The End of the World (The Second Coming)
Bishop Alexander (Mileant)
The spiritual gaze of Christians should be focused upon the approaching joyous event — the Second Coming of Christ on earth: "And when these things [the sorrows of the last days] begin to come to pass then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draws near" (Lk 21:28). The reality of His coming again was witnessed to by the Savior Himself, with the indication of some details, and was proclaimed by the Angels during the Lord's Ascension, and often reminders were given by the Apostles (Mt. 16:27; Mt. ch 24; Mk. 8:38; Lk 12:40 and 17:24; John. 14:3; Acts. 1:11; Jude 14-15; 1 John 2:28; 1 Pet. 4:13; 1 Cor. 4:5; 1 Thes. 5:2-6 and other places). The Lord described His Second Coming as being sudden and obvious to all: "For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west; so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." Prior to this, the "sign of the Son of Man will appear in Heaven," and having seen it, "all the peoples of the world will mourn" (Mt. 24:30). According to the Fathers of the Church, this will be the sign of the saving Cross of our Lord.
The Lord will descend in all His glory surrounded by innumerable angels: "Then they will see the Son of Man, coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, and all His angels with Him … Then He will sit on the throne of His glory…" (Mt. 24:30, 25:31, Mk. 13:26). From these words we should conclude that the Second Coming of Christ will look substantially different from the first one, during which He willingly humbled Himself and came in the semblance of an ordinary man. Then He lived in poverty and voluntarily suffered all kinds of humiliations. His Second Coming will also differ in purpose. First He came to give His soul for the salvation of many; then He will come to judge the world and recompense everyone according to his deeds. (Acts 17:31; Mt. 24:27).