It is a very precious thing that God speaks to us of the believer who has entered into death, not as being dead, but sleeping. We are all going to be awakened; everyone that sleeps in Christ is going to hear the voice of the archangel, the shout and the trumpet. It will awaken them and bring them out of those graves. It does not make any difference whether they have been there a day, a year or a thousand years. It is the Lord’s archangelic voice. Men try to limit the power of God, but it cannot be limited. Suppose a child of God passes into death in the middle of the ocean and is buried right there. Will that body be raised again? It surely will; every sleeping saint will be raised; not one will be left out — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Paul and all the rest.
Scripture never uses the term “sleep” in connection with the death of the unsaved or ungodly. No, death is never spoken of as sleep except of those who are asleep in Christ. It is asleep by, or through, Christ.