Lately, I’ve been seriously contemplating something that I heard in a bible study group. I was thinking about this because it made me think about my brother’s passing. This was the scripture (HCSB) that caught my attention:
Jhn 5:28 Do not be amazed at this, because a time is coming when all who are in the graves will hear His voice Jhn 5:29 and come out — those who have done good things, to the resurrection of life, but those who have done wicked things, to the resurrection of judgment.
I know this to be true, but when I heard it, it caught my attention because typically in “the church” we don’t hear about resurrection, the end times or judgment in this way. What I mean is that usually, these things are separately discussed. Usually, resurrection is spoken of in one aspect, usually about Christ or resurrecting the “living dead” or those who are now asleep (sleep walking). Judgment is spoken about in another aspect, and since this particular note is about end times, that is also usually spoken of differently. We’ve heard about “The Judgment,” and “The Resurrection,” but I can tell you that I have not heard them together as in this verse.
And then again, when people are at funerals, many pastors say that if the person was saved or a believer, then they’ve gone to heaven and we’ll see them again. Particularly, parents tell their children this, as I heard my sister-in-law tell my nieces and nephew. Perhaps this is where this idea really develops from. Then you see people going to visit grave sites, continually crying and weeping over that person that passed like my mom does. When my mom gets into that depression and starts to cry, she says she has lost too much and cannot lose anything else. But the question for me is, is it really a loss?
For me, it’s a perspective issue once again. That verse just completely revolutionized my perspective, because it would only be a loss if the person that left this level was not in Christ. But before I even talk about levels, let me just go back to the departure issue. The person that read the verse to me, had a translation that said, “Those who are asleep…” instead of “Those who are in tombs (or graves).” When I heard the word “asleep” it flipped my perspective because that destroyed this false notion that people are in heaven immediately. The only ones I believe went right away were the ones like Enoch that Lord specifically brought into heaven. He never even saw death.
But everyone else is asleep.
People sleep all the time. It’s like living in a house. When people go to sleep, they simply go to another (a different) room in the house. I am now thinking that there are different levels of being awake and being asleep. So on a grander scale, in our atmosphere or plane, when someone “goes to sleep,” they simply move into another plane, realm or room that in our current state of “awake,” we cannot see.
I’ve had this whole prism concept about the various planes and levels. It’s like a Rubix cube; each cube being a different room on a different level. The levels of where they are versus where we are, are constantly in fluctuation, because the cube is constantly moving, rotating, and turning in various directions.
What else caught my attention about this is that when I used to think of some of the most despicable despots and evil men in history, like Hitler, I always believed that they were burning in hell for centuries already. You know, people always say that. From the beginning of time, whoever didn’t believe, or whoever was really evil that died, would be burning all this time up to the judgment, and then they’d be judged and thrown into the “everlasting judgment.” I had always heard this while I was younger. Now, I don’t believe it. Everyone that has passed, whether good or evil, has fallen asleep.
That scripture says that there’s going to be a resurrection that calls up all of those who have fallen asleep…all those in the graves, whether good or evil. No one has jumped the gun and gone to heaven to chill out until that judgment in the end times. Everyone that has left this plane has gone to sleep. So the only question left is, can those that are asleep hear us? The reason that question comes up goes back to the visitors at grave sites. Aside from that, people who are asleep can hear things. Think about when you are sleeping. You hear the voice of the person trying to wake you. People who are in another state of sleep in hospitals are said by doctors to be able to hear when people talk around them or to them. Some of those people are in unconscious states or in some cases, a coma, but it is still a state of “sleep.”
So this makes me wonder, can those who are asleep in “another room” actually hear the voices of their loved ones when they speak to them? I don’t know the answers, but I know that this sleeping concept makes death a lot less scary. It is not specifically death that is frightening. The frightening aspect of “falling asleep” is, does my life philosophy or belief systems move me into the type of resurrection I want to be in? My beliefs give birth to my thoughts, which birth both my character and my actions which move me along on the path of my choices in my journey through this life. So, am I believing the right things that will lead me to the resurrection I really want to be in? That is the question. My prayer is that I am, and you are too.