Video from Desiring God
"We often say that our dead loved ones are “with Jesus now.” But Paul seems to say that Christians will meet Jesus at the second coming. Which is it? Recently we’ve received a lot of important questions on 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, the rapture text. Here’s one from Jonathan, who listens in from New Jersey. “Hello, Pastor John! It’s fairly typical to hear Christians say of someone who has died, ‘They’re with Jesus now.’ But in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–17, it sounds like Paul is saying that Christians who have died will meet Jesus at the second coming. Do Christians go to be with the Lord when we die, or will we meet him when he comes back to earth? I guess what I’m asking is this: When a Christian dies, what comes first: seeing Jesus or being raised from the dead?” from video introduction
2 Corinthians 5: 6-9
6 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.