Paul Wilson (13 Apr 2011)
"chiming in on 40 days for the dead in christ"

I think part of this goes back to Christ's resurrection and that the dead saints rose and went into town and appeared to many (matt 27:52-52). The thought is THEY were here for his 40 days and then went with him to heaven on ascension day so the dead in Christ will be here 40 days then ascend with the living to heaven. The problem is we don’t have proof they were her for FORTY DAYS after he arose. There was time between his rising and the Mary's coming to the tomb so there was time for the dead to appear to people however when the Mary's came to the tomb and Jesus spoke to Mary he told her NOT to touch her as he had not ‘ascended to the father yet’ but latter the disciples were able to touch him so at sometime after Mary talked with him, probably rather soon after, he ascended to the father and then returned. He could have, and most likely did, taken the dead with him then. Also when he ascended 40 days later there is NO mention of the dead rising with him. I would think that if they were there rising with him the apostles would have mentioned it. Also if they were on earth for 40 days I would have thought there would be some record of this somewhere. I would think perhaps one of the apostles would have mentioned it or perhaps a notable figure of the time.
The indication in scripture is the dead rose and stayed for a few hours or several hours, depending on exactly when he rose and how much time between his rising and talking with Mary, but my morning after Jesus talk to Mary at the tomb they went up with him to heaven and they stayed while he returned. So IF the dead at the rapture were to be exactly like the dead at Christ’s resurrection then they would at the most be on earth a few to several hours after they rise from the graves. But with the global 24 hour media we have if they stayed they would be spotted, surely someone would recognize some dead person and call police or local news, and then the rapture would not be like a thief for those not in Christ.
Another part of the 40 days issue is some say since Christ was here 40 days before he ascended we too must be. this usually includes the living in Christ as well but could be used to apply to only the dead. The problem with this is we, the church, do NOT have to do EVERYTHING Jesus did. example Jesus walked on water yet I don’t see people doing this, though given my obesity I sure it would be a sight for some to see a fat man walking on water, and I don’t think the church has to do that. Another example Jesus turned water into wine haven't seen reports of this being done by people. Imagine the money to be made with that talent. Though the winemakers might not think it so neat. If these things are not to be done by us then why should the 40 days be done by us either just the dead or both the dead and alive at the time of the rapture.
So personally I don’t think the dead will be here on earth for any period I think it will happen quickly. Because the world revolves and we are all on different times it will be day in a good part of the world when the dead rise and were go up in the air with them so with it happening instantly it will still be witnessed by millions of people when someone disappears right before their eyes especially by parents whose children vanish. ( I am not trying to start a discussion on age of accountability, that is a beast to be subdued another day, but we all know there are home where one parent is christian and the other isn't, or at least is CINO and doesn’t truly believe, and the children are christian and live for the Lord and that at the rapture the unbelieving or CINO parent will be left and the christian parent and children will be raptured.)
Also in First Corinthians it says “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed“ so the changing happens for them AND us at the same time so if they were here for 40 days we would then be hear in glorified bodies for those 40 days then join them in the clouds. Again I don’t see it necessary for the church to be here for that time in glorified bodies and if we were I am sure God would have had something written about a great multitude in heavenly bodies preaching to the masses for a time, 40 days or whatever, before the day of the Lord (tribulation) starts. Something so grand would surely not have been omitted by him in the bible.