Being in seminary, I occasionally have to put up with mindlessly passionate (yes, it’s possible) people spouting their own personal interpretations of Scripture. Being in a BAPTIST seminary, I then get to watch someone else with a different viewpoint argue with them for an hour afterward.
Ok, maybe not that bad, but it’s a great setup for what I want to talk about. Today I had the “pleasure” of sitting through a debate about the meaning of 1Thessalonians 4:13-18 where two people argued about what it means when it talks about the “dead in Christ.” Let me preface this by saying that I don’t want to get into an eschatological debate here, so regardless of whether you happen to be a premillenial-dispensationalist or not (say that five times fast), this next bit still applies.
The argument in class was whether when a Christian dies today, do they go straight to heaven, or do they go to “sleep” until Christ gathers all those who believed in Him together?
Instead of answering that question, I just have to say that God is AWESOME either way.
How many of us couldn’t use a nap from the time we die until the time Christ gathers us up? I know there are times that I wouldn’t mind sleeping for a few years. (Not to mention the idea that if you’re asleep, you wouldn’t notice the time lag, anyway. It would seem like you died, then suddenly woke up when Jesus gathered everyone.)
On the other hand, how good will it be to get to heaven? You’re wheezing and in pain one moment, then a split-second later you’re in heaven! With Jesus!
Either way, I’m pretty excited about this “death” thing. Heaven, or nap…then Heaven.
God is good, amen?
PS- Yes, I really did type most of this just to use the words “premillenial-dispensationalist” in a post. Sue me.