There are no Surprises

Submitted by FatherAthanasios on Thu, 09/02/2021 - 08:18

Over the centuries people have taken advantage of fear tactics to spread false predictions about the return of Christ. Thousands of pages have probably been written describing in details various end of times prophecies. As of today, none have come true. This is both a good thing and a bad thing.

The good thing is, that we still are alive with time to repent. The bad thing is, we still think we have plenty of time to repent. The earliest Christians believed Christ would return in their lifetime, so their lives reflected more intensity and priority. After generations of “not this year,” eventually we have forgotten the promise of Christ to return. But we shouldn’t be surmised. Christ told us as much.

The Lord said to his disciples, "He who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come. "So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains; let him who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house; and let him who is in the field not turn back to take his mantle. And alas for those who are with child and for those who give suck in those days! Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. Then if any one says to you, 'Lo, here is the Christ!' or 'There he is!' do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and show great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Lo, I have told you beforehand. So, if they say to you, 'Lo, he is in the wilderness,' do not go out; if they say, 'Lo, he is in the inner rooms,' do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of man. Wherever the body is, there the eagles will be gathered together." – Matthew 24.13-28

As part of His promise, many will ‘fall away’ from the Church, having lost hope in Christ. Many will have chosen to follow the secular world rather than the Church, oftentimes due to lack of good mentorship with the Church. Other times their departure will be due to false teachers within the Church. Presuming we believe Christ, and there is always reason to believe Him, as the end draws near there will be more people leave the Church than remain. “And if those days had not been shortened, no human being would be saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.”

I’m not suggesting we will live to see the end, but if we lived AS IF we were going to see the end, our lives would be different. That’s the message I have for you today, as the New Year gets underway. Live as if the end is near. Live as if you will be judged soon. Live as if you believe the promise of Christ, and then remember there are difficult days ahead. Our Lord calls them “great tribulation,” so when they come, don’t be surprised.

This week is a good time for a Spiritual New Year Resolution. Call your spiritual father and make an appointment for Holy Confession. Get back on track. Don’t be surprised!

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