Do you sometimes wonder what life hereafter will be like? Will the streets really be made of gold? Will we recognise one another? Will we be able to play golf?
Although we don't have all the answers, we have hope, because we know that Jesus has already passed through death for us. And in fact, we will sleep in Jesus' arms.
Have you ever watched a baby sleeping? Peacefully, with no worries. Death is just as peaceful. A sleep in Jesus' arms. Unfortunately, this beautiful image was lost in the translation of the original text in verse 14, so I will use the King James version here: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
Those who believed in Jesus and who died, sleep in Him - they will accompany Him when He returns to earth. Death is like a soft sleep in Jesus' arms. It is indeed Jesus' death on the cross, and also his resurrection from the dead that makes us sleep peacefully. We no longer need to fear death, because Jesus has fought that road and was victorious.
Let's say it again: Because we believe in Jesus, because we believe that He has already walked the path through death, because He has conquered death, we need not be concerned about death. When we die, we fall peacefully asleep in Jesus' arms.
We're peaceful during this period of sleep - we lie smiling, waiting for Jesus to wake us up, and we feel no pain, we cry no tears. Then our spirit will accompany Him to earth to meet those that are still on earth.
16The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise-they'll go first. 17Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master.
What a lovely prospect it is for us who believe in Jesus. A well-known person once said death has an entrance and an exit. The latter, I suspect, opens only for those who believe in Jesus. It is Jesus who opens the door for his children.
And then the instruction: 18So reassure one another with these words.
Many, many people out there are still in the dark about this. It is our responsibility to share the message with them. Let's bring hope. Let's reassure others. Let's spread the message of sleeping in Jesus' arms all around. It will bring us peace.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
How do you feel about death?
Does it reassure you to know that you will be sleeping in Jesus' arms?
Who do you have to go and tell about this?
Thank you for the message of reassurance, Father. Thank you for the wonderful image that we can know that when we're finished with the earth, we will sleep safely in Jesus' arms. All glory to You! Amen.