In my original post here, the first scriptures I copied and pasted (from 1Cor 15 ) began with vs 51... "Behold I show you a mystery". Ok, that in itself says something new was about to be revealed. It was a mystery up until that point. Until then, there was only the revelation of the dead being resurrected. This was the hope of the faithful believers under the old covenant. This new info Paul was ministering to the body of Christ (those born of the holy spirit) was presenting that not only the dead will be resurrected but those who are alive will be changed and brought into His presence. This context in 1 Corinthians corroborates with 1Thessalonians 4:16 and 17, which, in my opinion, describes the rapture pretty straightforwardly.
Saved from wrath:
8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, WE SHALL BE SAVED FROM WRATH THROUGH HIM.
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, WHICH DELIVERED US FROM THE WRATH TO COME.
9 For God hath NOT APPOINTED US TO WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
11 ¶ Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Since it also was written that those born of the holy spirit (Acts 2:1-4) who are comprised of both Jew and Gentile (Galatians 3:28) have been delivered from the coming wrath, that would put this event when Christ appears to gather us together and takes us to be where he is a pre trib or pre wrath event.
In the Revelation given to John all the believers that are mentioned in THAT time period are of the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev 7). These would be direct decedents of Abraham, not those who simply bear the name Jew, or practice a form of religion calling itself Judaism or inhabit a land mass called "Israel". It says that THESE believers are sealed with the seal of God on their foreheads. (Rev 7:3). So, where are all the saved gentiles? Those who had previously been sealed with the holy spirit that was born within them (Colossians 1:27), also called called "incorruptible seed" in 1Peter 1:23.
There is no mention of them anywhere in the Revelation given to John. That is, except for Rev 7 where the multitude at the throne of God is mentioned comprised of people out of EVERY nation.
Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came OUT OF great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
To get into semantics, something I hate to do but, if I'm gonna present this, I have to mention this too... the words " out of" in this verse was translated from the Greek word "ek". I copied and pasted the below text from Strong's Concordance and Thayer's Lexicon :
Ek: a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds or begins). because of, by reason of, away from."
So, using these definitions, you could read it as:
These are they which came out (because of, by reason of, away from) great tribulation (at the point from whence it began), and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
But hey, christians and non christians have been arguing biblical matters for centuries. The Rapture alone has many "views". You got your pre-trib, your mid-trib, your post-trib rapture, your partial-rapture your anti-rapture just to name a few and all, supposedly ORIGINATING FROM THE SAME BOOK! The book doesn't settle anything. With all the varying interpretations, as well as some, in authority positions, using all sorts of mind control techniques to get over on the people to see things their way and make them their personal slaves (I've experienced this first hand), as well as sincere, well meaning people who are out there teaching but shouldn't be, the controversies will go on. It's a losing fight. I was in it at one time but, after many years, I saw only contention and strife come out of it. And I have been exhorted not to strive so I'm doing my best not to. Like I said, just presenting this for whoever is interested and, for the record.