THE “DEAD IN CHRIST” SHALL RISE FIRST
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16). THEN we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:17). The “dead in Christ” rise first, then we are “caught-up”.
Who are the “dead in Christ” that rise first? This Greek word for “dead” can mean physically dead (deceased), or spiritually dead, as the prodigal son was “dead” until he repented and returned to his father. We see both connotations being used in the following. "Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead” (Matthew 8:22).
By the next verse we see that even though believers are physically alive, we can be spiritually dead.
"I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead (Revelation 3:1).
We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death (1 John 3:14). Believers pass from death unto life by being made alive together with Christ when forgiven of all trespasses by repenting and confessing their sins. We who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: (John 1:12). Receiving the Spirit of Christ gives us the right to be born of GOD as a child of GOD.
…when we were dead in trespasses, (GOD) made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), (Ephesians 2:5). We are justified and saved by being made alive together with the Spirit of Christ.
And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, (Colossians 2:13). We are justified and saved by being made alive together with Christ when we are forgiven of all trespasses by repenting and confessing our sins.
It shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the lord shall be saved (acts 2:21).
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
Jesus answered, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God (John 3:5).
Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother (1 John 3:9-10).
And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment (1 John 3:23).
You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only (James 2:24).
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also (James 2: 26).
Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' (Matthew 25:34-36).
Judgment is without mercy to the one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead (James 2:13-17).
If you know He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him (1 John 2:29)
…..and the dead in Christ will rise first (1 Thessalonians 4:16b).
Buried with Him in baptism, in which you also were raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (Colossians 2:12). Is this baptism of the Spirit or water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ?
For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven (Mark 2:25). They neither marry nor are given in marriage. Is this a mate without wedlock or celibacy? What to you believe this means and why? Are we living as under the Law if we believe marriage by wedlock is a prerequisite to a relationship?
Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God (Romans 3:19).
If anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20).