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ТОЧНОЙ ДАТЫ КОНЦА СВЕТА НЕ ЗНАЕТ НИКТОIn the Bible there is no exact date of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The Declaration of any date of end of the world is a thing which is absolutely alien to the Orthodox Church. There is no Conciliar decisions, any messages from Church Hierarch or recognized theologian, which would be expressed in a similar spirit.

However, in St. The Scriptures of the New Testament there is evidence that the coming of Christ is understood as an event rather close future. The main sources of the Orthodox teaching about the end of the world are eschatological it Saviour set forth in 24-25 chapters of the gospel of Matthew (with Parallels in the Gospels of Mark and Luke and the book of Revelation of St. John the divine (Apocalypse). Important in this respect also, some places of the Epistle, for example, 1 Thess. 5, 110; 2 Thess. 2, 112; 1 Cor. 7, 2931; 2 Pet. 3, 318; 1 Jn. 2, 18.

What is most important in the biblical evidence about the Second Coming? A considerable part of them is devoted not a statement of fact that the end of the world will happen soon, and deep, colorful and multilateral description of previous events. That is, on the one hand, the end of the world is conceived as very soon, and on the other, this day should be preceded by the events of world historical importance. The content of these testimonies on an extraordinary scale of the events is the depth and complexity of the Orthodox teaching about the end of the world.

Even a cursory glance at them shows that it is not so easy and fast.
Some people point to the gospel eschatological it as undoubted testimony of Christ Himself about His soon coming, especially on the words of Jesus: "this generation shall Not pass till all these things be fulfilled" (on the interpretation of these words a bit later).

However, for some reason, you do not notice that there is another phrase that balances the load, it would seem, indeed undoubtedly a short time of the Second Coming: "but Of that day or hour no one knows, neither the Angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father" (MK. 13, 32). This means that no one can specify the exact year, month, or day of the end of the world. Even the Christ, the Son of God ascribes to himself ignorance. Why? This is a difficult theological question, however, for Christians here is another important point: the Savior emphasizes the absolute mystery, neodvisnosti "time and terms" human exact definition.
In eschatological discourse of the Savior there is one important detail: Christ prophesies about two events: the end of the world and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple.

Moreover, they are very difficult to separate: the historical event of the destruction of the Temple in 70m year, which, as we already know, was not the end of the world, and the event is bringing us beyond the limits of human history - the end of the world is closely intertwined. Christ in His message addressed to the Jews, therefore, according to the gospel, a global catastrophe, the destruction of the main Jewish Holy sites, which is the basis of the religious life of Israel, is a type of common end.

And then the words: "this generation shall Not pass until it happens" can literally refer to the fall of Jerusalem. Because many listeners Jesus had the opportunity to live up to 70 years and to witness the destruction of the Temple. But there is another interpretation of these words, relating them directly to the end of the world. The expression " this generation" with this understanding can mean not only the specific generation, but a timeless class of people. Under this class of St. John Chrysostom understood all believers in Christ: "all these things will surely come, and the family of the faithful will remain and will not stop any of the above disasters".

Apocalypse, regardless of their relative processors with event of the destruction of Jerusalem, puts modern people faced with the question: if the world did not end in a short time, why all this was expressed already in the first century, and in such kind of "strange"? For Christians of every age indication of the imminent nature of the coming of the Savior becomes a factor determining their lives from the moment they heard the news.

For example, Christ would have said that the Second Coming will be, but a very long time. In psychological law that persuaded people to relaxation. It would be and the exact date. Even if the coming of Christ would be during the life of the generation that heard Him, and Jesus said that he would come in 70 ad, it would have led to the fact that up to 70 years all could live as usual, and then, looking at the calendar, will begin to prepare. Indication of the imminent coming of Christ is the value of the incentive that defines a human life, it supports Christians in a constant state of alertness, which is very much in the New Testament.

Of course, the mood of humanity changes periodically, because people are increasingly aware that the world is imperfect and transitory. Being carried to absurd extremes, these views translate into slogans that the end of the world has to come immediately. Or, on the contrary, there is the other extreme, when it is said that "Christianity does not fulfil its own promises." The Apostle Peter in the mid 60s of the first century gave direct and quite harsh response to this: "In the last days there'll come scoffers coming on their own lusts, and saying, "where is the promise of His coming? Because since then, as the fathers fell asleep, from the beginning of creation, everything remains as"... One that should not be hidden from you, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Not the Lord tarries with the fulfillment of the promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance" (2 Pet. 3, 3-9). This means that the end of the world depends on all of us, deleted, or approaching, depending on our spiritual dispensation.

Anton Nebolsin, senior teacher of the Holy Scriptures of the old and New Testaments
Orthodox St. Tikhon theological Institute, the " Foma " magazine
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