Two ministers who were good friends had a habit of giving each other a good-natured ribbing. They were always comparing churches, trying to prove that their congregation was the best. One day, one of them said, “I have to admit that your people will get to heaven before mine will.” “Why do you say that?” the other one asked. “Because the Bible says that the dead in Christ will rise first!”
1 Thessalonians 4:16 does indeed say, “…the dead in Christ will rise first.” However, I think that, in addition to giving the order of those who will meet the Lord, there is significance in the fact that Christians who are dead are still in Christ. Not even death can sever the bond that exists between believers and their Lord! Death is no match for the power of Jesus Christ to keep us safe for all of eternity!
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’”—John 11:25-26.