PERILOUS TIMES

My beloved spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ God,

CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.

PERILOUS TIMES

Man has believed the lie. He has not only eaten the forbidden fruit but justified his disobedient act. He has become the ultimate dupe: an apologist for Satan. He has rejected the Kingdom of God in order to reign over a pathetic little world of corruption. He has enslaved heart and soul in order to experience the passions of his fallen mind and body. He has denied virtue and been eaten up by vice. He has craved immortality, but only of the flesh.

"But know this," predicted Saint Paul two millennia ago, "that in the LAST DAYS PERILOUS TIMES WILL COME: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemous, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lover of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power" (2 Timothy 3:1-5).

TRUTH has been not only rejected but mocked. "Scoffers will come in the Last Days, walking according to their own lusts," wrote Saint Peter (2 Peter 3:3). Saint Jude described the same thing, "The Apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ… told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit" (Jude 17-19).

Having lost the ability to discern right from wrong many have turned, "as a dog returns to his own vomit" (Proverbs 26:11), to pagan idols. Proponents of the "New Age," for example, offer nothing at all new, but a restoration of demon worship by means of fanciful "spiritual" guides promoting a plethora of heathen teachings. "For the time will come," Saint Paul foresaw, "when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers, and they will turn their ears away from the Truth, and be turned aside to fables" (2 Timothy 4:3-4).

WHAT IS TRUTH?

Pilat’s great question has been dismissed as irrelevant. TRUTH is no longer a subject of legitimate inquiry. Having willfully closed the doors on authentic understanding, mankind’s only option is to devise his own "virtual" reality. Modern thought reflects this degeneration, having been reduced, in Father Rose’s words, to "AN EXPERIMENT IN THE POSSIBILITIES OF KNOWLEDGE OPEN TO MAN, ASSUMING THAT THERE IS Revealed Truth… The conclusion of this experiment IS AN ABSOLUTE NEGATION: IF THERE IS NO Revealed Truth, there is no truth at all."

In REJECTING TRUTH, man, being made in God’s image, HAS DENIED HIMSELF. He has willfully blinded himself to reality, the conclusive foolhardy act: "THE FOOL HAS SAID IN HIS HEART, ‘There is no God’ " (Psalm 14:1). For if there is no truth (often expressed more palatably as "all truth is relative"), then there can be no Christ God, who alone is "THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE" (John 14:6).

It should be mentioned that the rejection of Truth is at the heart of all demonic doctrines, for when the serpent contested God’s word, saying to Eve, "You will not surely die" (Genesis 3:4), was he not lying as well as claiming God had lied? Jesus called Satan a liar from the beginning, and Saint Paul understood the clear relationship between the false doctrines of demons and THE LOSS OF FAITH: "NOW THE Spirit expressly says that in latter times SOME WILL DEPART FROM THE FAITH, GIVING HEED TO DECEIVING SPIRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS" (1 Timothy 4:1).

People who DENY TRUTH, and thus their own nature, inexorably become either SUICIDAL or ANARCHISTIC. To all who think through the implications of the Lie, a brutal logic emerges: Why endure the "thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to," as Shakespeare put it, if life has no meaning? If there is nothing beyond the grave, no reward or punishment to come, why exercise self-restraint or show concern for others? Clearly, if there is no truth, the all things are lawful (which merely means, nothing is unlawfal). By this reasoning one should seize all possible pleasure regardless of cost, or elese put oneself beyond the reach of problems through extinction.

If A MAN IS NOT IMMORTAL, IF THERE IS NO TRUTH, THEN THERE CAN BE NO SALVATION. A SOCIETY IN DENIAL BECOMES A SOCIETY IN DESPAIR. And if man has lost even the inclination "TO BE SAVED AND TO COME TO THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH" (1 Timothy 2:4), WHAT PURPOSE DOES EARTHLY LIFE SERVE? Indeed, it has forefeited its justification for existence, claimed Archimandrite Constantine: If the sole basis on which the New Testament world exists [IS REJECTED]–that is, if humanity has ceased to accept for its own benefit the world-saving sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ–then, to a Christian awareness, the immediate trend of such A WORLD TOWARD ITS END IS AXIOMATIC. From this point of view, then, it is possible to say that each year which elapses brings us noticeably closer to the Last Judgment. IT SHOW A PROGRESSIVE PARALYSIS OF THE HUMAN WILL TO BE SAVED."

Archimandrite Panteleimon agrees, stating, "When the Gospel… attracts all those capable of accepting its message and being reborn through the grace of the Holy Spirit, then there will be no more reason for the present order to continue. The end of the world will come."

Stopping Apostasy

Some may entertain the hope that this tide can be turned–that the world’s ills can be healed and even a kind of rrighteousness established. AFter all, the ideal OF A NDW WORLD ORDER based on peace and understanding does seem on the surface to be a positive goal even Christians could support. But, like everything ASSOCIATED WITH THE ANTICHRIST, IT IS A DECEPTIVE PROPOSITION, A UNIFICATION AT THE LOWEST POSSIBLE LEVEL.

The unity esoused, leaves the only real Unifier Christ, out of the picture. Consequently whatever organization emerges from this effort WILL SUBJUGATE RATHER THAN ELEVATE, FOR THIS IS WHAT THE WORLD DOES BEST.

The Holy Scripture caution that the ride of apostasy, ultimately, CANNOT BE TURNED–THAT THERE WILL BE NO SURCEASE, BUT RATHER A CONTINUAL INCREASE, OF TROUBLES IN THE WORLD UNTIL THE ANTICHRIST HIMSELF APPEARS. "And in the latter time of their kingdom, when THE TRANSGRESSIONS HAVE REACHED THEIR FULNESS, a king shall arise, having fierce features, who understands sinister schemes" (Daniel 8:23, emphasis added).

The world is erminally ill because IT HAS REJECTED GOD. No human action CAN SAVE IT, and even the Lord declared, "I DO NOT PRAY FOR THE WORLD" (John 17:9). ONLY THE RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST IN GLORY WILL CALM THE WIND AND WATER WHICH THREATEN TO CAPSIZE BELIEVERS. Until then, Alexander Kalomiros explains, "any attempt on the part of Christians to change the course THE WORLD HAS TAKEN WOULD BE FUTILE AND RIDICULOUS. THE WORLD IS A SINKING SHIP, AND IT IS SINKING BECAUSE ITS VERY STRUCTURE IS ROTTEN. GOD DOES NOT ASK THE CHRISTIAN TO SAVE THE SHIP, BUT SAVE AS MANY OF THE SHIPWRECKED AS HE CAN."

The WAVE OF EVIL ROARING OUT OF A DARK SEA UPON MANKIND IS BEYOND HUMAN POWER TO STOP. The best Christian can hope for is avoidance. "DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STOP IT WITH YOUR WEAK HAND," urged Saint Ignatius Brianchaninov. "Avoid it, PROTECT YOURSELF FROM IT, AND THAT IS ENOUGH FOR YOU. Get to know the spirit of the times, STUDY IT SO THAT YOU CAN AVOID ITS INFLUENCE WHENEVER POSSIBLE."

The duty of the Orthodox Christian during the end times IS TO WATCH AND PRAY–TO BE READY WHEN THE Master comes. Only by maintaining VIGILANCE DO THEY STAND A CHANCE OF RECOGNIZING AND RESISTING ANTICHRIST. Only by standing guard through the night do they have a hope of salvation. And those who merely save their own souls in the last days will be doing well. It is recorded that a man came to a Greek elder (geronda) and asked, "What then is one to do in those timese and years?" The elder replied, "Child, in such days as those, he who can save, let him save his own soul,, and he shall be called great in the Kingdom of heaven."

God told Ezekiel that when a land sins against Him, the best any one can hope for is to save himself: "Even if these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they would deliver only themselves by their righteousness,’ says the Lord God" (Ezekiel 14:14). (Source: Ultimate Things. An Orthodox Christian Perspective on the End Times by Dennis E. Engleman)

_________________

"Glory Be To GOD
For
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

+ + +

With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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