“Sleep” in 1 Thessalonians 4 – 5

What does the Apostle Paul mean when he says to his Thessalonian readers, “whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him”?  The initial reading, or in quoting the verse without Paul’s original context, the metaphor of “awake or asleep” sounds like a reference to life and death.  Christians still living at Christ’s return as well as those believers who have already died will all join the triumphant Lord.  Is that the only way to understand his words? Continue reading