For we say this to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are still alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will in no way precede [into His presence] those [believers] who have fallen asleep [in death].
For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death].
What we tell you now is ·the Lord’s own message [L by the word of the Lord]. We who are ·living [still alive] when the Lord comes again will [L certainly; surely] not go before those who have ·already died [L fallen asleep].
What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. We who are living now may still be living when the Lord comes again. We who are living at that time will be with the Lord, but not before those who have already died.
Now we don’t want you, my brothers, to be in any doubt about those who “fall asleep” in death, or to grieve over them like men who have no hope. After all, if we believe that Jesus died and rose again from death, then we can believe that God will just as surely bring with Jesus all who are “asleep” in him. Here we have a definite message from the Lord. It is that those who are still living when he comes will not in any way precede those who have previously fallen asleep. One word of command, one shout from the archangel, one blast from the trumpet of God and the Lord himself will come down from Heaven! Those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then we who are still living on the earth will be swept up with them into the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And after that we shall be with him for ever.
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.
For this we say to you by the Dvar Hashem, that we who are alive and have been left behind until the Bi’as (Coming, Parousia of) Moshiach Adoneinu, may in no way be kodem (preceding) those who have fallen asleep.
And we say this thing to you in the word of the Lord, that we that live, that be left in the coming of the Lord, shall not come before them that be dead. [Soothly this thing we say to you in the word of the Lord, that we that live, that be residue, or left, in the coming of the Lord, shall not come before them that slept, or died.]
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