June 24, 2021

True Orthodox Diocese of Western Europe

Russian True Orthodox Church (RTOC)

HOMILY ON THE TIME OF THE COMING OF THE ANTICHRIST BY HIS EMINENCE ARCHBISHOP TIKHON FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN TRUE ORTHODOX CHURCH – Unofficial English Translation

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May 10/23, 2021

How to treat the question of the time of the coming of the Antichrist, in what form the answers to it should be given and what information should serve as the basis for solving it – we find an indirect indication of this in the speech of Jesus Christ about the last times, about His second coming and about the end of the world. Jesus Christ, when He said that no one knows about the day and hour of His coming except God, and that it will come as suddenly and unexpectedly for people as the flood suddenly came for the careless contemporaries of Noah (Mt. 24:36-39; Mk. 13:28-37; Lk. 21:34-36), at the same time clearly showed that His coming will be completely unexpected only for people who are careless, sinful, and completely immersed in everyday cares. And be taking heed to yourselves, – He says – lest your hearts should be weighed down with carousing, and drinking, and cares of this life, and that day should come upon you suddenly (Lk. 21:34).

Even from these words, it is clear that for people who are not infected with these vices that lead to carelessness, the coming of the Lord will not be unexpected. Even more: people who are awake, faithful and prudent servants, before the second coming of Christ, foresee the nearness of His coming; because, observing the events of their time and noticing their complete similarity to what the Scriptures foretell will take place before the second coming of Christ, they foresee that this event will soon come to pass. They will not know exactly on what day or in what time it will come, but they will fully believe that it is coming. Behold the fig tree – said Jesus Christ – and all the trees. Whenever they at once put forth leaves, ye see and know for yourselves that already the summer is near. So also ye, whenever ye see these things coming to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is near(Lk. 21:29-31). And when the leaves are not yet unfolding, when there are no other signs of spring, we say that summer is far away. Similarly, if there are no events unfolding that will precede the second coming of Christ, we can say that there is no reason to soon expect it…

But could it be that Jesus Christ gave permission and exhortation to watch for signs of His second coming only to those people who will live before His second coming, because only then will those signs be revealed, just as leaves only unfold in the spring? No, Jesus Christ directly said: Now what I say to you, I say to all: Be watching. (Mk. 13:37). Be watching then; for ye know not when the lord of the house cometh — at evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning — lest coming suddenly he should find you sleeping (Mk. 13:35-36). Be taking heed, be vigilant, and be praying; for ye know not when the time is (Mk. 13:33), – in what hour your Lord cometh (Mt. 24:42). Keep on becoming ready, for in what hour ye think not, the Son of Man cometh (Mt. 24:44). Be vigilant then, in every season entreating (Lk. 21:36). The inability to foresee the time of the Lord’s second coming, and His prediction that He will come suddenly, is precisely what motivates us to stay awake, to always be ready to meet the Lord. Of course, it is primarily moral wakefulness that is meant here: freedom from an excessive attachment to the earthly and from coarse vices, moral purity, a religious disposition, and frequent remembrance of the afterlife.

But moral purity and heightening also make the mind sensitive and discerning. Holy people, even without extensive knowledge, understand the spirit of the times and the meaning of the events taking place in the world better than people who possess knowledge but are blinded by passions, prejudices, and one-sided and perverse teachings. With a moral wakefulness, one cannot help but have a sound and broad view of things; and when it reaches a high degree – then a person becomes able to penetrate the mysteries of existence, for example, to foresee the future. The exhortation to moral purity and vigilance is at the same time a call to remember more often the end of the world and the second coming of Christ, and to reflect on the direction and order of modern life. The morally pure have the greatest aptitude and ability to understand and evaluate the signs of their time, and are less in danger of falling into gross error on the question of the time of the second coming of Christ. However, Jesus Christ directly calls not only for moral, but also for mental wakefulness: Be taking heed, be vigilant(Mk. 13:33),He says. And since no one knows when Jesus Christ will come, since regarding the day of His coming; as a snare shall it come upon all those sitting upon the face of the whole earth (Lk. 21:35), then no one can say with absolute certainty that this day will not come during his life; therefore, each and every one of us should be ever ready to meet this day.

Of course, in times of prosperity and peace, people naturally become careless, they do not think that the world may soon be destroyed, and even the most vigilant and cautious have little reason to expect the terrible calamities that will precede the second coming of Christ. However, even those who live in times of peace should not forget the words of the Apostle: the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief at night. For whenever they say, “Peace and security,” then sudden destruction standeth over them(1 Thes. 5:2-3). The world can sometimes be deceiving. We have already cited the example of the first French Revolution, when a time of peace was suddenly followed by terrible bloodshed. Therefore, let not only the young man, but also the man in his old age, be deceived by the idea that prevailing peace and prosperity guarantee that the day of Christ cannot come in his time. It goes without saying that this idea should be entertained even less by people who have to live in difficult times. But if, therefore, no one, no matter in which time he lives, no matter how peaceful and remote his time may be from the end of the world can be sure that the day of Christ will not come in his lifetime, it is clear that each and every one of us, people of all ages, must be not only awake and constantly ready to meet the Lord, but must also observe present-day reality in order to know if the harbingers of that day are already approaching. “Do not cease to examine the Divine Scriptures, do not cease to ask your mother Church when the desired Bridegroom will come; ask and inquire about the sign of His coming, for the Judge will not turn away. Do not cease to ask until you know exactly; do not cease to seek the help of those who know exactly.” This is what Saint Ephraim the Syrian teaches.

Let’s us conclude:

1. The heretical servants of the Antichrist in cassocks and metropolitan robes brazenly, openly, and repeatedly lie to us when they refer to the words of the Lord Jesus Christ, saying that no one can possibly know the time of the enthronement of the Antichrist. The Lord clearly and unequivocally said that this is why He hid this time from us, not for any other reason, but to keep us awake, watching ourselves and what is happening in the world and not to make a mistake in recognizing the enemy. The one who is not asleep, without any doubt, he will see what is going on and where it is leading us. And he will understand who and where the enemy is. This is why the servants of the Antichrist have a big job – to put those who sleep in an even deeper sleep.

2. It’s especially sad for people in their old age; they’re already having a hard time, and it’s going to get worse from here. In vain did many of them “deceive themselves into thinking that the prevailing peace and prosperity vouchsafed that the day of Christ could not come in his day.” This, of course, applies more to residents of Europe and English-speaking America. But the carelessness of us Russians at the slightest improvement in life is astonishing, even the illusory “improvement” since the 1990s, which was pointed out to us by our detractors in the 2000s.

3. Professor A.D. Belyaev wrote his work even before the revolution, and he himself could not imagine how right he was when he said that “the world can be deceptive.” Most of the signs of the Antichrist’s imminent enthronement came to be in the very first years of the Civil War. God, however, has given us 100 years to repent. Have we become better during this time? Are we any further from the Antichrist? You’d have to be crazy to answer in the affirmative.

Why are we witnessing all of the signs of the imminent enthronement of the Antichrist, but still do not really perceive it?

Because we have all become accustomed to the unbearable stench of the Antichrist.

We all dream of living in peace and having fun… but unfortunately the problem is already in front of our eyes.

People are assigned commodity codes, electronic personal identifiers, without which they cannot take a step. People are being injected with unknown things under the guise of vaccines, and they promise to inject them regularly from now on… everyone, all people on earth, at the same time. What other sign do we need? Isn’t the enslavement of the entire population of the earth a sign of the Antichrist’s enthronement? Is there supposed to be some other world ruler before the Antichrist? In general, it is a time to wake up and think, what are we are going to do…

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