Sermon by Fr. Gregory Foley
What are the signs, the events in human history that the Bible foretells must precede the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ?
1. Jews return to Palestine
The first of these signs is the return of the Jews to Palestine.
In 70 AD the Jews were dispersed to the four corners of the world after the destruction of Jerusalem. Three thousand years ago Moses prophesied in the book of Deuteronomy that the Jewish nation would be dispersed throughout the world, but then he went on to say, “The Lord thy God will bring back again thy captivity, and have mercy on thee, and gather thee again out of all nations, into which He scattered thee before. If thou be driven as far as the poles of Heaven, the Lord thy God will fetch thee back from thence.” We are seeing the fulfillment of this prophecy today before our very eyes. It began in 1947 when the Jewish people once again began to stream back to the Holy Land, exactly 30 years after Fatima. But on the contrary it can be argued that the return of the Jews to Palestine was accomplished by violent means and therefore is not the fulfillment of this sign. In other words, God will bring about the fulfillment of this prophecy by peaceful means.
2. Jews would control Jerusalem
The second sign predicted in the New Testament by Our Divine Saviour, was that the Jewish people would regain control of the city of Jerusalem. “…For there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by the gentiles; until the times of the nations be fulfilled” (Luke 21). So Our Lord said, Jerusalem shall be under the control of the gentile nations, but only for a definite period of time… only during that definite period of time that God would grant to the gentiles to enter into the Holy City, and when that time was over, the Jews would regain control of Jerusalem. Well, this took place in June 1967; the war in which the Jewish armies recaptured Jerusalem. Exactly fifty years after Fatima, the time of the gentiles had ended and the Jews recaptured their Holy City. Again it can be argued that it was done by violent means and therefore not the fulfillment of this sign. Nonetheless, it was in 1967 that so many of our troubles began… when so many of our priests began defecting from their ministries, so many nuns began to leave their apostolates, the new English Mass was beginning to be propagated, and universal legalized abortion was not far off. In the practical order it was the beginning of the destruction of all that remains of the Church’s glorious past. I wonder if God gave us fifty years to heed the message of Fatima, to answer Our Blessed Mother’s pleas. And when we failed to do that, and we did, this must have been a great insult to Almighty God. IT IS SAFER TO INSULT GOD HIMSELF THAN TO DISHONOR HIS MOTHER.
3. The Great Apostasy
The third sign that must precede the end of the world and the second coming of Jesus Christ would be a great apostasy. This was predicted by St. Paul (2 Thes.)… “And we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together unto Him: that you be not easily moved from your sense, nor be terrified, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by epistle, as sent from us, as if the day of the Lord was at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means, for lest there come a revolt first…” Apostasy comes from a Greek word meaning rebellion or revolt against God. Today we see the most organized and systematic revolt against Jesus Christ that the world has ever known. The real evil here is Marxism, Marxist atheism, which is a militant atheism on a worldwide scale. And the “Soviet movement” in the world today is dedicated unreservedly to the destruction of religion on a world-wide scale. Also, when our Supreme Court enacted the death penalty for millions of unborn babies, they were following perfect atheistic logic. With one stroke of the pen our Supreme Court took away the right to life for untold millions of unborn babies.
4. World-wide Corruption
The fourth sign that would precede and warn us of the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the end of the world, would be world-wide corruption and immorality. As Our Lord said (Luke 18): “Because evil will abound, most men’s love will grow cold.” Evil will abound, as Our Lord said. I don’t think I have to be too explicit. Monstrous sins and crimes against humanity abound everywhere… homosexuality… bad marriages… pornography. Hundreds of thousands of unborn babies are murdered in the womb each year and cry out to God for vengeance. Over half the world has been enslaved by Communism.
5. Persecution of the Church
The fifth sign that would precede the end of the world is a world-wide persecution of the Church. As Christ said: “You will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake, you will be dragged before kings and judges and magistrates. The day is coming when people will think they are doing a service to God when they put you to death.” The Church today is undergoing the worst persecution in all its history. In the last fifty years more Catholics have been put to death, than in the first 300 years of Church history. Communism is the most efficient and ruthless “death machine” that has ever been devised by the mind of man. Well, this is what Our Lady came to Fatima to warn us about. She said: “If my requests for the Rosary, for penance and sacrifice… if my requests are not granted, Russia will spread her errors throughout the world… provoking wars and persecutions of the Church.” She said: “The good will be martyred, the Holy Father (1) will have much to suffer and whole nations will be destroyed.”
6. Appearance of the Anti-Christ
The sixth, and final sign preceding the end of the world, and the second coming of Jesus Christ, will be the appearance of the Anti-Christ, of which the Bible speaks in many places. His coming was especially prophesied by St. Paul (2 Thes.; …I have already read the opening part of this prophecy): “Let no man deceive you by any means, for unless there comes a revolt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, (1) who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshiped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God.” Notice the title that St. Paul gives the Anti-Christ as the “man of sin”.(1) Tradition and sacred scripture tells us that he will be possessed by the devil. He will not be the devil incarnate, he will be a man. He will try to “ape” the true Christ. He will be God’s instrument for punishing a sinful and unbelieving world.
The reason why God will bring the world to an end is because there will be so much sin and evil in the world that a just and merciful God could not allow the world to go on. He will have to bring it to an end simply to bring an end to the evil that will engulf mankind. The Anti-Christ will begin as a great political leader, (2) he will be a world statesman on an international level. He will be a famous world leader that will come out of obscurity. His early life will be a hidden life, just as Christ’s life at Nazareth. Then he will emerge as a great world leader. Secretly, and inwardly, he will be most wicked, but outwardly he will pass as the most virtuous of men. He will possess amazing intelligence and eloquence. He will be fabulously rich. The Bible says he will control all the resources of the world, all the oil, all the gold, all the natural wealth of the world. And you know… the world is building up to this pinnacle, as more and more the wealth of the world is falling into fewer and fewer hands. The Anti-Christ will then cause a great world-wide depression. During this depression, with his vast wealth, he will buy up everything. He will have such complete economic control that no one will be able to buy or sell anything without his permission. And this today is becoming much easier with computers. So unless we have his special credit card, unless we have his special number stamped, or tattooed, on our hands or foreheads, we will not even be able to buy or sell anything without his permission. Within three and a half years he will become so powerful that he will be proclaimed the head of a one-world government. Today politics are moving toward a one-world government. He will have seven years to reign, and it will be the seven worst years in the history of mankind.
Our Lord said: “Never before in the history of mankind will there be such suffering,” as will exist during this seven year reign of the Anti-Christ. Initially he will bring great peace and prosperity to the world.(3) He will be hailed as the savior of the world. People will begin to hail this as the “golden age” of mankind. It is then probable that he will have the Pope killed. The bishops and priests who have gone into apostasy (into revolt against God) will then elect an Anti-Pope, a false Pope. The election of an Anti-Pope has already happened several times in the history of the Church. And the reason we will know that he is the false Pope is that one of the first things he will do is outlaw the Mass.(1) This is clearly taught in several chapters of the Old Testament, in the Book of Daniel. He will do away with the Mass, it will be prohibited. He will execute all priests who continue to say the true Mass. This is already going on in Russia and China. Then he will proceed to exterminate all faithful Catholics. But they will be the lucky ones, for to die early during the reign of the Anti-Christ will be a “blessing.” The Anti-Christ will then deceive the Jews into thinking he is the long awaited “Messiah.” This is where he gets the title Anti-Christ. He will be proclaimed the King of Israel. He will work great miracles, with, of course, the help of Satan. And this will deceive many people. He will try to prove that Jesus Christ is an imposter. He will then rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. And, as St. Paul says, when the temple is finished, possessed by the devil, he will become so arrogant that he will proclaim himself God. This is the “abomination of desolation” spoken of by the prophet Daniel and Our Lord. This is when most of the Jews will realize the deception and then convert to Our Lord Jesus Christ. The Anti-Christ will then unleash a persecution against the Jews just as he had already unleashed a persecution against all Christians. By this time the world will be engulfed in vengeance, war and terror, the like of which the world has never known. This is when the four horsemen of the Apocalypse will gallop throughout the world. They will be unleashed upon the earth. This will be a fierce religious war, leading to famine, starvation, pestilence, germs and plagues…
“For there shall be then great tribulation, such as has not been found from the beginning of the world until now, neither shall be: And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened…. And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man, and… shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with such power and majesty: and He shall send His Angels with a trumpet and a great voice and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of heaven to the utmost bounds of them” (Mt. 24)
This is the second coming of Jesus Christ and by His coming He will destroy the Anti-Christ… as the book of Apocalypse so eloquently puts it…”and by the breath of His mouth He shall slay the wicked”.
1. Paul VI starts the persecution by the implementation of the decrees of the heretical Vatican II Council.
1. The son of Perdition, Paul VI.
2. The United Nations
3. The Vatican II Popes and the United Nations, bring peace & prosperity.
Footnotes by Joseph