God’s trumpet and air meetings?

What will happen when Jesus returns as conquering hero?  Will we float forever in the clouds? 

The Bible teaches that Jesus lived, died, rose back to life, ascended to heaven (from where he now reigns and rules) and promised to come back to us at what is commonly called the Second Coming.  

In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 the apostle Paul, the author of a large chunk of the New Testament, speaks about the Second Coming of Jesus.

 This passage mentions two things that will happen:  God will blow his trumpet and all Christians will meet Jesus in the air.  What’s this all about?
Here is verse 16-17:

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

The trumpet

In Old Testament times there was no Facebook or Twitter.  No email.  Not even a telegram!  (Do people even remember what a telegram is?)  No bbm-ing to get together to start a riot or Facebook-ing to overthrow a government.  When the priest wanted to gather God’s people together at the temple they had their own form of social media: the trumpet.  When God’s people heard the trumpet they knew they were to gather for a feast or special occasion.

The Bible says that Jesus will return “with the trumpet call of God”.  In other words, God is going to gather all his people:  those alive at the time and those who have died in the faith.  There will be an awesome reunion.  It won’t be the priests calling the people, but God himself calling his people to himself.
 
The air

When a VIP (like the emperor or consul) paid an official visit to a city in the Greco-Roman world (the world in which the New Testament was written), the leading citizens would go out of the city to meet him and escort him on the final stage of his journey back into the city.  This is the language and concept here.

We will reign with Jesus and each other on a very physical, renewed earth.  We will have renewed, resurrected bodies, just like Jesus’ resurrected body.  We will escort Jesus back to the renewed earth and be with him forever.  Even in the book of Revelation, the New Jerusalem (a picture of God dwelling with his people) comes from heaven to earth.  Many Christians think that heaven is our “souls” floating for eternity in the air!  How terrible!  How boring!  This is not what this passage or the Bible teaches.  
Of course, those who have not submitted to Jesus will not be at that reunion or be escorting Jesus back to the renewed earth.