War in the Middle East, "massacres" in the US, terrorist attacks in the world capitals ... It seems that we are no longer afraid of emergency inclusions on the air of information channels - we just find out where this time and how many victims are. We go into details, versions - as if they can find a miracle recipe in them, how to live with all this. But there is no recipe - there is only an understanding that the familiar world is collapsing. And there are a lot of TV programs - about the disappeared civilizations, about the planet Nibiru, about the "prophesies" of Vanga ... By the way, somehow they began to show in the last couple of years of Hollywood catastrophes ... Perhaps because the "apocalyptic" is tense in reality itself?
About how "how much remain to us" as to mankind and what spiritual errors give rise to us panic fear of collapse of everything and everything, the abbot Nektariy (Morozov) reflects.
End of the world
In our time, very much is said about the end of the world, and among believers, and among people completely non-church. And all this - in different interpretations and framing all sorts of fears.
It is quite obvious that there is a certain periodicity with which conversations about the end of the world on the globe arise and then gradually fade. The reason for this is, above all, the instability of the world in which we live. He, by and large, is always unstable, but there are times, especially fearsome. At the moment, we also see a lot of things that cause despondency in someone, despair in someone, outrage and anger in someone. And there is a feeling that there is nothing to hope for in the world around him that a person is a grain of sand, his life and death do not bother anyone, nobody cares about him - we can say that now this is more or less a general feeling, and it sharpened. And on this basis - which is also, in general, typical - there is an interest in all sorts of mysticism - from the free interpretation of the Apocalypse to the study of the Mayan calendar, appealing to which we were predicted the end of the world in 2012.
There is a feeling that there is nothing to hope for, that a person is a grain of sand
How to relate to this kind of talk, rumors, "research" a believing person? On the one hand, unlike the rest of the world, we are absolutely sure that sooner or later all the apostle and evangelist John the Divine will be predicted in the Revelation. Moreover, we have a clear idea of what will precede the demise of the world and exactly how it will occur, because this is told in the Revelation. And on the other hand, we, again, unlike all the others, have a reason to not be afraid of these future events, for it is said in the Gospel: When it begins to come true, then be lifted up and lift up your heads, because your deliverance is approaching ... <...> know , that the Kingdom of God is near (Luke 21, 28, 31). These are the words of Christ Himself, and they are addressed to us, and not to someone else. However, instead we see that it is in our environment - the environment of Orthodox Christians - that sometimes the most ridiculous panic rumors are born, some confusion arises that does not agree with the clarity, firmness and prayerful sobriety we should have to the limb the existence of this world.
We choose what we live by
What spiritual errors, thinking about the end of time, do believing people? First of all, this is what could be called a belief in non-prophetic prophecies. Everything that had to be predicted to mankind about the end of the world is predicted in the Holy Scripture - there will be no other prophecies and "additional" revelations. Therefore, as soon as someone starts to speak, as if he knows something else, we can immediately tell ourselves that this is not true.
Another common misconception is the belief that the world is moving - or, at least, should move - along the path of spiritual flourishing. In fact, we are not approaching, but moving away from what was the spiritual focus of the history of the world - we have very little grace, and in our day we no longer see the greatest holiness that was inherent in the early Church. This impoverishment, grinding - a natural process, which will continue and become more aggravated until the end of time. And in the last times there will be God's saints, as the holy fathers said, but they will be almost invisible among other people, because their making is "dissolved by humility."
All that is said in the Apocalypse will be revealed to the people clearly
And yet another misconception (or, more precisely, the fear that one sometimes has to face) is the fear of believers in some way accepting the seal of antichrist before the Antichrist appears. Accept not as a choice, but somehow inadvertently, by thoughtlessness. In recent years, even a false doctrine of "pre-press" has appeared: allegedly a person, without really understanding anything, can accept it, and then the Antichrist will come and by default "trample" all these people as "his own." All this unhealthy fantasies - there are certainly no doctrinal grounds for them. As for the assertion that a person can "not notice" the coming of the Antichrist. No, everything that is said in the Apocalypse will be revealed to people quite clearly. And each of us, if it happens, that this time will come in our life, will make a choice, although in a critical situation for himself, but nevertheless consciously and freely.
And it is very important that this choice will undoubtedly be conditioned and prepared by our whole previous life - the choice we make every day, hourly, sometimes even every minute. In fact, the whole set of alternatives boils down to two: we listen to our own conscience or we neglect it.
The World Conspiracy?
The theme of the end of the world is closely related to the theme of secret societies - Masonic or any other. Someone believes in this and explains for themselves from this point of view all the social and moral processes, someone ridicules this and considers it nonsense. And again, before the believer a question arises that is reasonable to this relationship.
The Lord will stop the existence of the world when the meaning of this being will be lost
First of all, there is no need for illusions: in the world in which we live, there is an ongoing struggle for power, and only together with this world will it end. And it is difficult to imagine that there are no people in it who are fighting, including, for secret world domination. But the end of the world we are talking about can not be prepared by any political force, even if it is a world government, and these forces do not want any end of the world - they want an earthly kingdom. And the approach or end of time is what happens in our own heart. For the Lord will stop the existence of the world when the meaning of this being will be lost: when on earth people who want and are able to be with Christ will no longer be born. And in this sense, that short, terrible time that the Antichrist will reign on earth will become God's last mercy to fallen humanity, for in the face of absolute evil some part of people - perhaps insignificant - will still understand Who is the Lord and at the last moment will rush to Him.
Do not give in to fatigue
As for the Antichrist, one must, without doubt, bear in mind that it will not arise from nowhere - it will arise out of chaos. This technology is very effective and quite understandable to modern man: to immerse any territory in a state of chaos - disunity, horror, despair, high mortality - and when people no longer have the strength to fight for something, nor hopes to change anything , bring to the forefront of one force, one person, who will unite everything under him, stop disorder and will thereby receive the fullness of power. But only the Antichrist will demand renunciation of Christ.
It will not arise from nowhere - it will arise out of chaos
A very big role is that the antichrist will be perceived by mankind, the moral fatigue of people, the desire to shift responsibility for one's choice, for his life to someone's shoulders, the blurriness of the criteria for his evaluation as a person and as a ruler will play. And we can see without any speculation that the prerequisites for all this in the world around us are present. National traditions are destroyed, family traditions are destroyed, cultural traditions are destroyed, and the space without traditions looks like bare ice on which it is very easy for a person to slip, it is very difficult to resist and it is almost impossible to move anywhere.
How not to succumb to this internal fatigue, even when it becomes, as is customary to say, a world trend? The answer may seem simple: a man is all the less prone to falling into an indifferent state, the more clearly he tries to distinguish between good and evil in his life. The hardest thing, it turns out, is not to encounter evil as such - it is the hardest thing for a person to do when he wanders through the wilds, not deciphering which side is darkness, and in what - light, and in the surrounding world, and in his own being. Therefore, again, this distinction must become for us a skill - daily, hourly, every minute.
When the triumph of vanity is destroyed ...
Is it possible to perceive the surrounding reality, this seemingly collapsing world, without panic fear? Yes - and certainly you need. I, as a priest, have to perform a funeral service - and it's impossible not to notice in the crowd of people not so much the mournful as the frightened and depressed faces of people, as if they did not expect that the earthly being of one of their loved ones may end sooner or later. Often they do not delve into what is being sung at that moment - and at that time (if the funeral service is performed by a full rank), they are sung: "The day is breaking the evil triumph of vanity ...". All the fuss that filled this man's life was gone, and only the present remains. And just as suddenly, once and for all, vanity will once disappear for each of us, and once for all this world. Temptations will end, pain will end, sorrow will end. And the Lord will receive us, we will trust in this, in His embrace the Father.