And why do we "meet the Lord in the air"? Because Jesus is NOT going to set foot upon the earth during the second coming. And the second phase of His return with the saints will be at the END of the 1000 year millennium. This is another misunderstanding that the rapture theory causes. Jesus is not going to rule on earth during the 1000 years. Instead, we are going to be in heaven with Him during this time, and the earth will be "laid waste" from His second coming. And only AFTER the 1000 years will we return to earth with Christ.