Even in the Early Church there were those who were caught up in speculating about the end times. There was a problem with new converts even at the time of the Apostles who stopped working and did not contribute to the community, living off others because they saw signs of the end in their day. Throughout history there have been in every generation those who predicted the end in their day.
Just ten years ago there were predictions of the end of the world as we knew it because of Y2K. One of the predictions was that all the Nuclear Bombs would go off because of computer glitches. Now we have those who cite the Aztec Calenar and other non-Christian predictions to interpret the Bible as 2012 being the end of time.
As Catholics we believe that one day our Lord will return, and the world as we know it will end. We also place more importance on the end that each of us will face ourselves. Our Lord told us to be watchful, that the end would come as a thief in the night. Evangelical Protestants focus on the end of the world, promoting ideas not found in the Bible like the Rapture. While we cannot judge the souls of others, we see things radically differently than most Evangelicals, Most believe that once they say they accept Jesus, He can’t do anything but save them, even if they reject Him later, He can’t change the fact that they were at one point and forever saved.
As Catholics we believe that when we enter into a life with Jesus, His graces are a free gift to us, and we need to strive to live a life of holiness, if we fall, we can re-establish our relationship with Jesus, through His grace. So the end of the earth is of lesser importance than how we end our own lives.