"WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH OCCUR?" -- has been a much debated question among Christians for some time. The only place we need to look for the answers is the BIBLE....And I think we'll find that God has given us some good answers.
The first set of scripture verses we usually turn to on the subject of The Rapture (or Christ catching away all believers to a meeting in the air) is 1 Thess 4:13-18, where we also find the most vivid description of the event itself.
When read with the first 12 verses of chapter 5 we pick up a clearer picture of why Paul was even addressing the issue. There was a misconception being taught that The Day of the Lord had already come. But Paul clarifies that it had not occurred because the meeting in the air with Christ had not occurred. He makes it clear in these verses that it is not wrath that we believers are waiting upon, but this meeting in the air (Rapture). And Paul further tells them that they may comfort one another with that knowledge.
Now, Paul clearly refers to this meeting in the air as comforting news while we wait...on the other hand, if we were waiting upon the wrath and judgment that will come with the tribulation period, then we could not be comforted at all. You might say, well believers will be preserved from those judgments and still go through the tribulation period. But this is not a reasonable assumption, because the tribulation judgments will affect the entire world and the conditions people are able to live in. Believers during that time (becoming believers during that time) will have to endure great hardship. But consider also that the Beast of Revelation 13 will make war with the saints and overcome them through terrible persecution that will take place during this time.... How could Paul possibly tell believers to be comforted if they were really waiting upon wrath, judgments and terrible persecutions that will be found during the tribulation period? Clearly he could not.
Paul tells them also that we (believers) are not appointed to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ...this is mentioned not in context of a salvation message, but of comforting present believers. Paul admonishes them not once but several times to be comforted by the Meeting in the air, because that is what we are waiting upon. Notice that even Paul was expecting to possibly be alive when that meeting occurred, "then WE who are alive and remain shall be caught up..." Paul was himself waiting on this event not the tribulation period. Now if that doesn't speak to the Rapture occurring prior to the Tribulation period I don't know what does. Still we have other evidences, such as the order of Revelation given in chapter 1 given by Jesus himself unto John (past, present then future) presented in that order. We then find the Church absent from the Earth and present in Heaven with God (Rev 4/5) before the Antichrist ever rides forth in Revelation chapter 6.
The point is this friends...we can be comforted, as Paul admonishes us, because the next even we are waiting upon is the Shout and the Trump of God as every believer living at the time or previously deceased rises up into the atmosphere to meet our Lord Jesus Christ among the clouds....Seven years later we will come with him from Heaven to the battle of Armageddon and !VICTORY!