When It’s Time To Wake Up
People who die sleep in their graves waiting for the day when Jesus returns to wake them. “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
What a wonderful thought! Our family members and friends who have died are peacefully resting in a dreamless sleep! There is nothing frightening or scary about this sleep, because dead people don’t know what is happening. The next thing they will know after death will be Jesus calling their names, and the happiness of knowing they will be with Him forever.
Some people think that everyone has a soul that continues to live on after death. When God created Adam, He made him from the dust of the ground, and then breathed into him the breath of life. The Bible says that Adam “became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7, KJV). Rather than being given a soul that lives forever, Adam was a soul just like us. When Adam died, his soul didn’t live on. He simply fell into a sleep so deep that no alarm clock could possibly wake him up (see Psalm 104:29).
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Rather than death being the end of everything, it is the promise of a new beginning that takes place when Jesus returns.
Paul wrote to the Christian believers in Corinth, “Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52).
Death is a sad thing. When God created the earth He intended that people would live forever without dying. Death exists because sin is in the world. God feels the sadness we feel when we lose a close friend or family member. But one day Jesus—“the resurrection and the life”—will return and raise from the dead all who have loved and lived for Him.
What a day that will be! People who have been separated by death will see each other again. Children will see parents and grandparents, and parents and grandparents will see children and grandchildren. Brothers and sisters and friends will be reunited. And Daniel will get to see his grandpa!