For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:9-11)
In Paul’s writings, to be asleep often means something other than physical slumber. It can mean unaware of what God is doing in the world, oblivious to the ways in which God is continuing to accomplish His mission in human history. It can also mean physically dead, resting until awakened by Christ on the day of resurrection. In any event, whether fully aware of what God is up to or not, whether physically alive or not, those who trust in Jesus need not fear being forgotten, forsaken, or punished by the wrath of God, because Jesus died in our place and has prepared a place for us after death. So, Christians encourage each other to stay alert, building up rather than tearing down, because we look forward to the day when all the sleepers will awaken and the goodness of God is finally, fully revealed.
“Heavenly Father, thank You for the salvation You have prepared for us in Christ! Awaken our hearts that we may encourage one another and build each other up, in Jesus’ name, amen.”
After church one Sunday, an embarrassed woman said:
"I hope you didn't take it personally, Reverend,
when my husband walked out during your sermon."
"I did find it rather disconcerting," the preacher replied.
"It's not a reflection on you, sir," insisted the church goer.
"Ralph has been walking in his sleep ever since he was a child.”
Seen on the door of a church nursery: 1 Corinthians 15:51
“Behold, I tell you a mystery;
we shall not all sleep,
but we shall all be changed.”
The LORD awaken and change our hearts!
As Pastor at Pilgrim, Kirk is fueled by a passion for God's Word and a lot of good coffee.