This is a continuation of the topic I started a month ago concerning the four unities (for want of a better word) of this astounding event. That article is here.
16, For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17, Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
There are two unities here that need careful consideration, unity of time and of action.
This is one event. Not two events separated by millennia. We have two groups in these passages:
- Those who have died in Christ and are, at the time of this epistle, still in Hades.
- Christians who, also at the time of this epistle, alive on the Earth.
What happens to Group 1 also (after the slightest of lapses) happens to Group 2. This is an essential point of doctrine that is overlooked by many Preterists. And, conversely, on this point at least, the futurists are correct. They understand that the release from Hades and the Rapture from the Earth happen almost instantaneously.
It is not logical that the groups would be separated in time, because the first group (those released from Hades) would not be just waiting millennia for Group 2 since they both groups are “caught up together” to “meet the Lord”. Do you see the problem? To imagine that this is not one event is is to also insist, nonsensically, that those released from Hades have yet to meet with the Lord!