Sleep and Glorious Life or Death and Eternal Damnation?


1 Corinthians 15:50-53—Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

“Good night!” is a popular and commonly-used exclamation at the end of a day or when parting at night. After that, one generally retires for the day. This scripture does not refer to retiring for the day, rather it deals with death vs life eternal.

We, Believers, are called to be continually alert in prayer and not be ‘asleep’ and caught unawares, like unbelievers will be, when Jesus comes again for us. We will see the expected, we will see what we have been waiting for. In the blink of our eye, at the last trumpet sound heralding the arrival of our King, all our dead believers will be raised to life eternal with the One who conquered death. All the believers on earth will be changed to heavenly bodies because we, who are corruptible, must adorn incorruption or the righteousness of God and move from our mortal body to our heavenly body.

There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness to all His people. He will supply His Holy Spirit to our soul and He will quicken and change our body by His Spirit. The dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies, the heavenly state in different glories. At the moment when we bury our dead, it is like committing a seed to the earth that it may spring out of it again. Believers (saints) shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. They will then be glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are to dwell ever after.

The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then, why do we then sow to the flesh? Our flesh can only reap corruption and our body follows the state of the soul? When we neglect the life of our soul, we cast away our present good and when we refuse to live to God, we squander all that we have.

Sin gives death all its hurtful power. The strength of sin is the law, terror and anguish. Noone can answer death’s demands, endure its curse, or do away one’s own transgressions. So death is terrible to the unbelievers and the impenitent. Death may seize a believer, but it cannot hold him in its power.

Let us seek the full assurance of faith and hope, even in the midst of pain, and in the prospect of death. Our bodies will only sleep, meanwhile our souls will be present with the Redeemer. Because Christ, by dying, has taken out this sting of death by sin. Jesus has made atonement for sin, He has obtained remission of it.

We must be unmovable in the hope and expectation of this great privilege of being raised incorruptible and immortal. We must in thanksgiving abound in the work of the Lord, always doing the Lord’s service, and obey the Lord’s commands.

Lord Jesus, please give us the faith, and increase our faith, that we may not only be safe, but joyful and triumphant with you. Amen.