Q: Please level with me. Is there any way to prevent the Gog Umagog (Armageddon) war, or is it really too late, and all we can do is buckle up? Will the war take place when the Mashiach comes? If so, what is the point of hastening the redemption?
A: True prayer, together with Torah and mitzvot ("commandments")), sweetens all judgments. The true and complete redemption can be hastened by the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvot and sincere prayer to G-d!
Q: I saw on the internet a call to repent before Mashiach comes. Otherwise, they prophesize terrible catastrophes will take place. Is this true? I find it terribly frightening.
A: It is forbidden to dwell in one's thoughts on fear. One must fear only God! Do not be afraid of anything else! The Ba'al Shem Tov, through his teachings, sought to nullify the approach of coercive threats. One must believe with complete faith, (which awakens joy in the heart) that the redemption is very close and that it will be with loving-kindness and mercy. Am Yisrael ("The Nation of Israel") in our generation merits the coming of Mashiach, and he will surely arrive soon!
Certainly, it is important to purify one's heart and one's actions of any foreign influence which is not in keeping with the Torah.