1 Thessalonians 4:13 is a continuation of 1 Corinthians 15. If we believe that there is the resurrection of the dead, then that means that we believe that Jesus rose from the dead and all those who fell asleep in Him, God will bring with Him, meaning, bring back to life as Jesus Himself was brought back to life. Verse 17 says nothing about the deceased returning with Christ.
Verse 16 says that when He descends from heaven, those who are dead will rise first. John 5:28 says, “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”
The dead will be in their graves not with Christ. When they are resurrected, come out of their graves and are gathered to Him, we who are alive will join them.
In John 6:40, Jesus says, “And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
He promised, “In My Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2, 3). These verses clearly show that when people die, they don’t go straight to heaven to be with the Lord. The righteous dead and living will go to heaven when Jesus returns. Martha knew this because when Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again”, her response was, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day” (John 11:23, 24).
While we watch and wait for the Lord to return, let us take comfort in the assurance that we shall always be with the Lord.