The rapture is the day when the trumpet will blow and Jesus Christ will appear on the clouds and gather to Him all those who believe in Him including the alive and dead.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says: “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep.”
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
In the above verses, Paul is warning Christians, to be informed, that Jesus is coming back and to assure them that the rapture is going to take place. We will meet our loved ones who have passed on to glory in the air when the rapture takes place. He is referring to the “rest of mankind” as those who are lost and are not Christians.
Paul believed that Jesus died and rose again, He believed that those who have died in Christ will also rise again. This gives us Christians hope that physical death does not end the life of a Christian.
“According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord, himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”
Those who are dead in Christ will be first to meet the Lord in the air. Because when they died, they were immediately ‘absent from the body and present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). Paul mentions twice that the dead in Christ will rise first. “Those who are left” are referring to those born-again Christians who are still alive when Jesus comes back.
We are told that all our loved ones who have died will rise first to meet the Lord in the air. This is a great encouragement to family members who are grieving for their loved ones.
Let us prepare ourselves and be ready for the rapture so that we can escape from the great tribulation that is coming upon this earth.