Writing to the Church in Corinth, Paul addressed the concerns of the Church concerning those who fell asleep, that is, passed on, and the living upon the return of Jesus. He wrote, 1 Corinthians 15:51 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.” The mystery is that we shall not all die, but upon the return of Jesus Christ, both the dead in Christ and the living will be changed, and this change will happen in the twinkling of the eye.
Now, trying to describe the suddenness of the event, Paul uses the word twinkling of the eye because as fast as we can blink, both the dead in Christ and the living will be changed; therefore, 1 Corinthians 15:52-55 reads, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on in corruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
So, when this corruptible shall have put on in-corruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Because as we live in this world, we are to understand it has been cursed to prevent the seed of the serpent from prospering; therefore, death will reign until the kingdom of Christ is established in the earth.
A preview of Christ’s kingdom and our victory over death through Jesus was demonstrated when Jesus would often raise the dead, and heal many about him. And when he sent his disciples out into the world to perform the work of the kingdom, Jesus sent them with this authority and word. Matthew 10:7-8 “As ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.” Because wherever the power and authority of the kingdom goes, so do the manifestation of the kingdom of God, and what it will be on the earth when he begins his reign as King.
Jesus will one day return to claim his inheritance, and upon his return, he will empower his people, he will judge the earth and those that are dead in waiting, and those who are alive in waiting and enduring the suffering and persecution at the hands of the world. It is at that moment in time we are to understand we will be reunited we Christ upon his return.
Revelation 6:9-11 “And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, and why? Until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”