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We Have Liftoff!
by Wayne Blank
The Countdown Is On
The first resurrection will occur at the time of the Return of Jesus Christ (see Resurrections). The dead in Christ (i.e. God's people through all time) will be resurrected to spirit, and those of His people alive that day will be changed to spirit, and together they will thunderously ascend into the sky to meet the Messiah, before returning to earth, with Him, that same day, to The Mount Of Olives (shown in the photo):
"For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep [see What Happens When You Die?]. For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the archangel's call, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first; then we who are alive, who are left, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air" (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 RSV)
It won't be a flight out into space, but rather just around the earth to gather (see Spiritual and Physical Gatherings) the resurrected/changed people of God from wherever on the planet they are, and then touchdown on the Mount of Olives:
"they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory [see Two Very Different Triumphal Entries]; and He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect [see The Elect] from the four winds" (Matthew 24:30-31 RSV)
Fact Finder: Why are there different times of resurrection?