Q. In your opinion, would it be possible that the whole rapture process consists of two events: the resurrection of the dead occurring in Revelation 4 and the disappearance of living believers occurring in Revelation 6:12? I ask this because 1 Thes. 4:17 says, Then (after the resurrection) we which are alive and remain shall be caught up. This seems to say there could be a period of time between the two events.
A. I’ve heard of this idea before, but when I look at 1 Cor. 15:51-52, Paul’s other description of the rapture, I don’t see any room for a span of time between the resurrection and the rapture. Three things happen almost instantaneously. The trumpet sounds, the dead are raised imperishable, and the living are changed from mortal to immortal.
The word “remain” describes those who will still be alive on Earth at the time the rapture occurs. Also the last part of 1 Thes. 4:17 says we’ll be caught up “together with them” meaning the resurrected dead in Christ. To me this says that even if there is a delay it would be far too short to consider the resurrection and the rapture as two separate events.
I’ve always had a problem with the rapture taking place in Rev. 6:12 because it places the church on earth after the beginning of Daniel’s 70th week. In my opinion this contradicts both Paul’s statement in Romans 11:25 and the timeline James laid out in Acts 15:13-18. Both of these call for the church to be gone before Daniel’s 70th Week begins.