Sleep in Jesus

Sleep in Jesus sounds peaceful, doesn’t it?  I know that I might be in the minority on this one, but I have to ask, “Are there any more terrifying words than, ‘Nap time?’”  When I was a young boy I hated taking naps.  I think as a small child I was afraid that I would miss out on some fun or privilege.  I wanted to experience all that the world had to offer – not sleep my life away!  I’m betting that most of you can’t relate to my childhood nap phobia – you’re thinking, wouldn’t it be great to take a rest?

There are some people who think Paul is using a euphemism for death when he calls it sleep.  Kind of like when the dentist calls the Novocain shot a little bee sting.  That isn’t the case – death really is like sleep.  You have a reason to fear the pain that goes along with the “little bee sting” of the Novocain shot.  You have no reason to fear death.  Here is why.  14 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.  Jesus faced the specter of death on the cross when he died for your sins and for mine, but he didn’t stay dead – he rose from the dead.  There is no fear.  God has forgiven your willful ignorance and any other sin that stains your soul.  So now death isn’t an everlasting night – Sleep in Jesus is just like taking a nap.

I want to be measured lest you think I’m getting too excited about death here – we have nothing to fear, but when a loved one dies, while we do not grieve like men who have no hope, that doesn’t mean that we won’t grieve.  Grief is normal – I would say even proper and healthy.  The difference is the hope of the resurrection.  Not a hope that my retirement account will grow or that my team will win.  This is a tear stopping, tombstone moving, hope based on the fact of Jesus’ resurrection that reminds us our loved one is gone from this life, but not lost forever.  That person isn’t missing out, they are asleep in Jesus.  Sleep in Jesus is just like taking a nap.

Want to hear more?  Watch this week’s message taken from 1 Thessalonians 4 – Sleep in Jesus.

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