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It’s “the dead in Christ” who “shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV). And “the dead in Christ” means Christians. According to 1 Thessalonians 4:14, it’s not only the martyrs that died for the sake of Christ, and his Gospel; nor merely those who die in the lively exercise of faith in Christ but all Christians, spiritual and carnal. So, all Christian believers who are alive, along with resurrected believers, will rise "in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."
Everyone who has at one time believed the gospel, First Corinthians 15:1-4, and were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 1:13-14. Our guarantee of eternal life. Romans 8:9. Without the Spirit there is no salvation. With the Spirit we have eternal life. Hebrews 13:5 He will never leave us or forsake us. Even if we never believe it again. Second Timothy 2:13. John 3:18 John 6:40, and John 6:29. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, and we all sin, and we all die, but the GIFT of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. First Corinthians 15:51-53 and First Thessalonians 4:13-18. We are to comfort one another with these words. Those that have trusted Jesus alone apart from works. Romans 11:6. Romans 3:26-28.
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