Dear Ed & Doves:
I know you addressed your question to Paul so I hope you don't mind me jumping in on the topic with my thoughts.
I actually do not see any discrepancy. I often wondered about the apostle Paul saying that he hoped he wouldn't miss the better resurrection. What could he have meant by the better resurrection? And then there's the verse about praying to be spared, etc. Here is another apparent contradiction: Judgment begins in the house of the Lord and the Church will not go through the tribulation. And let us not forget the wise and foolish versions, two men in the bed and two women in the field.
I am left with the conclusion that there are two classes of Christians and that neither class will enter the tribulation. If that be the case then the only other option is that there are two pre-tribulation raptures. So what qualifies a Christian for the first and when is the first as well as the second harvesting? The world is spinning out of control in one sense and yet we know that everything is under control by our Sovereign. The ramping up is now so fierce that some think we have already entered the tribulation. The fiercest part of the ramping up is reserved for that class of Christian who was not ready for the early harvest and will finally be delivered close to the commencement of Daniel's 70th week on Rosh Hashanah.
If indeed the saints arise from their graves and the living are transformed on First Fruits and all go up 40 days later on Ascension Thursday then the wise virgins will be telling the foolish to go and nourish their growth in the power of the Holy Spirit for no one else can do it for them.