You won’t find any conscious believer in the Church who doesn’t know that the world we live in won’t last forever, who has never read the Revelation of St. John the Evangelist and has no idea about the events which will precede the end of human history on the earth and the Second and Glorious Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, there is a part of the Church community that not only remembers that the Apocalypse will eventually take place but anxiously anticipates it.
Without a doubt, we are called to pay attention not only to what happens in our hearts but to what goes on in reality around us. According to the Savior, we should discern the signs of the times (Mt. 16:3). And, as St. Ignatius (Brianchaninov) wrote, it is necessary to discern and sense the spirit of the time in order not to succumb to its anti-Christian effect, and to remain free from its anti-Christian influence as much as possible.
But I would like to remind you about another important thing: be self-possessed and sober-minded people, keeping in mind the Apostle Paul’s exhortation:
We beseech you, brethren…, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (2 Thess. 2:1-2).
Most of us still well remember the “storm” that “raged” not long ago: not in a “teacup” but in the vast expanses of Russia. It was about taxpayer identification numbers as “the seal of the antichrist.” Many a lance was broken over this issue. How many new “martyrs” and “confessors” appeared, struggling against our State and Church hierarchy! And how much foolishness was revealed! The concept of the “pre-seal” [i.e. preliminary seal with the number of the apocalyptic beast.—Trans.] alone speaks volumes. In time the passions calmed, only the term “INN-ites”—“the fighters against tax identification numbers” (a group of people who are seemingly in the Church but not completely)—remains.
And now a new “storm” has broken out around the idea of injecting chips in people, irradiation, vaccination of the population through which people will be “chipped” as some speculate, and an “electronic concentration camp”, in which all of us will be doomed to destruction. This situation, though provoked by the current coronavirus epidemic, had been brewing for a long time.
I will be frank: I am sure that the possibility of planting chips in people is real, so the universal chipping of people is a question of time and technical specifications. I am very skeptical about global vaccination, its appropriateness and safety, all the more so because, according to many experts, any vaccination against a continuously mutating virus is an illusion, a fantasy, or, to be more exact, delusion. The “electronic concentration camp” sounds menacing, but in many ways it has almost been built.
But that’s not the point. The point is that I don’t want to live in terror in the face of all of this; I just want to live a Christian life, without fearing anything and without dying before my death.
Like many other priests, every day I have to answer many questions, such as, “What should we do if this happens soon? It’s already happening now!” I answer people, but above all I answer myself.
First and foremost, we need to understand that it is still not happening. True, there are extremely favorable circumstances for this to happen, but nobody knows whether it is going to happen right now or not. So it’s not worth shouting for help at the moment, otherwise we will only make everybody laugh and then no one will believe us. Let’s look back at history: this is a brilliant opportunity to compare events of the past with what we are experiencing now. And we will see that the world has many times experienced events that made people believe that they were apocalyptic (plunging them into the “Apocalypse Now” state). Natural disasters, epidemics (including those far more dangerous than COVID-19), the collapse of the old world and the birth of a new one, bloody wars and, lastly, the most terrible of them—the Second World War that disrupted the lives of tens of millions of people. It seemed that Doomsday was at hand… But no, the end of this earth hasn’t yet come and it hasn’t been replaced with new earth.
Unarguably, modern times are essentially different from the recent past, let alone the distant past. Technology has made an incredible step forward. Information technology and biotechnology are reshaping economic and political reality before our very eyes. Human beings are changing even more swiftly, yet they remain human beings. This brings new opportunities for the future antichrist and his like-minded team, and explains the mechanisms by which he will achieve the results we read about in Revelations, serving as an illustration to that book.
But we still can’t say that the antichrist will come tomorrow or even the day after tomorrow. We just can state that today we have moved closer to that point—perhaps it is very close now. And the question arises: What of it?
Why should our recognition of this reality bring confusion accelerating into panic? Why this idea that we should either stop doing everything immediately or wholly devote our energy to resisting Bill Gates and 5G towers worldwide? Where does this fear come from that paralyzes our will, turns into aggression, and then into a fruitless stupor?
Glory be to God, this is not the state of most people in the Church. But the trouble is that alarmism is infectious, its representatives are active and noisy, and they disturb the peace of mind of each other and those around them. Looking at them from outside, the world gets a strong impression that this is what all Christians are like. And we Christians are indeed being gradually infected by this virus of fear and despair; at some point we find that it is literally eating us away from the inside.
Moreover I want to remind both others and myself that we should live today, no matter how we imagine our tomorrow—awful, oppressive and unbearable or promising and wonderful. This “tomorrow” hasn’t yet come, but there is today with all its needs and work, with the need to make decisions, actions, combat difficulties, bear sorrows courageously and give thanks to God—both for all this and for the joys, which are plentiful. And the following words of Christ have always been and will always remain relevant:
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof (Mt. 6:34).
Don’t wait for the antichrist, don’t prepare for his coming. Instead wait for the Lord and learn to live with Him already in this moment. This fear, pain and confusion indicate how far we are from the Lord now and how little we resemble His disciples! Otherwise, there would have been no such fear…
And should we truly concern ourselves with the current events, “the signs of the times” that threaten and confuse us, it would be to remove everything that prevents us from being with Christ and stands in our way to Him; we should open our hearts to Him and let Him into their depths. And then He Himself will teach us what to do and show us how to get through many very harsh trials without any detriment to our souls.
This is in our power. This is something that depends on us. As for the rest—the rest is illusion and fantasy, like the “miracle vaccine”. It’s the same delusion.