With each year, I notice more and more "end times" propaganda taking root in western Christian circles. From the long-winded, evangelical Facebook post, to the fear mongering billboards along the highway, to the insinuations of Christmas store employees assisting people finding Nativity sets. 

Ma'am, I don't need your assistance in finding repentance before the apocalypse. I need a Nativity set with a St. Salome figure.

But I digress.

People certainly have a lot of time on their hands if they are able to sit and sift through all the so-called “signs of the apocalypse” we are supposedly seeing. After a brief internet search, here are some familiar events, famed institutions, and societal themes that may tell of the end of the world:

More than two thousand years of Christian history proves that we will never know when the end is coming. But, to be safe, let’s go through modern evidence for these signs and symbols, and discuss them.

The First and Second Signs: The anti-Christ will be a religious leader and come in the name of Jesus Christ.

I have no doubts about this. However, the current assumptions about the pope and/or the papacy are nothing new. Neither are the rumors about different governments and institutions. I do, however, have to give props to the people who claim that AI will develop a new “messiah” that everyone is going to bow down to. If you’re going to be so naive as to believe that a Zuck-made user-interface is Jesus, you never stood a chance to begin with.

The Third Sign: The anti-Christ will perform miracles.

I don’t doubt this one either. Many miracles can be demon-made. You could point to something as obvious as charismatic pastors flinging ailing parishioners across the room, or something as subtle as various advances in modern medicine as a sign of the end times. And yet, these events have persisted throughout the centuries. However, we have been seeing more and more of them, as the advent of cell phones have made recording and sharing some of these ludicrous displays more feasible. There are some interesting compilations on YouTube.

The Fourth Sign: The anti-Christ will deny that Christ comes in the flesh.

Having been taken from 2 John 7, I am assuming they just meant that there were deniers who claimed Christ was not the Messiah, which has been an ever-present belief in several different religions. The exegesis of the text that is posited states that the verb is in present tense. Meaning that Christ continues to come in the flesh. 

Like, every Sunday. During Divine Liturgy.

Protestant churches have been denying the Eucharist as “The True Body and Blood” for ages. 

I’m surprised they don’t see the irony in this…

The Fifth and Sixth Signs: The anti-Christ will reject God’s law and persecute “True Christians”.

This has been happening, continually, since Christianity began. Different religions and Christian sects have rejected Church Doctrine and the teachings of the Church Fathers. They are interspersed with false teachings, and laws that go directly against God. Christians are still persecuted and killed all over the globe. 

It didn’t start with COVID-19 restrictions, or pride pushers, or microchips. These are all things happening in the West, where we are a far cry from true persecution. New Christian martyrs are made every day. And, for the most part, they’re not Protestants or Catholics.

It’s tragic, but this is nothing new.

The Seventh Sign: The anti-Christ will point towards a new “Roman Empire”.

This one is just funny to me. This new “Roman Empire” is my Roman Empire. What this supposedly refers to is a “political and military powerhouse” that will “eclipse even the power and might of today’s United States”.

What a bunch of western propaganda and fear-mongering. There is no bible verse referenced here. The most this “sign” does is nod toward Revelation 13 where the anti-Christ ushers in chaos. 

Clearly, something has been misinterpreted here. Could it not truly be referring to the actual Roman Empire? Is the United States, one of the youngest countries/empires to exist, really the juggernaut we think it is? Is our country so mighty, and noble, and Christ-fearing to warrant a takedown by the “beast of revelation”?

No. It’s not. We’re fine.

A Sign From Our Time: Israel Under Attack 

Many have stated that the war that began this past year between Israel and Palestine is a sign of the end times. And that the events following the Holocaust (what is claimed to be the dispersing and regathering of Jewish people to Israel), were the inciting incidents for all of this. It is now being said that Russia (assumed to be Magog), having made a deal with Iran (Persia), is a sure sign that the end is nigh. 

Since this alliance has not happened within the 2,500 years of an ever-changing geopolitical landscape, surely it must be true! 

Regardless of where you stand, we should not look lightly on these events, and pray for everyone involved.

I do find it strange that the people who often worry about the end of the world, and pointing out these signs, are also those who believe in predestination. If their faith is so unshakable, if they are truly saved, then they ought to have no concerns. Some even believe that only a certain number  of people will be “raptured”. So why bother encouraging others to repent? Wouldn’t you be afraid of giving up your spot?

Matthew 24:6 states “You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.” The only sure thing we know about the apocalypse is that we will not know when it’s coming. Not one of us. Not even Christ himself knows, as that information is held only by God, the Father. 

All the things we have seen and will continue to see are only the beginning. 

Or rather, the end. As discussed on Lord of Spirits, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick and Fr. Stephen De Young state that many of the signs foretold in Revelation occurred shortly after Christ’s resurrection. 

Meaning we have been in the end times for a very, very long time.

Still, the end of the world is far off from us. According to Orthodox belief, the end of the world will only occur when the Divine Liturgy is no longer served on this earth. This makes sense, as the sanctification of the world will no longer be occurring, and Christ will no longer be present “in the flesh” in the eucharist. 

Which means we've got a lot of time. And if we extend this to include the services of all Christian denominations, the end of days will surely not be seen in our lifetime, nor in the lifetimes of our great-great-great grandchildren. 

Still, let us pray for peace. Let us not be frivolous in regards to our salvation. Let us repent daily, hourly and minute by minute. For, just as we will never know the end of this world, no one ever knows when he will meet the end of his life.