And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don't want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word.
Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.
And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence - we have the Master's word on it - that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they'll be ahead of us.
The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God's trumpet blast! He'll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise - they'll go first.
Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master.
Oh, we'll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)