Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 4:14-15
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.
Insights: Notice what the passage states about Jesus - He DIED. Notice what the passage states about us in Christ - We SLEEP. The emphasis here is that Jesus died so that we don’t have to fear death. Death does not apply to us who are born again in Jesus. Notice with me that Paul did not say that the soul went to sleep at death. We know from other passages of Scripture, like second Corinthians chapter five and verse eight that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. It is for this reason we know that the soul of the individual who dies on this side of eternity will be with the Lord at the moment of their death. In other words, it is not the soul that went to sleep when they “died” here on earth, but rather their body is what went to sleep. Let me overemphasis this, the soul went to be with the Lord. There is a second thing about Jesus return I want you to notice. Paul used the word we, in reference to those who would still be alive at the Lord’s return. The point is Paul thought he would be alive when Jesus returned. The fact that Paul thought Jesus would return in his lifetime helps substantiate the doctrine of Jesus imminent return. Imminent means about to happen. In other words, Jesus’ return is about to happen at any moment. He can return at any minute. The point of these verses is this: Jesus is returning! Because we know that Jesus is going to return, we must be ready to meet Him. The only way to be ready is to have a relationship with Him. The only way to have a relationship with Him is to have received Him as your Lord and Savior. The moment you receive this grace gift, He promises to come and live within you and you are from then on known as having been born again. You are new creature in Christ Jesus and He is returning to take His own back home with Him. I pray you are ready for that day!
1. Do you understand the distinction between “soul sleep” and “bodily sleep”?
2. Do you understand that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord?
Prayer: Father, I am so grateful I get to be with You the moment I die in this mortal realm. I am also grateful Your Son, Jesus has promised to return to and usher in the eternal life with all of its radiant glory. Amen.