In the Old Testament when a believer died he was referred to as being asleep. This concept of death carried over to the new as well. Here it refers to those who sleep in Christ. Death is such a harsh reality that it is no wonder it is referred to throughout the Bible as being asleep; it is so much gentler and peaceful.
I don’t know about you, but I love to sleep! Yet, to those of us still living, sleep can be sort of a curse. We can’t get a lot done while we are sleeping; if we are lucky, we might wake up with a new idea, a new way to approach something we were thinking about the day before. But, with the dead there is not even that. Ecclesiastes tells us there is no reasoning or consciousness of the fact we are dead.
What we do know from the Bible is that when we, as born again believers, wake up, it will be to meet the Lord Jesus in the air with other living believers. This will be the 1st thing we will be cognizant of after we die. It may be days, weeks, years or even centuries; but we know that whenever it does occur, we will be there. This is our Hope as believers.
As far as the Old Testament saints are concerned, they will not realize this awareness until seven years later at the resurrection of the Just. A major difference between their awakening and ours is that they will go directly to the land they were promised, as their inheritance. Those involved in this event, will only be those who never had the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ.
With the exception of the 144,000 of the twelve tribes of Israel who are sealed during the Tribulation, the only chance of having eternal life is by becoming a Christian, in accordance with Romans chapter 10. If I were not all ready a part of the first group, there would be nothing standing in my way to procure eternal life. Sweet dreams.
What is holding you back?