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Saturday, November 12 2011

We Shall Not All Sleep

According to the Holy Scriptures, a "soul" is a living, breathing creature that is subject to death (see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?). Death is as natural as life. In fact, in whatever due time, death is necessary for life - eternal life (see Through The Gates Of Hell).

"9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:

9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation." (Hebrews 9:27-28 KJV)

While awaiting a future resurrection, those who die (see The Sleep Of Death) are in a state of inert oblivion - total peace in which there is no awareness or memory (the "memory of them is forgotten" in the verse below refers to the dead person's memory, since people who die are in the memory of those still living).

"6:5 For in death there is no remembrance of thee: in the grave who shall give thee thanks?" (Psalm 6:5 KJV)

"9:5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten." (Ecclesiastes 9:5 KJV)

"We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed"

On the day of Christ's return, all of God's people who have lived and died through all time will be resurrected from the dead (the rest of humanity, who did not receive their calling to understanding will be resurrected at the end of the 1,000 years - see The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?).

The Holy Scriptures

"4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God [see The Feast Of Trumpets Prophecy; also Looking Up To The Messiah: How And When?]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord." (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 KJV)

Notice carefully in verse 17, quoted above, that along with the dead who will be resurrected from their graves, "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds." Apart from those who have died and will be resurrected, there remains the matter of those of God's people who will be alive on the day of Christ's return. They will be unique in that, rather than dying as all others do (whether of illness or injury), they will be instantly changed to spirit as their physical bodies die. They will be dead, then alive, before their body hits the ground - a consciously-instantaneous change that will however seem to be no different to those who have been dead for centuries (see the Fact Finder question below to understand how the dead, from their own sense of awareness, will seem to have gone instantly from death to resurrection).

"15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory." (1 Corinthians 15:50-54 KJV)

Fact Finder: How is it that Christ could seem to return now?
See Could Christ Return Tonight?

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This Day In History, November 12

1035: King Canute of Denmark (ruled England, Norway and Denmark) died at age 40.

1812: In their retreat from Moscow, the remnants of Napoleon's Grand Army crossed the River Berezina; 10,000 stragglers were left behind.

1833: A meteorite deluge occurred, estimated at 1,000 per minute. Scientists believe that about 25,000,000 enter earth's atmosphere each day.

1859: In Paris, France, the first flying trapeze act was performed, by Jules Leotard at the Cirque Napoleon, without a safety net. The body-hugging costume he used was later named after him - leotards.

1867: A major eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Italy began and lasted for several months.

1912: A search party found the remains of British explorer Robert Scott and his companions after their ill-fated South Pole expedition.

1918: The day after the First World War armistice (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), Emperor Karl of Austria-Hungary abdicated, making Austria a republic.

1923: Adolf Hitler (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion) was arrested for his failed "Beer Hall Putsch" 4 days earlier.

1933: The Nazis received 92% of the vote in the German election.

1938: High-ranking Nazi official Hermann Goering stated that Madagascar should become a Jewish homeland.

1939: The occupying Nazi forces in Poland ordered Jews to wear yellow arm bands.

1942: The British 8th Army under General Bernard Montgomery captured Tobruk in Libya, taking over 30,000 German prisoners.

1944: The German battleship Tirpitz, sister ship of the Bismarck and Hitler's last major warship, was sunk by Lancaster bombers at Tromso Fjord in northern Norway.

1948: In the aftermath of the Second World War, Japanese Prime Minister Hikedi Tojo and 7 others were sentenced to hang by a U.S. war crimes court for "breaching laws and customs of war." Among the specified war crimes for which they were convicted and sentenced to death by U.S. judges was the waterboarding torture of prisoners.

1968: The U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Arkansas law that banned the teaching of evolution in public schools (listen to our Sermon Darwin's Theory of Evolution).

1982: Yuri Andropov was elected First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party following the death of Leonid Brezhnev.


Copyright © Wayne Blank