Chrysostom Study Archive

Chrysostom Study Archive

“Did all the vengeance come upon that generation? It is quite plain that it was so, and no man gainsays it.”


John Chrysostom
347 – 407

Contemporaneously called “Jack”

Dividing Line Between AD70 and the End of the World in the Olivet Discourse: Matthew 24:23

The body is one thing, corruption another; the body is one thing, death another… What is foreign to us is not the body but corruptibility.




“Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up in life. These are words by which the slanderers of the nature, of the body, the impeachers of our flesh, are completely overthrown… We do not wish to cast aside the body, but corruption: not the flesh, but death. The body is one thing, corruption another; the body is one thing, death another… What is foreign to us is not the body but corruptibility.” (II Corinthians 5:4)

(On Victory over Death/Sin/Devil)
“O God of spirits and of all flesh, who hast trampled down death and overthrown the devil, and given life to thy world, do thou, the same Lord, give rest to the souls of thy servants, names, who have fallen asleep, in a place of light, in a place of verdure, in a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing are fled away. Pardon every sin committed by them in word or deed or thought, for thou art a good God and Lover of man, for there is no man that liveth and sinneth not, for thou only art without sin and thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy word is truth.”

[2] “Remembering this saving commandment and all those things which came to pass for us: the cross, the grave, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting down at the right hand, the second and glorious coming again.

[3] “Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, from thy holy dwelling place and from the glorious throne of thy kingdom, and come to sanctify us, O thou that sittest with the Father above, and that are invisibly present here with us. And vouchsafe, by thy strong right hand to impart to us thine immaculate body and thy precious blood, and through us, to all thy people.”

(On The Fulfillment of Prophecy)
“It is proper and just to sing hymns to You, to bless You, to praise You, to thank You, to worship You in every place of Your kingdom; for You are God ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, ever existing, yet ever the same. You, and your only Son and Your Holy Spirit; You brought us forth from non-existence into being, and raised us up again when we had fallen, and left nothing undone until you had brought us to heaven and bestowed upon us your future kingdom.” (Prayer of the Anaphora – Eucharistic Prayer)

(On Matthew 24:2)
“How means He from this, “that one stone shalt not be left upon another?” Either as conveying the notion of its utter overthrow; or with respect to the place in which it stood, for its parts were broken up to its very foundations. But I would add, that, after the fate it underwent, the most captious might be satisfied that its very fragments have perished.”  (Homily lxxv)

(On Matthew 24:3)
“Luke speaks of one enquiry, that concerning Jerusalem, as though the disciples supposed that Christ’s coming should be then, and the end of the world should be when Jerusalem should be destroyed. Whereas Mark does not state them all to have asked concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, but Peter, James, John, and Andrew, as having more bold and free speech with Christ.” (Matthew 24:3, Quoted in Golden Chain)

(On Matthew 24:1,2)
“And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Therefore did they come unto Him privately, as it was of such matters they meant to inquire. For they were in travail to know the day of His coming, because of their eager desire to behold that glory, which is the cause of countless blessings. And these two things do they ask him, when shall these things be? that is, the overthrow of the temple; and, what is the sign of thy coming? But Luke saith, the question was one concerning Jerusalem, as though they were supposing that then is His coming. And Mark saith, that neither did all of them ask concerning the end of Jerusalem, but Peter and John, as having greater freedom of speech.”

(On Matthew 24:4-5)
“What then saith He? “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.(1) And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”(2)

For since they felt as being told of vengeance falling on others when hearing of that which was to be brought upon Jerusalem and as though they were to be out of the turmoils, and were dreaming of good things only, and looked for these to befall them quite immediately; for this cause He again foretells to them grievous things, making them earnest, and commanding them on two grounds to watch, so as neither to be seduced by the deceit of them that would beguile them, nor to be overpowered by the violence of ills that should overtake them.

For the war, saith He, shall be twofold that of the deceivers, and that of the enemies, but the former far more grievous, as coming upon them in the confusion and turmoils, and when men were terrified and troubled. For indeed great was the storm then, when the Roman power was beginning to flourish, and cities were taken, and camps and weapons were set in motion, and many were readily believed.

But of wars in Jerusalem is He speaking; for it is not surely of those without, and everywhere in the world; for what did they care for these? And besides, He would thus say nothing new, if He were speaking of the calamities of the world at large, which are happening always. For before this, were wars, and tumults, and fightings; but He speaks of the Jewish wars coming upon them at no great distance, for henceforth the Roman arms were a matter of anxiety. Since then these things also were sufficient to confound them, He foretells them all.

(On Matthew 24:7)
“Then to show that He Himself also will assail the Jews with them, and war on them, He speaks not of battles only, but also of plagues sent from God, famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, showing that the wars also He Himself permitted to come upon them, and that these things do not happen for no purpose according to what has been before the accustomed course of things amongst men, but proceed from the wrath on high and therefore He said not that they should come only, or come suddenly, but adds significantly, “These all are the beginnings of troubles,” that is, of the Jewish troubles.”

(On Matthew 24:14)
“Then indicating, that these things will in no degree harm the noble and the firm, He saith, Fear not, neither be troubled. For if ye show forth the patience that becomes you, the dangers will not prevail over you. And it is a plain proof of this, that the word shall surely be preached everywhere in the world, so much shall ye be above the things that alarm you. For, that they may not say, how then shall we live? He said more, Ye shall both live and preach everywhere. Therefore He added moreover, “And this gospel shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all nations, and then shall the end come,” of the downfall of Jerusalem.

“For in proof that He meant this, and that before the taking of Jerusalem the gospel was preached, hear what Paul saith, “Their sound went into all the earth;”(8) and again, “The gospel which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven.”(9) And seest thou him running from Jerusalem unto Spain ? And if one took so large a portion, consider what the rest also wrought. For writing to others also, Paul again saith concerning the gospel, that “it is bringing forth fruit, and growing up in every creature which is under Heaven.”  [Col 1:6]

“But what meaneth, “For a witness to all nations?” Forasmuch as though it was everywhere preached, yet it was not everywhere believed. It was for a witness, He saith, to them that were disbelieving, that is, for conviction, for accusation, for a testimony; for they that believed will bear witness against them that believed not, and will condemn them. And for this cause, after the gospel is preached in every part of the world, Jerusalem is destroyed, that they may not have so much as a shadow of an excuse for their perverseness. For they that saw His power shine throughout every place, and in an instant take the world captive, what excuse could they then have for continuing in the same perverseness? For in proof that it was everywhere preached at that time, hear what Paul saith, “of the gospel which was preached to every creature which is under Heaven.”(11)

Which also is a very great sign of Christ’s power, that in twenty or at most thirty years the word had reached the ends of the world. “After this therefore,” saith He, “shall come the end of Jerusalem.” For that He intimates this was manifested by what follows.

And in fit season did Jerusalem fall, namely, after the Gospel had been preached throughout the world; as it follows, “And then [p. 808] shalt the consummation come,” i.e. the end of Jerusalem. For they who have seen Christ’s power shining forth every where, and in brief space spread over the whole world, what mercy did they deserve when they continued still in ingratitude?”

(On Matthew 24:15)
“For this it seems to me that the abomination of desolation means the army by which the holy city of Jerusalem was made desolate.” (The Ante-Nicene Fathers)

“Or because he who desolated the city and the temple placed his statue there. He says, “When ye shall see,” because these things were to happen while some of them were yet alive. Wherein admire Christ’s power, and the courage of the disciples, who preached through those times in which all things Jewish were the object of attack. The Apostles, being Jews, introduced new laws in opposition to the Roman authority. The Romans conquered countless thousands of Jews, but could not overcome twelve unarmed unprotected men. [marg. note: Chrys., Hom. lxxvi]

“For He brought in also a prophecy, to confirm their desolation, saying, “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand.”(12) He referred them to Daniel. And by” abomination” He meaneth the statue of him who then took the city, which he who desolated the city and the temple placed within the temple, wherefore Christ calleth it, “of desolation.” Moreover, in order that they might learn that these things will be while some of them are alive, therefore He said, “When ye see the abomination of desolation.” (Of Matthew 24:15)

(On Matthew 24:18-19)
“Then to shew how inevitable the evils that should come upon the Jews, and how infinite their calamity, He adds, “And let him which is on the housetop, not come down to take any thing out of his house,” for it was better to be saved, and to lose his clothes, than to put on a garment and perish; and of him who is in the field He says the same. For if those who are in the [p. 812] city fly from it, little need is there for those who are abroad to return to the city.

But it is easy to despise money, and not hard to provide other raiment; but how can one avoid natural circumstances? How can a woman with child be made active for flight, or how can she that gives suck desert the child she has brought forth?

“Woe,” therefore, “to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days;” to the one, because they are encumbered, and cannot easily fly, bearing about the burden of the womb; to the other, because they are held by compassion for their children, and cannot save with them those whom they are suckling.

(On Matthew 24:16-18)
“HAVING spoken of the ills that were to overtake the city, and of the trials of the apostles, and that they should remain unsubdued, and should overrun the whole world, He mentions again the Jews’ calamities, showing that when the one should be glorious, having taught the whole world, the others should be in calamity.

“And see how He relates the war, by the things that seem to be small setting forth how intolerable it was to be. For, “Then,”saith He, “let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains.” Then, When? When these things should be, “when the abomination of desolation should stand in the holy place.” Whence He seems to me to be speaking of the armies.”

“Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. For indeed the most part of them were already departed this life. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world.”

“And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings. For neither can any one say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed He was both a Jew, and a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming.”

What then saith this man? That those terrors surpassed all tragedy, and that no such had ever overtaken the nation. For so great was the famine, that the very mothers fought about the devouring of their children, and that there were wars about this; and he saith that many when they were dead had their bellies ripped up.

I should therefore be glad to inquire of the Jews. Whence came there thus upon them wrath from God intolerable, and more sore than all that had befallen aforetime, not in Judaea only, but in any part of the world? Is it not quite clear, that it was for the deed of the cross, and for this rejection? All would say it, and with all and before all the truth of the facts itself.

But mark, I pray thee, the exceeding greatness of the ills, when not only compared with the time before, they appear more grievous, but also with all the time to come. For not in all the world, neither in all time that is past, and that is to come, shall any one be able to say such ills have been. And very naturally; for neither had any man perpetrated, not of those that ever have been, nor of those to come hereafter, a deed so wicked and horrible. Therefore He saith, “there shall be tribulation such as never was, nor shall be.”

“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” By these things He shows them to be deserving of a more grievous punishment than had been mentioned, speaking now of the days of the war and of that siege.

But what He saith is like this. If, saith He, the war of the Romans against the city had prevailed further, all the Jews had perished (for by “no flesh” here, He meaneth no Jewish flesh), both those abroad, and those at home. For not only against those in Judaea did they war, but also those that were dispersed everywhere they outlawed and banished, because of their hatred against the former.

But whom doth He here mean by the elect? The believers that were shut up in the midst of them. For that Jews may not say that because of the gospel, and the worship of Christ, these ills took place, He showeth, that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all had perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews had remained, but lest those of them who had become believers should perish together with the unbelieving Jews, He quickly put down the fighting, and gave an end to the war. Therefore He saith, “But for the elect’s sake they shall be shortened.” But these things He said to leave an encouragement to those of them who were shut up in the midst of them, and to allow them to take breath, that they might not be in fear, as though they were to perish with them. And if here so great is His care for them, that for their sakes others also are saved, and that for the sake of Christians remnants were left of the Jews, how great will be their honor in the time for their crowns?

By this He also encouraged them not to be distressed at their own dangers, since these others are suffering such things, and for no profit, but for evil upon their own head.

But He not only encouraged them, but also led them off secretly and unsuspectedly from the customs of the Jews. For if there is not to be a change afterwards, and the temple is not to stand, it is quite evident that the law also shall be made to cease.

However, He spake not this openly, but by their entire destruction He darkly intimated it. But He spake it not openly, lest He should startle them before the time. Wherefore neither at the beginning did He of Himself fall into discourse touching these things; but having first lamented over the city, He constrained them to show Him the stones, and question Him, in order that as it were in answering them their question, He might declare to them beforehand all the things to come.

But mark thou, I pray thee, the dispensation of the Spirit, that John wrote none of these things, lest he should seem to write from the very history of the things done (for indeed he lived a long time after the taking of the city), but they, who died before the taking, and had seen none of these things, they write it, in order that every way the power of the prediction should clearly shine forth.” (Homily 76)

(On Matthew 24:21)
“Note how this speech is directed against the Jews; for when these things were done by Vespasian, the Apostles could neither observe the Sabbath nor fly, seeing most of them were already dead, and those who survived were living in distant countries. And why they should pray for this He adds a reason, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall be.”

“I ask the Jews, whence came upon them so grievous wrath from heaven more woeful than all that had come upon them before? Plainly it was because of the desperate crime   and the denial of the Cross. But He shews that they deserved still heavier punishment than they received, when He adds, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved;” that is, If the siege by the Romans should be continued longer, all the Jews would perish; for by “all flesh,” He means all the Jewish nation, those within and those without; for the Romans were at war not only with those in Judaea, but with the whole race wherever dispersed.” (Matthew 24:21, Quoted in Golden Chain)

(On Matthew 24:22)
“But that the Jews should not say that these evils came because of the preaching and the disciples of Christ, He shews them that had it not been for His disciples, they would have totally perished, “but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matthew 24:22, Quoted in Golden Chain)

(On Matthew 23:36)
“For I will ask them, Did He send the prophets and wise men? Did they slay them in their synagogue? Was their house left desolate? Did all the vengeance come upon that generation? It is quite plain that it was so, and no man gainsays it.” (Homily LXXIV on MATT. XXIII. 29, 30.)

(On Matthew 24:19)
“Woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck,” [Matt. 24:19] to the one because of their greater inertness, and because they cannot flee easily, being weighed down by the burden of their pregnancy; to the other, because they are held by the tie of feeling for their children, and cannot save their sucklings. For money it is a light thing to despise, and an easy thing to provide, and clothes; but the bonds of nature how could any one escape? how could the pregnant woman become active? how could she that gives suck be able to overlook that which she had borne? (Homily 76, Number 1)

(On Matthew 24:20,21)
Then, to show again the greatness of the calamity, He saith, “Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day. For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be.” [Matt. 24:20, 21] (Homily 76, Number 2)

Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them? For the apostles surely were not to keep the Sabbath day, neither to be there, when Vespasian did those things. For indeed the most part of them were already departed this life. And if any was left, he was dwelling then in other parts of the world. But wherefore neither “in the winter, nor on the Sabbath day?” Not in the winter, because of the difficulty arising from the season; not on the Sabbath day, because of the absolute authority exercised by the law. For since they had need of flight, and of the swiftest flight, but neither would the Jews dare to flee on the Sabbath day, because of the law, neither in winter was such a thing easy; therefore, “Pray ye,” saith He; “for then shall be tribulation, such as never was, neither shall be.”

And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings. For neither can any one say, that the man being a believer, in order to establish Christ’s words, hath exaggerated the tragical history. For indeed he was both a Jew, and a determined Jew, and very zealous, and among them that lived after Christ’s coming. “

But mark, I pray thee, the exceeding greatness of the ills, when not only compared with the time before, they appear more grievous, but also with all the time to come. For not in all the world, neither in all time that is past, and that is to come, shall any one be able to say such ills have been. And very naturally; for neither had any man perpetrated, not of those that ever have been, nor of those to come hereafter, a deed so wicked and horrible. Therefore He saith, “there shall be tribulation such as never was, nor shall be.” (Homily 76, Number 2)

(On Matthew 24:22)
“And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” [Matt. 24:22] By these things He shows them to be deserving of a more grievous punishment than had been mentioned, speaking now of the days of the war and of that siege. But what He saith is like this. If, saith He, the war of the Romans against the city had prevailed further, all the Jews had perished (for by “no flesh” here, He meaneth no Jewish flesh), both those abroad, and those at home. For not only against those in Judaea did they war, but also those that were dispersed everywhere they outlawed and banished, because of their hatred against the former. “

“But whom doth He here mean by the elect? The believers that were shut up in the midst of them. For that Jews may not say that because of the gospel, and the worship of Christ, these ills took place, He showeth, that so far from the believers being the cause, if it had not been for them, all had perished utterly. For if God had permitted the war to be protracted, not so much as a remnant of the Jews had remained, but lest those of them who had become believers should perish together with the unbelieving Jews, He quickly put down the fighting, and gave an end to the war. Therefore He saith, “But for the elect’s sake they shall be shortened.” But these things He said to leave an encouragement to those of them who were shut up in the midst of them, and to allow them to take breath, that they might not be in fear, as though they were to perish with them. And if here so great is His care for them, that for their sakes others also are saved, and that for the sake of Christians remnants were left of the Jews, how great will be their honor in the time for their crowns?” (Homily 76, Number 2)

(On Matthew 24:34)
“Therefore He saith, they shall come not by themselves or at once, but with signs. For that the Jews may not say, that they who then believed were the authors of these evils, therefore hath He told them also of the cause of their coming upon them. “For verily I say unto you,” He said before, “all these things shall come upon this generation,” having made mention of the stain of blood on them.

Then lest on hearing of the showers of evils, they should suppose the gospel to be broken through, He added, “See,(3) be not troubled, for all things must come to pass,” i.e which I foretold, and the approach of the temptations will set aside none of the things which I have said; but there shall indeed be tumults and confusion, but nothing shall shake my predictions.

“Without were fightings, within were fears;”(4) and, “perils among false brethren,”(5) and again, “For such are false apostles,deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”(6)

“Seest thou the cause of the Crucifixion, and the salvation which is by it? Seest thou the relationship of the type to the reality? there the Jews escaped death, but the temporal, here believers the eternal; there the hanging serpent healed the bites of serpents, here the Crucified Jesus cured the wounds inflicted by the spiritual dragon; there he who looked with his bodily eyes was healed, here he who beholds with the eyes of his understanding put off all his sins; there that which hung was brass fashioned into the likeness of a serpent, here it was the Lord’s Body, builded by the Spirit; there a serpent bit and a serpent healed, here death destroyed and a Death saved. (Homily on John 3:15.)

“[The Jews] are inveterate murderers, destroyers, men possessed by the devil… debauchery and drunkenness have given them the manners of pigs and lusty goats. They know only one thing, to satisfy their gullets, get drunk, to kill and maim one another. They murder their offspring and immolate them to the devil …The Jewish disease must be guarded against. The Christian’s duty is to hate the Jews.”

“The Jews began uncovering the foundations by removing masses of earth, intending to go ahead and build …You can see the bared foundations if you visit Jerusalem now…Some of its parts (sanctuary) are razed to the ground.”

On Hebrews 9:11 Of good things to come (τῶν γενομένων ἀγαθῶν)

F.F. Bruce “But now Christ has appeared as high priest of the good things which have come to pass (The majority reading is “the good things that are to come”, but the weight of the evidence favors “the good things that have come” (so P.46 B D* 1611 1739 2005 with the Syriac versions, Chrysostom, and Cyril of Jerusalem).

Vincent’s “According to this reading the A.V. is wrong. It should be “of the good things realized,” or that have come to pass. The A.V. follows the reading μελλόντων about to be. So Tischendorf and Rev. T. Weiss with Westcott and Hort read γενομένων. Blessings not merely prophetic or objects of hope, but actually attained; free approach to God, the better covenant, personal communion with God, the purging of the conscience.”

Chrysostom: “Christ foretold many things. If those former things did not come to pass, then do not believe them; but if they all came to pass, why doubt concerning those that remain? And indeed, it were very unreasonable, nothing having come to pass, to believe the one, or when all has come to pass, to disbelieve the others.

But I will make the matter more plain by an example. Christ said, that Jerusalem should be taken, and should be so taken as no city ever was before, and that it should never be raised up: and in fact this prediction came to pass. He said, that there should be “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21), and it came to pass. He said that a grain of mustard seed is sown, so should the preaching [of the Gospel] be extended: and every day we see this running over the world. He said, that they who left father or mother, or brethren, or sisters, should have both fathers and mothers; And this we see fulfilled by facts. He said, “in the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33), that is, no man shall get the better of you. And this we see by the events has come to pass.”

Homily after the Earthquake “The city [is] on the earth, the wrath is inevitable. We have need of nothing but repentance, tears and lamentations, and all things were dissolved. God appeared, and we dissolved his wrath. One would not err should he call you the caretakers and saviors of the city. Where are the rulers? Where are the great saviors? Of the city you are the truly the towers, the wall, and its security. For they,[18] on the one hand, through their own wickedness allowed the city to rot, but you, through your own virtue, made the city firm. And if someone should be asked why the city was shaken, even if he wouldn’t say [it], it has been agreed[19] that it was because of sins, because of acts of greed, because of injustices, because of acts of lawlessness, because of acts of arrogance, because of pleasures, because of deceit. Whose? The rich. Again, if someone should be asked why the city was made firm, it is agreed that it is because of the singing of psalms, because of the prayers, because of the vigils. Whose are these? The poor’s.  The reasons that shook the city belong to them,[20] while the reasons that made the city firm are yours – and so you became the saviors and the caretakers. But let us end the sermon here, remaining in our vigils, our singing of psalms, sending glory up to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always, and into eternity.[21] Amen.” // CPG 4366, De terrae motu. BHGn 1700y.  This translation was commissioned by Roger Pearse and translated from the text printed in the Patrologia Graeca, vol. 50, cols. 713-716.  The translation has been placed in the public domain.  The work perhaps refers to the earthquake of 398 AD.  The question of its authenticity is discussed by Wendy Mayer, The Homilies of St. John Chrysostom – Provenance: Reshaping the foundations, 2005, p.27, 126, and answered in the affirmative.



Lyn Cohick
“Analogously, in the late fourth century Chrysostom, in his apologetic works on Christianity and Hellenism, again uses the Temple’s destruction as proof of Judaism’s illegitimacy. Indeed, he understood the Temple’s destruction as a clear message to the Roman world that Judaism was defeated.” (Melito of Sardis’s PERI PASCHA and Its “Israel”)

Thomas Ice
“Chrysostom (a.d. 347-407) is one example of someone who held to a mixed approach to interpreting Bible prophecy. In his commentary on Matthew 24:21, he said: “Seest thou that His discourse is addressed to the Jews, and that He is speaking of the ills that should overtake them?…And let not any man suppose this to have been spoken hyperbolically; but let him study the writings of Josephus, and learn the truth of the sayings.””  (The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming Under Attack)

Fr. Peter Pier – Pastor, St. John Chrysostom Antiochian Orthodox Church
“Glory be to Jesus Christ!   It is important to understand that at the Divine Liturgy, Heaven and earth are joined, time and eternity intersect.  Christ, surrounded by the holy Angels is in our midst, and our worship is joined – through Him – to the eternal Liturgy of Heaven.  At the Liturgy we often say: “today Christ is born,” or “today Christ is Baptized in the Jordan.”  Simply put, time has no meaning as we are drawn into God’s presence.  As Heaven and earth are joined in Christ;  past, present and future no longer exist because we are drawn into what the philosophers refer to as the “Eternal Now.”  Hence, we can talk of Christ’s Second Coming, which in one sense is a future happening, as already occurring, because in God’s sight, where there is no past present and future, it has already occurred.  For God there is only the “Eternal Now.”   He sees all of our history, as well as all of eternity, at once – as “now.” It does boggle the mind……… I hope this helps, Fr. Peter” ((717) 757-2222 FRPETERPIER@suscom.net)

PRIEST: Having in remembrance, therefore, this saving commandment and all those things which have come to pass for us: the Cross, the Grave, the Resurrection on the third day, the Ascension into heaven, the Sitting at the right hand, and the second and glorious Coming
(St. Chrysostom’s Liturgy)

  • The Meaning of Language “It is fairly commonplace in Orthodoxy to note that Chrysostom’s Liturgy speaks of the Second Coming in the past tense. Not because we believe that Christ came for a second time at sometime in the past, but that because of what is happening in the Liturgy, we may speak of the Second Coming in the past tense. We are standing at the Messianic Banquet. If it is Christ who dwells in us and we in Him, then how is it possible that we are not with Him at the beginning and the end (since He Himself is the Beginning and the End) The coming of Christ into our world, or rather the manifestation of God to us in this world, has radically changed this world.”