Troublesome Topic: When We Meet Jesus in the Air, Are We Going to Heaven or Is He Coming to Earth?

1 Thessalonians 4:17


Then, together with them, we, the living who remain, will be snatched up

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into the clouds unto the meeting of the LORD in the air; and so we will be with the LORD always.


Then, together with the righteous ones who have died before that moment, those of us who are still alive on earth will be swept up forcibly into the clouds for our meeting in the air with THE SUPREME RULER; After that we will never leave THE SUPREME RULER’S side.

I assure you that we are meeting Him on His way to the earth. Here’s why.

In those days if a king or important person came to your house you would go out to meet him and then accompany him back into your house.

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It was considered rude to wait at your door for him to come to you. That custom is still practiced in many parts of the world today. Every Jew of John’s day would tell you that when the New Testament speaks of us meeting Jesus in the air, we are meeting Him as He comes to earth, He is not meeting us as we are going to heaven. The popular notion of Him meeting us in the clouds and then taking us to heaven makes us greater than Jesus, and Jesus lessor than us! (I get shivers and my skin crawls just by typing those words!) It is impossible that the imagery of meeting Jesus in the air means what modern westerners say it means!

The next lesson is: Did Paul Think Jesus Would Return During His Lifetime?



This word was often used of snatching bounty or plunder. It is similar to the word pillage. It was a swift, powerful act, almost violent in nature. It was in no way secretive, but rather it was usually done with displays of victory.


George Eldon Ladd, The Blessed Hope, p. 91.