THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST

My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,

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

THE SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOR
JESUS CHRIST
{The Resurrection Dismissal Hymn and Kontakion.
Kontakion. First Tone)

WHEN Thou, O God, wilt come to earth with glory,
and all things tremble, and the river of fire floweth
before the Judgment Seat, and the books are opened
and the hidden things made public, then deliver me
from the unquenchable fire, and deem me worthy to
stand at Thy Right Hand, O Most Righteous Judge.

"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west,
so also will the Coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the
carcass is there the eagles will be gathered together. Immediately
after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the
moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the
powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of
Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will
mourn, and then they will see the Son of Man COMING IN THE
CLOUDS OF HEAVEN WITH POWER AND GREAT GLORY. And He
will send His Angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they will
gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of
heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:27-31)

No one knows the exact time when the Second Coming shall take place. It was NOT REVEALED to the Apostles of the Lord. He did, however, permit for us to be aware of signs which have been expanded upon by some Saints. It is said that after the passage of seven thousand years of human history, one may expect the consummation. But prior to our Lord’s Coming, the Antichrist shall appear. Saint Hippolytos of Rome discloses that the Antichrist will be born of a defiled woman, claiming to be a virgin. He shall be a Hebrew of the Tribe of Dan. The latter, a patriarch, was Jacob’s furth son, whose mother was Bilhah (the maid of Rachel). Antichrist, in his own way, will attempt to emulate the life of Christ. He shall achieve this only by means OF ILLUSION REGARDING HIS TAKING OF FLESH AND BIRTH. Saint Paul, in any event, warns us and writes: "For the mystery of the lawlessness already energizing itself, only there is the one, who restraineth now until he should come to be taken out of the midst. And then the LAWLESS ONE SHALL BE REVEALED–WHOM THE LORD SHALL DESTROY BY THE BREATH OF HIS MOUTH, AND SHALL BERING TO NAUGHT BY THE MANIFESTATION OF HIS COMING–WHOSE COMING IS ACCORDING TO THE ENERGY OF SATAN IN ALL POWER AND SIGNS AND LYING WONDERS, AND IN ALL DECEIT OF THE UNRIGHTEOUSNESS IN THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING, BECAUSE THEY RECEIVED NOT THE LOVE OF THE TRUTH, IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE SAVED. And this account God shall send to them an influence of error for them to believe the lie, that they all may be judged who believe NOT THE TRUTH, BUT HAD PLEASURE IN THE UNRIGHTEOUSNESS [2 Thessalonians 2:7-12].

Now the torments, according to those enumerated in the Holy Gospel, ARE WEEPING AND THE GNASHING OF TEETH, WHERE THEIR WORM DIES NOT AND THE FIRE IN NOT QUENCHED, AND THE DARKNESS, EVEN THE OUTER ONE.

As for all the Church of God, they accept such beliefs. The Church maintains that those attaining to the delight of the Kingdom of the heavens will live together with God and the Saints, in a continual illumination and ascent. But those in torment and darkness, and other such states, FAR FROM GOD, THEIR SOULS ARE BEING CONSUMED, TORMENTED BY THEIR CONSCIENCE ON ACCOUNT OF THEIR CARELESSNESS, NEGLIGENCE, AND INDULGENCE IN FLEETING DELIGHTS, SO THAT THEY ARE DEPRIVED OF DIVINE ILLUMINATION.

The Day of the Lord

The holy Apostle Peter forewarns us, saying, "The day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a rushing sound, and the elements, being burned with intense heat, shall be disolved, and the earth and the works in it shall be burned completely. Therefore, because of all these thiings being dissolved, wht manner OF PERSONS ought ye to be in holy modes of life and acts of piety, expecting and earnestly desiring the coming day of the Lord, by reason of which the heavens, being set on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elments, being burned with intense heat, shall be melted! But according to His promise, WE LOOK FOR NEW HEAVENS AND A NEW EARTH, WHEREIN DWELLETH THE RIGHTEOUNSNESS (2 Peter 3:10-13).

Concerning That Day and Hour

The evengelists write: "But conerning THAT DAY and HOUR, no one knowth, not even the Angels of the heavens, except My Father, ONLY" (Matthew 24:36), and concerning that day or the hour, NO ONE KNOWETH, NOT EVEN THE ANGELS IN HEAVEN, NOR THE Son, except the Father (Mark 13:32). Saint Athanasios wrote: "Of that day or that hour no one knows not even He Himself–that is, when viewed according to the flesh, because He too, as human, lives within the limits of the human condition… Insofar as He is viewed according to His Divinity as the Logos/Word is to come, to judge, to be Bridegroom, however, He KNOWS WHEN AND IN WHAT HOUR HE WILL COME… VIEWED ACCORDING TO HIS DIVINITY, HE KNOWS, AND THERE IS NOTHING WHICH HE DOES NOT KNOW.

The Sign of the Son of Man

We are told that ‘then shall the sign of the Son of Man (Christ) appear in the heaven’ (Matthew 24:30). Saint John Chrysostomos says, "This is the Cross, being brighter than the sun–since the latter be darkened and hide itself–and IT WILL APPEAR…FAR BRIGHTER THAN THE RAYS OF THE SUN. Saint Kyril indicates that "the Cross shall be the Sign of His Coming. Lest a hostile power dare to counterfieted, we read. "And then shall the Sign of the Son of Man appear in the heaven, and then the Tribes of the earth shall mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:39). Now Christ’s own true sign IS THE Cross; A SIGN OF A LUMINOUS CROSS WILL GO BEFORE THE KING, PLAINLY DECLARING HIM WHO WAS FORMERLY CRUCIFIED, SO THAT THE JEWS WHO BEFORE PIERCED HIM AND PLOTTED AGAINST HIM, WHEN THEY SEE IT, MAY "MOURN TRIBE BY TRIBE", SAYING, This is He Who was buffeted,’ that is He Whose face fhey spat on, this is He Whom they bound with fetters, this is He Whom of old they crucified and set at nought… The Sing of the Cross shall a terror to His enemies; but joy to His friends who have believed in Him, or preached Him, or suffered for His sake. (Source: The Great Synaxaristes of the Orthodox Church)

(To be continued)

________________

"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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