Both, depending on your perspective.
For those of us who believe in the imminent return of Christ, these are exciting times. The signs pointing to His soon return are everywhere. For those concerned only with this present life and who either don't know or don't care about a Biblical worldview, these are trying times.
Ironically, the very events that frighten or depress those without a love for His coming, create a growing sense of anticipation in those of us busy waiting for His return. That's the beauty of Bible prophecy: It reveals your spiritual temperature.
For the prophecy student, world events are not arbitrary or accidental, but a carefully orchestrated plan with a divine purpose. Bible teacher Charlie Campbell explains what role fulfilled prophecy plays in validating our hope in the future as laid out in Scripture:
"Fulfilled prophecy is something that sets the Bible apart from all other religious books. There are 26 other books that people of faith (non-Christian) believe are divinely-inspired. And none of these writings contain any specific fulfilled prophecies. There are no fulfilled prophecies in the Qur'an, the Hindu Vedas, the Bhaqavad-Gita, the sayings of Buddha and Confucius, or in the Book of Mormon. The Bible on the other hand is filled with fulfilled prophecy. In fact 27% of the Bible spoke prophetically at the time it was written. And the authors of the Bible did not just predict a couple of vague things like Jeane Dixon or Nostradamus. The Old Testament alone contains hundreds of very specific prophecies that have already come to pass. The fact that these prophecies were literally fulfilled give us the intellectual basis for believing that future, unfulfilled prophecies regarding the rapture of the Church, the Thousand-year reign of Christ on earth, etc. would also be literally fulfilled."
Current events, viewed through the lense of Bible prophecy can (and should) have a purifying effect on the Christian's life. Why? Because as we see the world lining up precisely as predicted, the Bible comes alive for us. Jesus Christ becomes real for us. And the realization that we will stand before a holy God and give an account of our lives, motivates us to live in the way the Bible teaches us to live. What man views as a "good life" doesn't count. It is God's opinion that matters.
"We must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Bible scholar Dr. Ed Hindson warns, "The clock of human history is ticking away. It neither speeds up nor slows down. It just keeps on ticking continually and relentlessly, moving us closer and closer to the end of the age. How close we are to the end will only be revealed by time itself. Don't gamble with your eternal destiny. Time may very well be running out. Make sure you are ready when Jesus comes." Visit http://www.heaven-gettingthere.blogspot.com/ to find out how.
A wise man once said: "It ain't over till it's over." - Yogi Berra
"And now, dear children, continue to live in fellowship with Christ so that when He returns, you will be full of courage and not shrink back from Him in shame" (1 John 2:28).
- NBC News: UN to monitor US election process.
- Jerusalem Post: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad predicted the impending downfall of the "US empire," blaming the collapse on a combination of the country's massive debt and its loss of legitimacy within the international community.
- CNBC: Marc Faber, author of The Gloom, Boom, and Doom Report: "There is no fiscal cliff, there's a fiscal Grand Canyon. U.S. is in a colossal mess."
- USA Watchdog: Economist John Williams says the latest round of "open-ended" QE has set the table for a global "dollar sell-off and hyperinflation."
- Reuters: Violence surges on Israel-Gaza border as Palestinians fire dozens of rockets into Israel.