Let me help you examine truth from yet another angle of approach. You may use this in your quest for truth. You understand 1 Thess. 4 to be a Doctrinal passage pertaining to the Rapture. The passage specifically states that it speaks to the coming of Jesus, and to the resurrection of those who are dead “in Christ”. It states that this resurrection must occur before the Rapture will occur. So this passage certainly teaches that for us to conclude that there is a Rapture taught elsewhere to occur before the Great Tribulation; then that must mean that no man (Gentile or Jew) will be able to be saved as we are “in Christ”, and then in that saved state die following the Rapture. I believe this understanding to be further supported by an additional Doctrinal passage from Paul. This passage comes to us from within 1 Cor. 15
1 Corinthians 15:21 For since by a man [came] death, by a man also [came] the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (NASB1995)
This passage makes clear that there will be no man attain to this resurrection back to life except they be “in Christ”, or said another way, no resurrection of the saved unless they be “in Christ”. Vs’s 18-20, would direct our attention to this to include all men trusting or sleeping “in Christ”.
1 Corinthians 15:18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. (AMP)
Paul’s argument is being presented here to us who are “in Christ”. So how then can we say based on Vs 21&22 above that there can be any salvation including salvation for Israel beyond when the Rapture occurs. How could these scriptures then not make a post -Trib Rapture the necessary answer to the Rapture When Question?
What people often do with Israel is to create for them a different path to eternal life, but they never really tell us what that path is, for if that path is “in Christ” their theory falls apart. And if their path is not “in Christ” their theory falls apart based upon what Paul said here. So what is the crux of the hang up? Christ was not in them and they in Christ during the times before His first coming. Yet these were in some way set aside. Can’t we return to that?
Jesus and Paul both make clear that there really is no other way to be saved from destruction in hell through attaining to the first resurrection; than through Israel’s Messiah, and His provision for a New Covenant. He is it’s Giver.
John the Baptist knew that Jesus was the bridegroom before He completed His mission. (John 3:29).
Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ, Son of the Living God, even before he denied Him and later following Christ’s resurrection was forgiven. (Matt. 16:16).
Simeon was looking for the Christ (Luke 2:26). And after seeing Him he stated: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Luke 2:30 KJV
Jesus is the only provision of salvation for all men, both Jew and Gentile. Therefore if one dies or is dead “in Christ” whether Israel’s Jew or we as adopted Gentiles they then must be resurrected before the 1 Thessalonians 4 Rapture can occur at the coming of Jesus, even as these passages of scripture make clear.
So what of the Old Testament saved? Paradise was moved to Heaven from the belly of the earth when Jesus ascended. Paul visited paradise in heaven, not the center of the earth. Prior to that relocation Jesus spent three days and nights there, Peter says preaching to the dead. Paul says He led captivity captive when He ascended. Jews and Gentiles are saved under the New Covenant that Jesus bought with His blood. There is no salvation apart from being “in Christ”. “No man cometh to the Father, but by Me”, a Jesus quote.