Ipsos Global Public Affairs recently conducted a worldwide poll (16,262 people in more than 20 countries) and discovered that nearly 15 percent of people believe the world will end during their lifetime. About 10 percent are convinced the Mayan calendar signifies it will happen in 2012. That calendar, which spans 5,125 years, ends on December 21, 2012. Others believe it will come through natural disasters, political events, or by the hand of God.
“Responses to the international poll of 16,262 people in more than 20 countries varied widely with only six percent of French residents believing in an impending Armageddon in their lifetime, compared to 22 percent in Turkey and the United States and slightly less in South Africa and Argentina. But only seven percent in Belgium and eight percent in Great Britain feared an end to the world during their lives.
“About one in 10 people globally also said they were experiencing fear or anxiety about the impending end of the world in 2012. The greatest numbers were in Russia and Poland, the fewest in Great Britain. ‘Whether they think it will come to an end through the hands of God, or a natural disaster or a political event, whatever the reason, one in seven thinks the end of the world is coming,’ said Keren Gottfried, research manager at Ipsos Global Public Affairs which conducted the poll for Reuters.” 
Those who are familiar with the Bible know that Jesus speaks of the “end” coming. Difficult times are ahead, but for the Christian, we have the assurance of salvation. God will not abandon His people when the world is shaken. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea” (Psalm 46:1, 2 NKJV).
Some live in fear and terror over the last days. There are people so depressed they wonder whether life is worth living. Others are obsessed with purchasing secret bunkers and stashing away survival resources. The Lord says, “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (v. 10). Our best training for the apocalypse is not found in purchasing weapons and bottled water, but in knowing God.
Christ’s first warning about the end of time to His disciples was, “Take heed that no one deceives you” (Matthew 24:4 NKJV). The first level of preparation for the final days on our planet is to understand what will happen and how to be ready. Clear knowledge about the Bible is step one. Taking that knowledge seriously is step two.
If you have not taken time to look deeply into what the Bible says about the coming of Christ, we invite you to attend an upcoming prophecy seminar listed on this page. One of our gifted Bible teachers will share with you clearly what Scripture—not a poll—says about the final events. There is a calendar with a final day. But only God knows the exact time. We can know from the signs around us that it is coming soon. What are those signs?