Renungan Harian

BY THE MEASURE YOU MEASURE OUT:

Author : Admin | Sat, 21 April 2018 - 15:06 | visits : 614

Note how prayers for those in Hell (Hades) are also still found in the Vatican mass though their official doctrine has changed (see my comment below). This is because they separated "Purgatory" from Hell and could thus continue to pray for those in Purgatory but not for those in Hell. 

It is all about diabolical control exerted over the so-called living. In truth everyone separated from God through sin is dead. But to Satan, those in the body are alive because he needs your allegiance and labour before death, as after death you are worthless to him. Satan wishes to possess the so-called living - the dead are the waste product. False religion thus seeks to control the so-called living through fear, shame and hypocrisy. 

The Apostate West turned Hell into a place of Eternal Damnation, though by very definition, Hell (that is Death) is not Eternal as it ends in the Resurrection before Judgement Day. Thus they say that God will take souls from Death, give them Eternal Life in the Resurrection, and then whether they have repented and are merciful or not, throw them into Eternal Damnation that follows Judgement Day. This is their form of justice. This is how Catholicism and later Protestantism developed out of Orthodoxy.

Protestants have denied Purgatory (and rightly so), but rather than returning to the earlier Faith where one could pray for souls in Hades and benefit them, they have now refused to pray for anyone who has died as if this were of no value. This mentality is being introduced into Orthodoxy so that we are moving past Catholicism (and its separation of Purgatory and Hell) and into Reformed Christianity (Hell and Eternal Damnation). It is very sad indeed to see Orthodox Christians become legalistic Calvinists and thinking this mentality is Orthodoxy.

We reject Purgatory because suffering and fire do not cleanse or forgive sins. God forgives sins out of his love for mankind. God brings us into life because we have embraced confession and repentance of our sins. Often, suffering and death can bring us to our senses, but not necessarily. Those who died in the Flood had to wait four thousand years before Christ came to them. They were saved not because Hell cleansed them - they were saved because they believed in Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, and had repented of their sins.

Our Orthodox liturgy and services are full of references to this ability of Christ to save souls out of death. And if one understood, one would know that separation from God is death, rather than a specific place where one is separated from God. The Kingdom of God is in your heart - and so is Hell, if you are a son of Hell (as Christ called the hypocrites). 

Salvation is specifically for those who are dead (separated from God), as the living are already saved with God. The sick and the dead need Christ the Physician, not the living. If one just understood baptism: it is participation in the death and resurrection of Christ. One who is baptized is participating with Christ in Hell during the three immersions, and then sharing in the resurrection of Christ from Hell and Death. If you are baptized (which means have been to Hell and back), how can you deny salvation from Death and Hell, when your own baptism is precisely that?! How are you so blind?

Why do persons not understand that those who are not baptized are not under the judgement of Christ for they have not come to Christ and have not received eternal life? They are not members of the Church to be judged on the teachings of the Church. They are in the same condition (effectively) as those in the Old Testament who died before Christ and before baptism, whom Christ raised out of the dead in his Resurrection (because they came to him and believed in him and confessed their sins). 

They may be Dead (as is everyone in sin), but they are not Eternally Damned. To be eternally damned you must first participate in eternal life and then separate from God. Thus only those who are unrepentant and unmerciful as judged by Christ on Judgement Day, who participate in the Resurrection of Life, are capable of being eternally damned, because they have received eternal life and rejected God. 

This is why God kept Adam and Eve from the fruit of life after their sin - to keep them from eternal damnation when they were still ignorant of what they were doing. Had they repented, they could have returned to Paradise, but they did not repent. The Thief repented on the Cross and he has returned (though he was not baptised). On the Resurrection we all get to eat the fruit of eternal life, and this is why the Final Judgement follows, because then we are all responsible in knowledge before God and have received eternal life. 

Is there no understanding for the basics of Orthodoxy? What baptism means? What life and death mean?

It is incredible how legalism prevails over genuine theology, yet not incredible because of pride. The zeal to see the suffering of others is what drives this mentality. Hypocrites hate the notion that others who disobey God will receive the resurrection of immortal life together with those that obey God. Are you jealous of their sins and disobedience to God? Do you not understand: SIN and DISOBEDIENCE are death? How can you be jealous of death? It is God's mercy to give the dead life, but they cannot enter into that life if they continue in sin and disobedience. If you have the habit of defending your sinfulness and judging others, how will you survive Judgement Day? 

This is why the Church calls you now, on every Sunday, to Judgement Day. How do you not understand this? Every Sunday is the day of Resurection when we should appear before Christ in his Church to confess our sins and receive eternal life. But who comes to Church to confess their sins and commune? Those who believe in God's mercy and who keep the fasts and repent of their sins. Those who come simply to commune and socialise put themselves in the same position as those on Judgement Day who simply participate in the Resurrection but who remain dead in their sins and do not confess and repent of their sins. 

God is life. Separation from God is death. Understand that and stop being jealous of sinners. Rejoice if one should be saved. Rejoice if they are all saved. Don't scowl like the Older Brother because of the Prodigal or condemn the dead like the Pharisee in the Temple. 

You were dead yourself in sins. How can you eternally condemn one for being dead in sins who wishes to be alive to God, yet you who are supposedly eternally alive to God are jealous of sinners? Maybe like Judas and the Thief you will get to swap positions? Is that what you want: to do whatever you wish (whether God's will or not) and live forever? That sounds like Eternal Damnation. So if someone else wants to do God's will, but the "time of grace has passed", you will happily cast them out of God's grace? Have you no self-awareness? Do you ever confess your sins, or feel proud because you are pious and others are not? 

If anyone is in danger of eternal damnation it is those who are eager to measure judgement out to others. As you judge so you will be judged. As you are merciful, so will you find mercy. This is the judgement of Christ. But hypocrites and legalists, Pharisees and scribes, don't understand basic Christianity. And this is why anyone who believes in God's mercy ought not to condemn anyone to eternal damnation. Let us leave that Judgement to Christ. Judge yourself, not your neighbour.

Read the Gospel for the Sunday of the Last Judgement. Read it several times in a prayerful attitude. Do you not understand what those works are that Christ uses as his criterion for judgement? They are works of mercy, in Greek ελεημοσνη. Works of mercy! You are saved or condemned not because of death or any other teaching, because ALL are resurrected into immortal bodies like unto Christ's. The Judgement is based on Mercy. 

All of Orthodox Theology boils down to this one doctrine of Mercy, and you would reject it though it is the criterion of your own judgement? Are you driven crazy and suicidal? Why is this? Because an unrepentant hypocrite such as Satan (who received mercy from Christ and then drove the swine into the Lake) cannot show mercy or seek mercy. Why be like the devil, whose motive was to turn the owners of the swine against Christ and pull them all down to Hell with himself? Be like the angels who rejoice when a sinner repents. If a soul can escape Hades and Death and come to Eternal life in genuine repentance, is this so bad?

Judge rightly, not as a hypocrite. Pray for those who are lost and those who are dead in sins. Their judgement is not in my hands or yours or anyone else's, but in Christ's. And we have seen and known that he can save all the dead as he has done before. As St John Chrysostom told us on Pascha, "not one remains in the grave". This refers to the Resurrection of Christ in his First Coming when he saved all those in Death, and to the Resurrection on the Last Day at his Second Coming when he will resurrect all the dead.

No one who is Orthodox says that Divine Judgement is not real, or that Satan will repent (because God has revealed to us that he will not). We say that the criterion for True Judgement is Divine Mercy, because evil cannot know or show Divine Mercy. God wants to save sinners from their sins. 

What Orthodoxy says is that it is POSSIBLE for Christ in his timing, good will, love for mankind and power, to save anyone who sincerely repents. It has happened for the Dead of the Old Testament, and it can happen again. 

It is POSSIBLE for God to save anyone who sincerely repents and wishes to do God's will.

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