An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 7 - Doctrinal Truth - Page 198 of 297
coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep ... the dead
in Christ' (1 Thess. 4:13-18).
Here the reference is to those who, though believers, have fallen
asleep in Christ, i.e. who have literally died, whereas in the next chapter
koimaomai is excluded, and only katheudo is employed, the closing verse of
the argument reading: 'Who died for us, that, whether we are 'watchful'
(gregoreo, same word 'watch' in 1 Thessalonians 5:6, and so translated
twenty-one times, once 'be vigilant' which amounts to the same thing, and
once, here in 1 Thessalonians 5:10 by 'wake' which is misleading), 'Whether
we are watchful or drowsy (katheudo not koimaomai as in 1 Thessalonians 4) we
should (in spite of this lack of faithfulness) live together with Him'.  In 2
Timothy 2:11-13 the difference between 'living' and 'reigning' with Christ is
brought out, living with Him as in 1 Thessalonians 5:10 being solely
dependent upon His death on our account, not upon our watchfulness, yet
watchfulness is taken into consideration when the question of reward is
before us.
'Saints' are said to 'sleep' (Matt. 27:52); Lazarus is said to 'sleep'
(John 11:11); Stephen 'fell asleep' (Acts 7:60); Christ is said to be the
firstfruits of them that 'slept' (1 Cor. 15:20); and believers are said to
have 'fallen asleep' in Christ (1 Cor. 15:18), but in all the range of this
usage, whether in Gospels, Acts or Epistles, 'to fall asleep' is never used
to speak of the death of an unbeliever.
The Lord never says 'Ye shall fall asleep in your sins', but 'ye shall
die in your sins' for the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is
the law, but for those who believe in the Son of God, that sting has been
removed.  What is plain death to the ungodly is to fall asleep in Christ to
the redeemed.
'For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.  For
whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto
the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's' (Rom.
Christ is the Lord both of the dead and the living.  In Adam all die,
but in Christ, the believer falls asleep -- blessed difference indeed!  The
dead which die 'in the Lord' are pronounced 'blessed' (Rev. 14:13).
So far as our studies have led us, we find that 'sleep' is not
predicated of the ungodly in their death, but is reserved only for those who
die 'in the Lord'.
Let us, therefore, use this blessed word with discretion, and value the
priceless inferences that such a distinction must necessarily lead to.
So.  In John 3:16 we read, 'For God so loved the world', and in many minds
the word 'so' here refers to the vastness of the love of God which is here
spoken of.  While its vast comprehension is a matter for our adoring wonder,
the true meaning of 'so' here is a matter of vital importance.
The Greek word translated 'so' here is houtos, and the next occurrence,
John 4:6, says, 'He sat thus on the well'.  Again in John 7:46 it is 'like
this' or in John 21:1 'on this wise'.