If the dead in Christ are with the Lord, how can they rise first?

Question / Comment - If the dead in Christ are with the Lord, how can they rise first?


If born again Christians go to heaven when they die who are the dead in Christ who rise first during the rapture?

JPN Reply:


Here are the verses you mention: (1 Thes 4:14-17)

We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.

Please note the highlighted sections and the order

1. When Jesus returns he will bring with Him those who have died in Him (born again Christians) for they are with Him in Heaven now. But they too still await the resurrection of the body to receive their new spiritual body.
2. The spirit and soul of these believers will then be united with their new body through this resurrection.
3. Then both those who have been resurrected and those believers who are alive when the Lord returns will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

So to answer your question specifically, the two groups you mention are one and the same.

All the best.