Sunday, December 14, 2014

Most Peaceful Sleep

What I am about to share is not going to be easy for all of you to read, but it is out of love that I share it. Please read to the end, otherwise it will leave you with the wrong feeling. After a recent death in the family, I told God I would try not to miss another opportunity to share His truth about what happens to a person when they die. I’m going to start by sharing verses right from the Bible (New King James Version).

Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10
For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, 
 And they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. 
 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share in anything done under the sun...  
Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; 
for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom 
in the grave where you are going.

Job 7:10
He shall never return to his house, 
Nor shall his place know him anymore.

Solomon writes multiple times in the book of Ecclesiastes about what happens when a person dies. They have no more knowledge, no emotions, and no thoughts. They have no interaction with those still alive. Job writes that when a person dies, they do not return to their house. This could be unsettling for people who believe that a person’s spirit goes to heaven when they die. Heaven is a peaceful place. In Heaven, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain.” (Revelation 21:4)  If a loved one is up in Heaven, looking down on the pain and suffering that I am experiencing on earth, it is not going to be very peaceful for them. A couple more verses are:

Psalm 115:17
The dead do not praise the Lord, 
Nor any who go down into silence.

Acts 2:29, 34
Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch 
David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us 
to this day...For David did not ascend into the heavens.

We are told that everyone will be praising God in Heaven. If the dead are not praising God, they must not be in heaven. Even David, a “man after God’s own heart,” is not in heaven, but in the grave. (Acts 13:22) This does not mean that all the dead are in hell. Matthew 9:24, John 11, and 1 Thessalonians 4:13 say that death is a sleep. But as the last verse says, there is hope! We will be awaken from that sleep!

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who 
are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means 
precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend 
from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and 
with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 
 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up
 together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. 
And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  
Therefore comfort one another with these words.

I know I said this wouldn’t be easy to read. At first, it’s not a comforting feeling to know that I can’t speak with my grampa anymore. But we are to encourage on another with these words. I know that he is no longer in pain. I also know that he is not suffering by watching me in pain either. He is asleep. A peaceful sleep with no dreams or nightmares. No worry about waking up with chest pain or an inability to breath. A sleep with the best alarm clock in the world. When Jesus returns and blows the trumpet for all of His followers to join Him in Heaven. The dead and the living will meet the Lord together in the air. We will all be reunited to spend eternity with each other and with God..