Q. I’ve been thinking of this phrase, ‘those that remain’, when Jesus comes for the church during the rapture, and it seems an odd choice of words; maybe it’s just the translation? To me, if you remain, that means something has to happen for a lot of people to die, therefore having a remainder of people left to take during rapture. I wonder if there will be a big natural event that wipes out many before He comes for us? Is this also why there are believers of mid tribulation rapture? What are your thoughts?
A. I think you’re reading more into the text than was intended. Remember, Paul was answering a question about whether those who will have died before the rapture will miss out. He said not only will they not miss out, they’ll be first (1 Thes. 4:15). After that we who are alive and remain will join them (1 Thes. 4:17). His use of the word “remain” simply refers to those who will be living on Earth at the time of the rapture. There’s no hint in this passage or any other that would lead us to expect a big event, natural or otherwise, that would result in a lot of people dying immediately before the rapture.