What I write was is not of my own will. But what has been given to me as a gift, that is irrevocable. Seek and you will find.
But we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning them that fall asleep; that ye sorrow not, even as the rest, who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left [remain] unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 KJV
The rapture is spoken of in the book of Hosea, as discerned by Paul, seen in the words, “O Death where is your victory.” The words “those who have fallen asleep in Jesus” are those brothers who who die in the great desolation of Jerusalem. It will be a time of great lament, yet we comfort ourselves knowing that we who remain alive, the Remnant, meet with them in the air. Paul said this was a mystery in 1 Cor 15:51. It is an extensive mystery. Jonah fell asleep in the inner part of the boat in the middle of the storm. Jesus fell asleep in the boat in the middle of a storm. Jacob fell asleep, his head on a stone, when God came and beat him. Jesus waited until Lazarus fell asleep before bringing him back to life. The Bride slept, awoke suddenly at the knock, went out, found him not, and got beat up by the watchmen. The disciples slept, at night, at the hour of Jesus’ trial. Sleeping, you will fall asleep. It is a sickness that overtakes the Christian soul, but not one that leads to death, praise God. But it does not come without its judgement. It is deeply dreadful, yet it will bring glory to God and the Son of God thereby (John 11:4). Paul gives more context to this “sleep” that overcomes the last generation of the body to the Thessalonians,
But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober. For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night.
1 Thesalonians 5:4-7 NASB
Jesus said to his disciples,
“Therefore, be on the alert– for you do not know when the master of the house is coming, whether in the evening, at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning–
Jesus’ coming is in the “night”–possibly “evening”, “midnight”, or the “early morning hours”. Those who are spiritually asleep when the night comes are taken by surprise ambush—an unprecedented slaughter of sheep. The Valley of Decision becomes the Valley of Slaughter. They were not paying attention. Paul tells the Thessalonians that “we who are alive and remain”, the Remnant who stayed awake and in the Light, don’t need to sorrow over those fallen asleep in Jesus. As Jesus died and rose again, they will too. Understanding this and not being ignorant of it, will bring comfort to us.