People try to guess in vain: all their attempts are futile, and no matter how much a human mind can come up with, no one will know this mystery. God Himself said: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only”. Deepening this thought of Christ, Apostle Paul says that this day will come “as a thief in the night”, i.e. when people do not expect it, and it will be like in the Noah’s times: people drank, ate, had fun, married, and no one thought about anything until all were dead. By extension, Apostle Paul says: the end will come when from human’s perspective everything will be calm, when people will say: “peace and assertion”. Then the end will come! When people will think that everything is all right, then the destruction will come.
Involuntarily our thought is directed to the Gospel, to the Apocalypse, and even to the Old Testament while looking for an answer to this puzzle: so, when? However, one should approach this issue not with curiosity, but with prayer. Church does not bless morbid curiosity but condemns it. It does not even bless the reading of the Apocalypse where the coming of the Son of Man is disclosed in symbolic images. Look, at all times of the year the reading of the Apocalypse during the liturgy is not allowed, because it is a mystery.
So, what are people meant to know about it? Christ Himself specified the signs of the Second Coming to the disciples’ request to tell them when it will happen. These words of Christ were written down by three evangelists: Matthew, Mark, and Luke.
Violent Raids as China Increases Christian Persecution. Current Events Linked To Biblical Prophecies.
Everything is unfolding just as the bible foretold. Wars, Volcanic Eruptions, Earthquakes, Extreme Weather, Christian Persecution, Violence and more! Matthew 24:3-14 3 Now as He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”
And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.
For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.
And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all[a] these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.
All these are the beginning of sorrows.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.
And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.
And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Before turning specifically to the prophecies about Russia, I would like to summarize the general Orthodox teaching on what is to happen just before the end of the world. This will give us a context in which to place the prophecies regarding the future of Russia.
THE END OF THE WORLD
But why should we speak of the end of the world? Are we really living in the last times of this world? Why do we bind together the future of Russia and the end of the world?
Even secular writers speak of our “apocalyptic” times. And truly, the problems that plague the world today — the exhaustion of resources and food, overpopulation, the literal monsters created by modern technology, and especially weapons capable of destroying entire countries or even the whole civilized earth — all point to the approach of a crisis in human history quite beyond anything the world has ever seen, and perhaps to the literal end of life upon earth.
At the same time, religious thinkers point to the blossoming of non-Christian religious movements in our times and predict a “new age” in which a “new religious consciousness” will dominate men’s minds and put an end to the 2000-year reign of Christianity. Astrologers refer to the “Aquarian Age’ which they think is to begin around the year 2000. And the very approach of the year 2000 is enough to inspire in many minds the idea of a new epoch, somehow different from all the rest of human history.
Among many non-Orthodox Christians these ideas take the form of a teaching called “chiliasm” or “millenarianism” — the belief that Christ is soon to come to earth and reign right here with His saints for a thousand years before the end of the world. This teaching is a heresy that was condemned by the early Church Fathers; it has its origin in a misinterpretation of the book of Revelations (the Apocalypse). The Orthodox Church teaches that the reign of Christ with His saints, when the devil is “bound” for a thousand years [Apoc 20:3] is the period we are now living in, the whole period (1000 being a number symbolizing wholeness) between the first and second comings of Christ. In this period the saints do reign with Christ in His Church, but it is a mystical reign which is not to be defined in the outward, political sense that chiliasts give to it. The devil is truly bound in this period — that is, restricted in the exercise of his ill will against humanity — and believers who live the life of the Church and receive the holy Mysteries of Christ live a blessed life, preparing them for the eternal heavenly Kingdom. The non-Orthodox, who do not have holy Mysteries and have not tasted of the true life of the Church, cannot understand this mystical reign of Christ and so look for a political and outward reign.
And so it is that the future of the world, in which Russia obviously will have a central place, is bound up with ideas either of the end of the world in a physical sense, or the end of the civilized world as we know it and the coming of a new epoch of almost paradise-like qualities.
Some people have interpreted Russia’s place in this new era in terms of the heresy of chiliasm. In fact, if we look closely at the teaching of communism, which has taken possession of Russian society in these past 60-some years, we can see that it is a secular version of the chiliast idea; it teaches that a totally new historical era begins with Communism, that when Communism finally dominates the world there will be universal happiness and the liberation of mankind from everything that has bound it in the past, including religion.
Today, after sixty years of the Communist experiment in Russia, and a shorter period in other nations, we can see how foolish are the beliefs underlying Communism. The reality of Communism is not paradise on earth, but Gulag; mankind has not been “liberated” at all, but enslaved worse than ever before. But Russia, the first country to experience the Communist yoke, is also the first country to begin to wake up from it and survive it; despite the continued reign of Communist tyranny in Russia, atheism has not captured the soul of Russia, and the religious awakening that can be seen now is Russia is undoubtedly only the beginning of something immense and elemental: the recovery of the soul of a whole nation from the plague of atheism. This is the reason why Russia today can speak a word of significance tot he whole world, which is plunging into the same trap of atheism from which Russia is emerging; and this is why the future of Russia is so closely bound up with the future of the whole world, in a religious sense.
The events before the end of the world are described in a number of places in holy Scripture: the 24th chapter of Matthew and parallel places in the other Gospels; most of the book of the Apocalypse, especially chapter 8 and onwards; the second chapter of II Thessalonians; II Peter, chapter 3; several chapter of the book of Daniel; and other passages.
The Apocalypse describes these events in a series of visions: some bright and positive, relating to the fulfillment of God’s justice and the salvation of His chosen ones; and some dark and negative, relating to the terrible plagues that will come on earth for the sins of mankind. Sometimes we today emphasize the dark and negative side, seeing the increase of evil around us; but that comes from our faintheartedness and worldliness — we must look at the whole picture.
As the time of the end of this world comes near, it is true that there will be a time of tribulation such as the world has never seen [Matt 24:21]: there will be famines, plagues, earthquakes, wars and rumors of wars, persecutions, false prophets and false Christs, and the love of many (including Christians) will grow cold. But at the same time the Gospel will be preached to all nations, and those who endure to the end with the aid of Christ will be saved.
The evil and false religion in the world will culminate in the reign of Antichrist, a world ruler who will seem to bring peace out of the world disorder and will seem to be Christ come again to earth, reigning from the restored Temple in Jerusalem.
But there will be those who see through the deception. In particular, two Old Testament prophets who did not die will return to earth — Elijah to convert the Jews, and Enoch to preach to the other nations. The short reign of Antichrist — only three and a half years – will end in new disorders and wars, in the midst of which Christ Himself will come from heaven, preceded by the sign of the Cross, and this world will be consumed by fire and totally renewed, at the same time that the bodies of the dead will arise from the tomb and be rejoined to their souls in order to stand before God’s final judgment.
The human power is implemented in one way or another, and the end will come, when the world is ripe… Does a gardener leave a ripe apple on an apple tree? Never!
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