But I would not have you to be ignorant brethren concerning them which are asleep that you sorrow not. By the word of the Lord we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not preceed those who are asleep. The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout with the voice of the archangel with the trump of God: the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive 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.
Paul in his letter to the Thessalonians and Jesus in His parable of the mansions, gave us a tremendous hope. A hope we must never forget. That “blessed hope of all Christians” as the Apostle Paul refers to it, is the return of Christ for His own. It’s an event we refer to as the rapture. The word “rapture” comes from the Latin word “rapturo” used in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. The word “rapturo” is a Latin translation of the Greek word “harpazo,” which means, “to be caught up, or snatched away.” Jesus promised that He would return and take those who put their faith in Him to heaven, so that we would ever be with Him and avoid the judgment of God to come. And our guarantee of that promise is His resurrection. Because the resurrection proves Jesus has the power over life and death.
Jesus through is death and resurrection gave us the ultimate assurance that He was indeed who He claim to be. That is, the Son of God, God in the flesh. And He is returning! He is returning for us, very soon. Paul wrote this letter to the Thessalonian church who had questions because they were expecting the Lord’s return during their lifetimes and some of their members had died. This is what Paul is referring to when he says, “them which are asleep.” Paul is giving reassurance because they are not dead, but alive with Christ. And Paul is not only assuring his fellow believers, he is also giving us additional details regarding the rapture of the saints. He tells us the dead in Christ shall rise first, then we who are alive, will be caught up with them to meet Jesus in the air, after which all of us will return with Him into Heaven.