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If I Should Die Before I Wake
II Corinthians 5:1-10
7/7/85 - Jerry Vines
We do not know if we will be alive when Jesus returns or if we will
die before the Lord comes again. The apostle Paul didn't know that either.
Sometimes when you read his writings he pictures himself as if he is going to
be alive when the Lord returns. At other times when you read what he says he
describes it as if he is going to be dead when Jesus comes. In I Thess. 4,
when he talks about the return of the Lord Jesus he says these words:
Then we which are alive and remain.
In that verse he is talking as if he is going to be present when the Lord
comes. When you read these verses Paul puts himself in the position of a
believer who has died and the Lord comes and the things that are going to
take place out there in eternity. Of course, that's the proper attitude for
every Christian. We don't know when death is going to come. We don't know
when the Lord is going to come. So whether we live or whether we die, we
ought always be ready regardless of which it is going to be.
In I Cor. 15:55, Paul talks about the return of the Lord and the
song the believers are going to sing when Jesus comes back. In that song
there are two lines that go like this:
0, death where is thy sting, o, grave where is thy victory?
If we are alive, we'll go up singing, 0 death where is thy sting? If we are
dead when Jesus comes back, he'll raise us and we'll go up singing, o grave
where is thy victory? I don't know which one it's going to be so I've learned
both parts of the duet. I'll be prepared either way if the Lord should come.
I want to talk about the possibility that maybe you will die before the Lord
comes again. One of the first prayers I ever learned is a prayer you probably
learned too. It went like this: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord
my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lo ...
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