52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
in a moment,
The word “moment” means flash in the Greek, a fragment of time. The transformation of the glorified body will take place in a flash (literally, in an atom). An atom is an undivided point of time; this time is indivisible. Change from the present body to the glorified body is instantaneous.
in the twinkling of an eye,
The “twinkling of an eye” refers to a very quick action. The transformation from the corruptible body to the glorified body will not be a long drawn-out process but an instantaneous action by God.
at the last trumpet.
There will be a trumpet call at the Rapture to summon Christians to heaven. This will signal the end of our present existence in corruptible human bodies.
1 Th 4: 16For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
For the trumpet will sound,
This trumpet is not the same trumpet of Revelation 11:15-18, for Christians will have been raptured before the trumpets of the Tribulation. Paul viewed himself as possibly participating in the Rapture (1 Th 4:15, 17). The Rapture is an imminent event, which means there is nothing that needs to be fulfilled before the event occurs. Paul did not know the time of the Rapture so he was in the same position as we are – waiting for the imminent coming of Christ.
The first trumpet in the Roman army was a signal to strike tents and get ready to depart. The second trumpet meant, “Fall in line.” The third and last trumpet meant, “Forward march.” The last trump for the Christian is a call to heaven, a change of residence.
and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Both dead Christians and living Christians will rise with bodies that will not corrode. God will transfigure, transform, and translate these bodies, making them fit for heaven.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption,
The New Testament uses the words “put on” for putting on clothes. The dead, corruptible body will put on incorruptible clothes. Not only will Christians not die again but also they cannot die again.
2 Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, 3 if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. 4 For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life.
and this mortal must put on immortality.
The “mortal” is subject to death. The word “immortality” only occurs in this verse and 1 Timothy 6:16 in the New Testament. The glorified body will be immortal, that is, not subject to death.
The Rapture will transpire in the twinkling of an eye.
There is no sign that needs to be fulfilled before the Lord comes at the Rapture. In a moment of time we will be translated from a state of corruption to that of incorruption.