I remember when I started going from door to door back in the early 1980s, as Witnesses, we had to demonstrate that most people will live forever on earth, not heaven. So it feels strange to be making an argument that is designed to convince people that there will be Christians exalted to heaven. Let's begin with 1 Thess 4:17. Here is a journal article that makes a case for the passage in Thessalonians being one line of evidence which supports the idea of heavenly life for those "in Christ."
Please try this updated link. It works better for the journal article: http://www.bsw.org/Biblica/Vol-80-1999/1-Thessalonians-4-17-The-Bringing-In-Of-The-Lord-Or-The-Bringing-In-Of-The-Faithful/337/