We continue with the Letters of Fr. John (Krestiankin) on the last days and the antichrist.
Dear in the Lord N.!
Man, no matter in what time he lives, whether he wants it or not, makes a choice that determines his future life in eternity. But what has been allowed by God cannot be stopped by even the most omnipotent arm currently in power, not even by mass protest. What has been determined by God will happen without a doubt. But when, and how? This is not given to us to know, and the Scriptures warn us against the desire to know, for the Lord has placed this within His own authority.
Did not our Lord Jesus Christ raise His high priest’s prayer for all the faithful in all times? Read carefully the Gospels according to St. John, chapter 17. There you will find an answer to all of our worries, which are nothing other than doubt and wavering faith. Pay particular attention to the words, I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil (Jn. 17:15). All of our Divine services, all of the Holy Scriptures speak of the unconquerable weapon of faith—“He whose hope is in the Lord shall not fear, when He cometh with fire and punishment to judge all things” (second Antiphon, eighth tone). Of course, the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (II Pet. 2:9).
Nowadays everyone is silent about the Lord, about His omnipotence, mercy, and love. Only one thing is heard: that the enemy is deceiving now, and if not now, then definitely tomorrow. Doesn’t the question come to your mind as to why there was general silence when the bar code with three sixes was placed on all food products and items of mass consumption? Everyone gulped it all down, and continue to calmly eat everything that is sold in the market. Meanwhile, the bar code was taken off the tax identification document, and it is not even necessary to write an application, but the uproar continues, and there is no end to it. Lie weaves into lie, and simple-hearted people run from the Church in fear and confusion; they run from the saving ark, where the Rudder is the Lord Himself. Just look at the magnitude of sabotage the enemy has planned and carries out today.
As for bar codes: If we currently take a look at them from the standpoint of a believer, what can we say? To an unbeliever they are nothing terrible, for unbelief itself is the seal of the coming destruction, about which such a person does not even think. But neither is the believer threatened by these three sixes, for we have in our hands, hearts, and minds an effective Divine seal—the Sign of the Cross, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them (Mk. 16:18).
We who are guarded by the Sign of the Cross shall oppose our enemy, and shall not be afraid of his deceit or tricks…. Lord, Thou hast given Thy Cross to us as a weapon against the devil (not only against the three sixes, but against the devil): He trembles and quakes, not able to look upon Its power; for the dead are raised and death is destroyed….
This happens only through faith in God and undoubting hope. But without faith, everything is terrifying and life itself is not worth living.
So what have we? Is our church inheritance, the Divine services, nothing more than an imaginative work for the evocation of heart-rending emotions? No, no, and again, no! For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword…. Holy Hierarch Philaret (Drozdov) said that he would not believe even the obvious if it contradicts Scripture. There is the power of faith for you.
Dear N., live by faith. Work at your job and perform it as an obedience to God. Not everyone is supposed to run around the church with a floor mop, not everyone is supposed to become a servant in the altar, but only at God’s call and through love for podvig, for this is the service of martyrdom.
People also need engineers, doctors, and teachers—all are needed. There are no superfluous people in the world. Important is not what we do, but rather how we do it, and in Who’s name. This is where salvation is. Everything that is not of faith is sin.
Forgive me magnanimously. I am very old, and I just keep on living by the old understandings about faith and salvation. Godly men placed these understandings in me—holy men, who are now abiding amongst the hosts of Russian New Martyrs. This has been enough for me for all of my long life.
I ask your holy prayers for my infirmities.