An Immediate Descent to Earth? 1 Thessalonians 4:17

Postribulationists argue that after God’s people are caught up to the clouds to meet Christ in the rapture, they will immediately “escort” Christ back to earth, i.e., they are not taken to heaven before the throne of God. Their main argument they use is the term apantēsis (meeting) in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 requires this “immediate descent to earth.” This is a mistaken understanding of the term. The following are two excellent articles that can be accessed online which thoroughly discuss the Greek term:

Michael R. Cosby, “Hellenistic Formal Receptions and Paul’s use of AΠANTHΣIΣ in 1 Thessalonians 4.17,” BBR (1994): 4:15-34. (The article can be downloaded here: )

Joseph Plevnik, “1 Thessalonians 4:17: The Bringing in of the Lord or the Bringing in of the Faithful?,” Biblica 80 (1999): 537-546. (The article is online here)




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