their faithfulness to the organization. If you ask a Jehovah's Witness if they have done enough, if they are worthy enough of surviving Armageddon, you will find that they do not have any assurance of their survival. The best that they can say is "I hope that I have been faithful enough. I hope that I have done enough." But today's good works are never enough to give them assurance, because any slacking before Armageddon, any tiredness in their regiment of good works would disqualify them from life. Because of the tremendous pressure to do enough to qualify them to survive, many Jehovah's Witnesses have contemplated suicide at one time or another as a way out of this life and a way into paradise. For Jehovah's Witnesses there are no guarantees this side of Armageddon aside from death. It is a sad situation when a dead Jehovah's Witness comes out better off than a living Jehovah's Witness.

The teaching that there is no assurance of your salvation in this lifetime is a common teaching of all false religions. Any religion that basis the acceptance of God on the works of man will never be able to give any concrete assurance that one has done enough to merit life. In contrast, Bible believing Christians have found great assurance of their acceptance with Jehovah in the words of the Bible. 1 John 5:13 says "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life..." This assurance, this knowing that we have eternal life right now is not only for a select few because John said in 1 John 5:1 "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God..." For those who put their trust in Jesus, he has promised to send a helper to walk alongside them and will be in them to help them. "And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever - the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17.

If you want assurance that you are acceptable to God, you will never find it in the Watchtower. No earthly organization died for you, and no organization can save you no matter what they claim. Only Jesus is worthy of our trust.

Go to Part Two What will Paradise be like?