Since the Bible itself says there is to be a resurrection of the good and bad (Acts 24:15) how do Jehovah's Witnesses explain their position that death blots out the sins of all? If death blots out sin would not all those resurrected be without sin?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).

I have the same hope in God as these men, that there will be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked (Acts 24:15).


2 Answers 2


The answer to this question lies in understanding judgement day from the Jehovah's Witnesses point of view. We do not believe persons are resurrected and judged worthy of eternal life or eternal anihilation based on their imperfect previous existence. Rather those sins are blotted out or paid for by death.

After resurection all persons righteous and unrighteousness in their previous existence will be able to fully align themselves with Gods will if they choose to. Naturally those who previously had aligned themselves to the extent possible in their imperfect past life will find it easier to conform to Gods plan during the 1000 year judgement day.

  • I am finding a little inconsistency in this doctrine...1. if the sins are wiped at death, and ourt deads in this lifetime are what are being judged, why the need for a clean slate prior to the 1000 years of judgement? This does not appear to me to have any Biblical basis...indeed it seems contrary to the Bible timeline. Jesus very much preached that our deeds in THIS lifetime are what are being judged. I do not see what the purpose of a test from a clean slate actually achieves? Jesus died for OUR sins in the first life. When we are baptised, we die to the old and rebirth to the new.
    – Adam
    Commented May 27, 2021 at 10:04
  • The wages of sin is death. Death is what all sinners deserve. The gift that God gives comes from repenting of our sin (while we still live) and turning to God for forgiveness of our personal sins. There is no person without sin, who is righteous. Only God is righteous. Nowhere in the Bible does it suggest when you die you are forgiven for your personal sin. You get one chance to repent, and that is while you still breathe. After that comes judgment. "Man is destined to die ONCE, and after that to face judgment" Hebrews 9:27. That's what my Bible says and I believe the Bible, God's holy word.
    – Lesley
    Commented Oct 19, 2021 at 20:00
  • 1
    @Kris Point taken, but please be aware, I am not a Baptist. I am a Christian of the Reformed Protestant persuasion. Death is what we all deserve because we have earned it due to our sinful condition. Dying does not acquit us from our sin. Only by coming to saving faith in Christ Jesus can our sins be removed. It is only by the shed blood of the lamb that our filthy garments can be made pure and white. We are judged according to how we act while alive, not after we are resurrected. That's the Reformed Protestant view. My apologies for "sounding off" - I understand the J.W. view but disagree.
    – Lesley
    Commented Oct 20, 2021 at 7:37

In order to understand what Jehovah’s Witnesses believe with regard to Romans 6:23 and having ones sins blotted out, we first need to go to Romans 6:7 in the New World Translation and tie it in to what they say will happen at the resurrection. The January 2010 Awake magazine had this to say about the subject:

The Bible says that during Judgment Day the dead will “rise up.”... Jesus will bring those asleep in death back to life again on earth. Will the judgment of resurrected ones be based on what they did before their death? No. The Bible teaches that “he who has died has been acquitted from his sin.” (Romans 6:7) So, like those who survive the end of this system, those resurrected to life on earth will be judged “according to their deeds” during Judgment Day. https://www.jw.org/en/library/magazines/g201001/what-is-judgment-day/

According to this, death blots out the sins committed by people when they were alive. Then, when they are resurrected, they will be given earthly bodies and will be judged during the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ and the 144,000. They get a second chance to be saved. The final test comes at the end of the thousand years when Satan is released for a short time. Those who remain faithful and obedient to Jehovah and his people will be rewarded with eternal life on earth. Those who follow Satan will be annihilated. This is confirmed in chapter 7 of their little booklet ‘What Does the Bible Really Teach’ on page 73.

The answer to this question is that Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Romans 6:23 (in conjunction with Romans 6:7) means everyone who is resurrected has had their previous sins ‘acquitted’ and they get 1,000 years grace during the ‘judgment day’ to get right with God. If they fail the final test they will be annihilated.

It would be remiss of me not to show how various Bibles translate Romans 6:7:

Romans 6:7 NWT: For he who has died has been acquitted from his sin

Romans 6:7 KJV: For he that is dead is freed from sin

Romans 6:7 NIV: Anyone who has died has been freed from sin

Romans 6:7 NIV: For one who has died has been set free from sin

Romans 6:7 NLT: For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin

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