Q. Sir, I have had a lot of trouble buying the split second vanishing of all the saints at the time of the rapture. To me 1 Corinthians 15;51-54 speaks mainly of our corruptible putting on in-corruption, ” but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.” That seems to me to be separate from 1 Thessalonians 4;15-17 ,” and the dead will rise first. then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them” with no mention of how fast it will happen. It seems that GOD would make full use of the rapture to make believers of many who had been sitting on the fence. I can only imagine the impact of watching your dead godly grandmother suddenly appear young and healthy and then rise into the heavens followed by those who are alive and changed. I don’t believe GOD wastes any opportunity to draw His children to Him and He won’t let this chance slip away with a sudden head scratching disappearance of people right before your eyes. I have great respect for your biblical insight and would like to know your thoughts on this.
A. There’s no Biblical reason to believe there will be a delay between the dead rising and the living being changed. We are one body and we’ll all come into the presence of the Lord at the same time. To me 1 Cor. 15: 51-52 imply an instantaneous event that includes both the resurrection and the rapture. And in 1 Thes 4:16-17 Paul was responding to fears that those believers who had died would miss out on the end times promises. In effect Paul said not only will they not miss out, they’ll be first in line. Once again there’s no indication of any kind of a delay.
The fact that a huge number of post rapture believers from all over the world will be martyred and show up in Heaven shortly after the seal judgments (Rev. 7:9) tells me the rapture will have the effect you have described, but there’s no indication that making our disappearance a visible event will have caused that.