To fully answer these questions, we must review the sequence of end-time events as written about in the Bible and how they affect both believers and non-believers. Though Biblical scholars differ in their understanding of these complex issues, they agree in their understanding of the effects of these events on those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
We are now in what is called the Church Age which began following Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection and the subsequent arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. This Church Age will continue until what is called the rapture, when we believers and all deceased believers in Jesus Christ will be “taken up” from the earth and be forever with Christ. As to your question ‘When’, it would appear we are getting closer and closer to this event. As mentioned in 2 Timothy 3:1-7 and elsewhere in scripture, “…. sin will abound and man will deny and even mock Christ at this time.”
Then a period of time known as the Tribulation will begin and last for seven years. During this period, there will be massive devastation and loss of life and there will be a world leader known as the Antichrist sitting on a throne in Jerusalem. It is described in the Book of Revelation.
Immediately following, a period known as the Millennium, i.e. 1000 years, will begin. It will be ruled by Christ and we as believers will be with Him as leaders. There will be also present those Jews and others who accepted our Savior during the Tribulation. This is generally referred to as the Millennial reign of Christ. Following this period comes the final White Throne Judgement by Jesus described in the Revelation to John at the end of the Bible. That ushers in the of the eternal dwelling for believers in the new Heaven and eternal separation from God (hell) for the non-believers.
While the exact sequence of the events I have just described may be debated, the important thing for you is to answer the question: Where will you be? Have you made your life’s commitment to Jesus?
If you would like to learn more about Jesus and his power to set you free from sin while offering you an opportunity to enjoy an eternity free from guilt, pain and shame, please go to our Next Steps page.