Here are four preludes to Christ’s Second coming, or four events that warn us that His coming is imminent:
1. The first prelude: the events of the seventh bowl of wrath (Rev. 16:17-21). As the demonized world armies arrive at Armageddon to do battle, God causes a great earthquake to shake the entire earth. Jerusalem will be split into three parts; all other cities of the world will fall into heaps of rubble; every island will disappear; all the mountains will be leveled; and huge hail will fall, each weighing about 75 pounds.
The voice from heaven saying, “It is done!” (v. 17) indicates that this bowl of wrath will complete God’s wrath and will mark the end of the seven year tribulation. So I suppose that the next three preludes are not meant to bring wrath, but to signal His coming. And these events may happen simultaneously or overlap each other.
2. The second prelude: many vultures will gather over Armageddon. At the point of this gathering many aren’t dead yet, however, it will be a clear sign of His coming and of the judgment that He will bring to unbelievers (Matt. 24:28; Rev. 19:17-18).
3. The third prelude: the sun and moon will be darkened (Matt. 24:29).
4. The fourth prelude: the stars will fall and the powers of the heavens will be shaken (Matt. 24:29). Luke’s gospel (Lu. 21:25) also includes the roaring of the sea and the waves—which is an indication of something happening in the heavens.
These four events are meant to warn us of His coming or to introduce His coming. We don’t know how long these preludes will last—but I don’t think they will last more than a few days. What is clear is that after the sky gets dark and the heavens shake, Jesus will appear in the sky.