The Rapture in the Bible is the event in which believers, both living and dead, will be caught up with the Lord Jesus in the air at the same time and enter, with glorified bodies, into eternity.
For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. (1 Thess 4:16-17)
Though it is debatable, it is believed by most that the Rapture will occur before the Tribulation period; this is also what the Bible clearly teaches. Before the Thousand Year Reign of Christ, God will pour out judgment on the people that turned their back on him – the people living in the time of this wrath will be living in the 7 year tribulation period. Before the Great Tribulation though, the Church will be raptured so that they will not go through that terrible time.
There are some signs of an impending Rapture that is very true for today’s generation. Almost every major prophecy that has to be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ has been fulfilled. (Just to be clear, the second coming and the rapture are two different events. The Second Coming pertains to Christ setting up his physical Millennial Rule after the Tribulation Period.) Based on Matthew 24, 1 Thessalonians 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 2 and Revelation 4-5, 7, 13 and 14, the Church will be around to see the Abomination of Desolation arrive because the Antichrist will appear on the world’s stage just before the Rapture.
Signs of the Rapture: Weather has become Stranger:
Essentially, the Rapture of the church is the beginning of the end. Christ will come in the clouds to gather together those that belong to him. After this, the Antichrist and the Beast will rise up in power and will unite the world under their banner. Their appearance will effectively usher in the final seven years of this world – the tribulation period. While the Tribulation is occurring on earth, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb will be taking place in heaven.
In the early years of the Tribulation, or perhaps just before it, the Battle of Gog and Magog will occur in which a huge army will attack Israel only to be defeated by them. Then, about three years into the Tribulation, the Antichrist will break its peace treaty with Israel and will set himself up in their temple as someone to be worshipped. This will cause many Jews to realize that Jesus is the Messiah and they will put their trust in him. As a result, rampant persecution will break out all over the world against anyone and everyone who believes in Christ.
Finally, at the end of the seven years, Jesus Christ will return with the Church and an angelic army to fight against the forces of the world for the Battle of Armageddon. When the world army is defeated, the Antichrist and the False Prophet are thrown into the Lake of Fire. After this, all the nations of the world will be judged and the righteous, those who rejected the Antichrist will enter the Millennial Kingdom and the rest will enter hell. After the thousand years, Satan will be released and he will wage one final war and will be defeated once and for all. Then the White Throne Judgment will take place where all the wicked that ever lived will be resurrected and brought forth from hell. They will be judged for their sins and will all be cast into the Lake of Fire.
Then God will create a new Heaven and Earth and his Children will live for eternity with him.
Before all of this happens, the church will be raptured. Regardless of the “when” and “how” the Rapture will take place, the important factor is that it will happen. Jesus will come back, the Church will be vindicated and at the sound of his name, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father.