Q. In regards to 1 Thessalonians 4:16 -17, after the Lord descends with a shout, do you think the following scenario is possible? First, the dead in Christ will be resurrected and will enter into the cities and be seen by many. They may begin witnessing to family and friends. Just like Jesus, Jonah and perhaps even the saints of Matthew 27: 52-53, they may lead many to salvation. They may remain on earth for minutes, or hours or even days. Then, all those in Christ Jesus (i.e., the resurrected elect and the living elect) will be taken up into the sky to be with the Lord. Could this happen?
A. It’s a nice thought, but with the Rapture/Resurrection the age of the Church will come to an abrupt end. The full number of the Gentiles will have come in (Romans 11:25) and the Church will be complete. There’s no mention of resurrected saints witnessing on Earth and no mention of a delay between the dead in Christ rising and living believers being raptured.
In addition, when the rich man asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to warn his brothers, Abraham refused, saying they had the Scriptures and should read them (Luke 16:19-31). The people alive at the end of the age will have even more reason to believe, because the Lord Himself has come back from the dead to preach the Good News.
For these reasons, I don’t foresee any evangelistic effort by resurrected believers at the time of the rapture. And as for having people go around telling others about Jesus, the Lord will commission 144,000 Jewish believers to do just that after the Church is gone (Rev. 7:1-8). Our time on Earth will have come to an end.