Some of the questions that we hear discussed regarding eschatology, or the study of the end times, may not seem relevant to many people. However, there is certainly one question that will affect Christians some day. That question is: Will Christians remain on earth during the tribulation?
I hold to a Historic Pre-millenialist position. That's a fancy way of saying that I believe Christians will remain on earth during the tribulation. I believe the bible indicates that Jesus Christ's return will occur all at once, after the tribulation, when He comes to rule literally for 1000 years on earth.
My view is certainly not the dominant one in evangelicalism today. I have found that most Christians in the USA, whether they know the term or not, hold to a Pre-tribulation Pre-millenialist position. This position states that Jesus' return will occur in two parts. First, He will return just before the tribulation to rapture (catch-up) all Christians. Then, seven years later, at the end of the tribulation, Christ will come to earth to set up His millennial reign.
I encourage you to click here to read an excellent discussion of this topic. Although we can't be certain about this particular issue, we should at least be able to support our positions with scripture. Read and enjoy the discussion - and also read the comments (the views vary quite a bit).