I grew up at Nashville's Belmont Church in the 70s-80s, and the topic of Christ's return and the Tribulation was a regular topic; mom was seriously reading up on biblical prophecy, all the main writers on the End Times, Constance Cumbie, you name it. We even went so far as to consider buying a farm so we'd be prepared - I remember walking the fields of one property we looked at. She had books on edible plants (there was a recipe for batter-fried Queen Anne's Lace!) and would tell us all about the various evil things she'd learned about the New Age Movement.
As a result, I did not believe that I would live to grow up. I remember doing the math... I was 13, and if we lived through the 7 years of the end times (which in my fatalism I was inclined to believe; that the rapture would come at the end) I MIGHT live to be 20, and get to be married if I was lucky.
I'm 37 now, and have mostly forgotten those miserable years of high school and being scared that THIS DAY might be the one where it All Began... being terrified that the 40 years from the time when Israel was restored was THIS YEAR, and so it would surely begin now... I grew up scared, and am scared to this day; not of the end times, but of everything else in life that I now have to deal with.
Why am I saying all this? I don't know, precisely... I mean, I believe in preparedness if there is definitive proof that disaster is coming, but I learned to live my life as though disaster was always imminent, and you know what? It sucks. And it bleeds into other areas of my life too.
I'm not wise enough about these sorts of things to say whether disaster from our enemies is imminent - I know that plenty of knowledgeable people say it is. But 20 years ago they were certain it was on the horizon, and during the Bay of Pigs it was at their very door. So I don't buy anything from anybody, anymore, be it pundits or journalists or academics who really, really know what they're talking about, and I especially don't believe modern prophets - we had plenty of them back when I was 13 too... I have enough other things to be scared of in this world, like whether or not I might choke to death in my apartment and not be discoved until 3 days later.
La la la la la!