I can’t believe I haven’t seen this before… or that it hasn’t been discussed here! Ironically, it was discovered on the Facebook page “Does A God Exist?” where I’m a Christian admin.
The guy who posted about this is on the fence about universalism, and the atheist admin said, “Have you been talking to Justin?”
Given, this isn’t the strongest argument (on its own) for the opposition, but it’s still pretty powerful in its own right:
Now, most would simply parallel that verse with the ending of the previous chapter since it wouldn’t make sense for them to read it in the moral/spiritual context of chapter 5 (which is really not the best method of exegesis).
When this was pointed out to me, I raced over to blueletterbible.org to look at the original Greek wording. And this is what I found:
Chapter 4’s word translated as asleep = “koimaō” - to cause to sleep, be put to sleep, metaph. “calm” or “death”
Chapter 5’s word translated as asleep = “katheudō” - to fall asleep, drop off, be dead, metaph. be slothful, sinful or indifferent to salvation
A Satanist, no less (who knows some Greek), pointed out that the word “katheudō” has a moral undertone to it whereas “koimaō” does not. And if you’ll notice, while “koimaō” means to be “put to” sleep as in some kind of external influence, “katheudō” means to “fall/drop off to sleep” which implies that the person themselves have fallen to sleep of their own accord.
This word “katheudō” is the same word used in Ephesians 5:14:
This also gives new meaning to the verse, “For God did not appoint us to wrath!” Hallelujah!
This is most definitely going in the book! Praise God forever.