When I was 18, I was told I had less than two years to live. My heart was bad, I was going to need a transplant. Then my mother committed suicide a few days later. This secret stayed with me for ages until a few years later, when I decided to see just how bad everything was. And it turned out that I had been a little misdiagnosed. My heart is still bad, but seems to be okay apart from blood pressure and heart murmurs due to my birth defect. I may not see 50, but maybe I will.
There's a certain kind of... feeling you get when you think the world is going to end. You get a strange kind of dilated sense of progress that's really hard to explain. Time slows down if you think you're going to die. Like, really slow. But it's more than that. Everything looks different. Things that were important can become invisible, and things that you never noticed before may come into sharp focus. Accepting death gives one an inevitable sense of calm, too. I had one suicide attempt as a teen where I really thought I died. I mean, hell, maybe I did. Once you get past the "oh shit" feeling, and finally let go... things become overwhelmingly alright. You thought you knew what relaxing was before, that's nothing compared to accepting your inevitable end. Mattie Stepanek was a kid who wrote six best selling book of poetry on peace and love since until he died from muscular dystrophy at age 12. According to his mother, his last words were simple, "yes." It's because you have accepted your fate, and let go. In my case, I saw the tunnel, the light, and everything. Complete NDE. Then I woke up the next morning after having been convinced I had touched the afterlife. Maybe it was an illusion from the poison I ingested, but for a brief moment... the second I touched that light... I knew everything. All the answers to all the questions. A complete connection to everything. Absolute unity to all of creation.
I think a majority of humanity wants to get to that feeling. The fervor of all the latest turmoil, combined with the scare tactics of the media, combined with a feeling of helplessness overwhelms everyone from time to time. The temptation to give in, to give it all up, just to exchange that one moment is tempting for most, and a few will do anything to get there. Unable to cope, unable to deal with problems as small issues to process one at a time, they see everything as one big clog they cannot swallow anymore. And since many religious people have shunned education as "a tool of the devil," they won't have the coping tools they need.
The promise of the rapture must be tempting.
There are many thousands of these people who, as I type this, think there will be no Sunday. They will get sucked up, naked as the day they were born, into whatever they think Heaven is. To them, it all ends. The rest of us will get attacked by zombies and fire and who knows what else. Maybe they feel smug about it, I don't know. But the focus here is they may have accepted death. Many of them are very calm right now. "It's only another day before I get to Heaven." As they walk down the street, they may be thinking, "this is the last time I'll buy a Gatorade from that heathen Hindu Islum guy at the 7-11. Over the next few months, he's going to be attacked by dead people, and Jesus on his Tyrannosaurus with the Sword of Omens or something."
These are children. They are children in adult bodies who still believe in simple good vs. evil, fertile with childlike imagination not hindered by logic, and who cannot handle the burden of daily living in a society where there are little to no absolutes. They want --they NEED-- that security that Heaven is like the warm blanket they had as a child, lying in a meadow, where their tummies were filled with good things, and they never had bad thoughts. This is why the world seems "corrupt." They just want the bad, corrupt world to go away. Back to mommy's safe embrace.
And soon, when this Sunday comes and goes, when the reality of their continued existence will surely hit them... I think one of two things will happen. Some will go insane; they may commit suicide or go on a free-for-all anger spree, assured that they must kill all heathens for whatever sins they did to corrupt him and not lead him to Heaven. The rest will rationalize what happened, and after five months of false starts ("Jim... is that a dead guy coming from the gr-- no, just another rabbit."), they will cling to the next thing that will promise them suckling angel's teats.
It's gonna be a very bad day for many, many people on Sunday.