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The Apostle Paul’s Message to the Thessalonians

The Apostle Paul could not have been more clear and unambiguous in his message to the Thessalonians, found in chapter 4 and verses 13-18.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.  According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 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. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

Thankfully, many Bible-believing pastors understand clearly what the Apostle Paul, John and Jesus Himself meant when they talked of the dead in Christ as “sleeping.” (Thank you Dr. Jeremiah)  Yet, there are many other pastors and well-known Christians who attempt to explain it away as a euphemism. Did Jesus use euphemisms?  I don’t think so. The Apostle Paul was very clear in his message to the Thessalonians. We have no memory of the time we spend sleeping; only the time when we turn in for bed and the time that we awaken. Why is this so hard to understand?

Although the last days may be upon us, and the Rapture at hand, if that event is still years away, those asleep in Christ will only recall awakening to meet Jesus in the clouds and reunite with family and friends who lived, or died, as believers.

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