Time seems to slow as the clock ticks down. Pan-Con Airlines captain Rayford Steele prepares for a flight to London with beautiful flight attendant Hattie Durham. Because of his wife's newfound faith, Rayford looks forward to time, and the possibilities, with Hattie.Journalist Cameron "Buck" Williams is in Israel when the Russians attack, and he experiences for himself the miraculous deliverance of the Holy Land. Buck cannot deny Chicago bureau chief Lucinda Washington's insistence that the event was prophesied in Scripture, though he dares not consider the personal ramifications.Meanwhile, Nicolae Carpathia eliminates any obstacles in his path to power. As the newly appointed president of Romania, Nicolae is invited to speak before the U.N.Without warning, millions disappear and are welcomed into the unspeakable presence of God.