I thought this would be an interesting topic to bring up, since I just finished reading a book on "the end times" and also because I see many people on here make comments concerning the anti-christ and the 2nd coming of Christ. The below book explains quite simply that the anti-christ is NOT right around the corner, because there are certain key events which MUST happen (per the teachings of the Church Fathers, Scripture and private prophecy) before the anti-christ appears. These sources are unanimous in teaching that we are headed for some very rough times, both spiritually and temporally - but this is of short duration. Then the Church is restored, society is at peace, the Holy Roman Empire returns, and catholicism reigns supreme. After this 'period of peace', then the anti-christ appears on the scene to wrap up the history of the world.
The book I just read is called "Trial, Tribulation & Triumph: Before, During and After Antichrist". Written by Desmond A. Birch. It's a very scholarly and well-researched book, and also very easy and enjoyable to read. The main reason that I bring this up is because we must all be reminded that the Church has a vast amount of teaching on the issue of the 'end times' and often it is forgotten. However, such teachings are both consoling and important, for they bring hope for the future and remind us that the future for the Church is not unknown. Especially in times of darkness and despair, God gives us insights and "mile markers" to help us, in a general sense, know where to go and what to believe, so that we may not be decieved by protestant thinking or false interpretations of scripture.
The Church Fathers are invaluable on this subject, because they learned directly from the Apostles. And the Church has said that when the Church Fathers agree on a subject, it is considered part of Tradition (i.e. infallible). These men wrote so much on the "end times" that we must take their teachings very seriously. Here is en excerpt from the book:
"The Oral Tradition of the Church on this subject, much of which was subsequently committed to writing by the Church Fathers, is voluminous. Many of the Fathers wrote entire books on the Totality of Apostolic Tradition (which includes oral Tradition) which came down to them about the "latter and end times". Some wrote entire books on the specific subject of anti-christ alone. Many of these books survive down to this day."