Tuesday, February 17, 2015

When will the Second Coming take place?

Countless books, articles have been written in regards to the end of the world. The entire world, during the past few years, has been frantic in regards to the Apocalypse and the Second Coming. However, what does the Church believe in regards to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos, explains that “when members of the Church cease to exist, the end of the world will come”[1]. I would like to add a personal belief on this matter. I believe the end of the world will come when we, the Church, its members, cease to pray.

No one knows when this will take place. In Acts (1:7) we read that: ‘it is not for you to know the times and the seasons, which the Father has determined by his own decision’. The Lord will come ‘as a thief in the night’ (1Thessalonians 5:2). This belief states, therefore, that we need to be prepared for it. The end is always imminent. The best depiction of this reality is to be found in Matthew’s Gospel (25: 1-13), where we read the parable of the wise and foolish virgins:
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him! Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out. But the wise answered, saying, No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us! But he answered and said, Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you. Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming”.
There should always be a sense of urgency in regards to the Second Coming of the Son of God. During Lent we are reminded of this reality, through the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, were we read: ‘My soul, O my soul, rise up! Why art thou sleeping? The End draws near, and soon shalt thou be troubled. Watch, then, that Christ thy God may spare thee. For he is everywhere present and fills all things’.

[1] Hierotheos, Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, The mind of the Orthodox Church, (Levadia, Birth of the Theotokos Monastery, 2000), p. 37

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