"The world will not get better, but increasingly worse until the point of tribulation on Earth," said end-of-times expert Pastor Phil Hotsenpiller.
"Halfway through that seven-year period, a leader with the mark of the "Beast" -- 666 -- will come to power," he told ABCnews.com. "We will begin to see pestilence, war, climate changes, all leading up to the battle of Armageddon, where all the armies will face off for the final battle."
In the judgment day that follows "tribulation," non-Christians will be relegated to eternal hell and believers will leave the earth with God.
Hotsenpiller packs in avid fans at his end-of-times workshops at the Yorba Linda Friends Church in Orange County, Calif., an evangelical megachurch that includes former President Richard Nixon as one of its founding members.
With artist Rob Liefeld, he has published a series of graphic novels, the first of which is "Armageddon Now." The book has already sold well and their company, 12 Gates Productions, is working on a CGI film based on the series.
Hotsenpiller reads current events from secular newspaper to his parishioners to illustrate that, "What we see today resonates."
"When 10,000 people show up for a workshop on Labor Day, it tells you there's a real interest in it," he said.
While the pastor believes in the literal description of the apocalypse, he knows the Bible has "poetic language" and hasn't yet seen any immediate signs of the world's demise.
"No, the world won't end in 2012," said Hotsenpiller. "But we are pretty damn close."
Even scientists may have some worries about the date, some say.
A 2008 report by the National Academy of Sciences "changed my life," said Lawrence Joseph, author of "Apocalypse 2012."
Joseph has worried about destructive solar storms that will be at their height at the winter solstice in 2012.
"The report said that the electric power grid was susceptible to solar blasts," he told ABCNews.com. "They come as close to the Supreme Court of scientific opinion. It's been an amazing validation of my work and my fears."
In 1859, Earth was hit by "wild and spectacular" solar storms in the so-called Carrington event. According to Joseph, the radiation was displayed in the Northern Lights, which were visible as far as the equator, disrupting telegraphs and creating small fires.
"You could read by the glare of the blast," he said.
Now, he worries that a newly reported hole in the earth's magnetic field will make it more vulnerable to the "billion-ton blast" of proton radiation.
"In the electrified society of today, a blast the same size as in 1859 would short out the electric grid and leave 130 million in the U.S. without electricity for months or even years," said Joseph.
Such an outage would not just shut down the Internet, but also shut down fresh water pumps and fresh food refrigeration, and hamper law enforcement and telecommunications.
"A couple of days would be challenging but livable," he said. "But some say it would take four to 10 years to recover from such a megablast."
Scientists recommend spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a network of registers, which might act like surge protectors to shield Earth against such an event.
"It's not the money or technology that's stopping us, it's the political will," Joseph said. "It's a matter of when, not if. All I can suggest is that we pray."