So, to repeat the first point: we watch the signs of the
times in order to recognize Christ when He comes, because there have been many
false Christs, many more false Christs will come, and at the very end of the
world there will finally come one who is called Antichrist. The
Antichrist will unite all those who are deceived into thinking he is Christ,
and this will include all those whose interpretation of Christianity has gone
off. Often you can look at some people who confess Christianity, and it
seems that many of their ideas are correct—they go according to the
Bible. Then you look here and there, and you see that here's a mistake,
there's a mistake.
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Just recently Fr. Dimitry Dudko, in the little newspaper he
puts out, said there came t him someone who claimed to be Christian. As
he began to talk to him, he began to feel that this person wasn't Orthodox, and
he said, "What confession are you?" "Oh, that's not
important. We're all Christians. The only important thing is that
we be Christians." He said, "Well, no, no, we have to be more
precise than than that. For example, if you're a Baptist and I'm an
Orthodox, I believe that we have the Lord's Body and Blood, and you
don't." We must be precise because there are many differences.
It's good to have the attitude: I have respect for you, and I won't interfere
with your faith, but nonetheless there's a true way of believing and there are
ways which go away from the truth. I must be according to the truth.
In the same way we can see that many people who ae not
Orthodox have many good things about them, and then they go off in some respect.
In the end it's up to God to judge, not to us. But we can see what will
happen if all these little ways people go off now are projected into the last
times, if people still believe that way when the last times come. These
mistakes cause people, when they see Antichrist, to think that he is
Christ. There are very many sects now which believe that Christ is coming
to rule for a thousand years form the Temple
in Jerusalem. Therefore, when
the Jews start building the Temple,
these sects will only rejoice because, to them, this is the sign of Christ's
coming. On the contrary, we know that this isn't he sign of the
Antichrist coming, because Christ will no more come ot
the Temple. The Temple
has been destroyed. Christ comes only at the end of the world to begin
the eternal kingdom of heaven. The only one who will come to the Temple
So, this is why the correct Orthodox Christian understanding
and preparation based upon this understanding are absolutely necessary.
The closer we get to the very last times, the more indispensable this
understanding and preparation are.