Q. My question concerns the precise nature of the rapture, to whatever extent that can be known. Many people believe we will instantly disappear as in 1 Cor. 15:51-52; others believe we will rise up into the clouds in a visible manner citing 1 Thess. 4:17. It seems to me you could argue either way. Jesus rose visibly at the Ascension (Acts 1:9-11) but could also disappear and reappear at will (Luke 24:36). Could be that after we are changed in the twinkling of an eye, our ascent to meet the Lord in the air will be in a dimension not visible to folks on earth, to whom we will have simply vanished. What do you think?
A. It’s a good question, and the Bible doesn’t offer a clear explanation. But no matter how it happens we will first be instantaneously changed from mortal to immortal to equip us for the journey. When Paul said we would rise up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, he used words that describe the lower atmosphere. That may be the point where we step through the veil into another dimension.
It’s curious that on the day the Lord created the atmosphere (Genesis 1:6-8) it was the only time He didn’t call His work “good”. Some believe it’s because Satan immediately established his presence there. Paul called Satan the ruler of the kingdom of the air (Ephes. 2:2) using the same Greek word for air as he did in 1 Thes. 4:17. Could it be that when the Lord takes us to our heavenly home, He will parade us through Satan’s front yard on the way? Time will tell.