The End of the World, the Ressurection and the Last Judgment (Part II)

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My beloved spiritual children in Our Risen Lord and Our Only True God,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!  ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

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THE END OF THE WORLD, THE RESURRECTION AND THE LAST JUDGMENT (Part II)

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While speaking of His Second Coming, Jesus Christ said, "Heaven and earth will pass away" (St. Matthew 24:35). The psalmist King David says that heaven and earth will perish: "They shall perish, but Thou shalt endure; yea, they shall all wax old as a garment, and as a vesture shalt Thou change them, and they shall be changed" (Psalm 101:27). God will change and renew all of the creation by means of fire, just as the earth was renewed at the time of the flood by means of water...

"...The Coming of the Son of God will be majestic. He will appear in all His glory, as the King of heaven and earth, not alone but by a throng of Angels and Saints, who will witness His terrible judgment. The coming of the Lord will be terrible. He will appear as an awesome Judge, as a severe retributor of His Laws, in order to reward some and punish the others. "When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the Holy Angels with Him, then He will sit on the Throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will reward each according to his works" (St. Matthew 25:31-32; 16:27). His judgment will be solemn and open, for the Judge will appear in all His glory together will all the Holy Angels and will judge in full view of the entire world, the heaven, the earth, and the underworld. Saint Ephraim of Syria says, "He will call on heaven and earth to be at His judgment, and both high and low will stand before Him and tremble. And the hosts of heaven and the armies of the underworld will terrible before the Judge Who does not forgive, and Who will come accompanied by terror and death." All men, living and dead, good and evil, not only Christians but also those who do not believe in Christ, will appear at the Judgment.

The Apostle says, "He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness" (Acts 17:31). This judgment will be Universal and will concern all the deeds of men, both good and wicked, which will have been committed throughout every man's life (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 2:6), all their words (St. Matthew 12:36-37), and all their thoughts, intentions, and even the most hidden desires (1 Corinthians 4:5). "Everyone will see standing before him his own deeds," says Saint Ephraim of Syria, "his deeds, both good and evil, whatever deeds he has committed." Elsewhere he says that during this judgment no desire of one's heart will remain undiscovered. Even the shameless word that was whispered in secret will on that day be discovered before the just Judge. Saint John Chrysostom says, "Even the least deeds, both good and evil, will be subject to strict inquiry. We shall be punished for an indiscreet glance, shall be held responsible for an idle word said in jest, for calumny, for evil desires, for drinking; while among our good deeds not even a cup of cold water given to the thirsty, not even a gentle word, not even a sigh of penance will be forgotten, but all will be rewarded." Thus all will be judged according to their merits, and the judgment will be severe, terrible, and fair, for it will be in accord with God's truth and everything in it will be true. This will be "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous Judgment of God" (Romans 2:5).

Saint Gregory the Theologian says, "This judgment will be the only, the final, and the terrible one, and more just and terrible." This terrible judgment of God will be the ultimate and last judgment, for it will decide the fate of each of the judged for all infinity. Here are the words of Christ Himself about it: "Then the King will say to those on His right hand, "Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world..." Then will He say to those on the left hand, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels..." And these will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into eternal life" (St. Matthew 25:34, 41, 46). After this last verdict of the just Judge the future life will begin, that life in which we trust and which we expect when, in the words of the Creed, we say: "I expect...the future life." (From the Full Christian Catechism of Metropolitan Philaret, and from other sources.)

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CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!

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"Glory Be To GOD For All Things!"--Saint John Chrysostom

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With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God,

+Father George