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Question: Does anybody else ever secretly sturggle with this concept
Yes - 7 (29.2%)
No - 17 (70.8%)
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Author Topic: Only Christians go to Heaven  (Read 4550 times) Average Rating: 0
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Saint Iaint
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« Reply #45 on: January 01, 2011, 02:08:44 AM »

No, Christians alone do not go to heaven. According to Genesis 5 in the KJV:

"[22] After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. [23] So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. [24] And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."

In other words, Enoch was so devoted to God and God so loved him that He spared Enoch death. Since Enoch is before Jesus--even Abraham and Moses--Enoch is not, technically, a "Christian".


But can you assume that Enoch was a pious Jew, a works based requirement that Jesus did away with?

Enoch wasn't even a Jew, since he was taken from this earth long before Abraham was born
  to grace it.

Good call.

Not only was Enoch not a 'Jew'... neither was Abraham, Isaac or Jacob a 'Jew'.

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« Reply #46 on: January 01, 2011, 05:41:47 AM »

Just a quick question, where were the Jews (who died) and everyone else prior to Christ?
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« Reply #47 on: January 01, 2011, 12:39:52 PM »

Just a quick question, where were the Jews (who died) and everyone else prior to Christ?

I believe Hades which is something different then Hell if I am not mistaken.
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« Reply #48 on: January 01, 2011, 04:47:25 PM »

Just a quick question, where were the Jews (who died) and everyone else prior to Christ?

I believe Hades which is something different then Hell if I am not mistaken.

Abraham's bosom?
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« Reply #49 on: January 01, 2011, 04:51:39 PM »

Just a quick question, where were the Jews (who died) and everyone else prior to Christ?
I suppose they're awaiting the resurrection of the Last Day just like all those who have died after Christ.
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« Reply #50 on: January 01, 2011, 05:10:05 PM »

Just a quick question, where were the Jews (who died) and everyone else prior to Christ?


From the Russian Orthodox Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev

"The Descent of Christ into Hades in Eastern and Western Theological Traditions"

A lecture delivered at St Mary's Catholic Cathedral, Minneapolis, USA,
on 5 November  2002

http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx
[For full article]

Extract:
__________________________________________
The descent of Christ into Hades is one of the most mysterious, enigmatic
and inexplicable events in New Testament history. In today's Christian
world, this event is understood differently. Liberal Western theology
rejects altogether any possibility for speaking of the descent of Christ
into Hades literally, arguing that the scriptural texts on this theme should
be understood metaphorically. The traditional Catholic doctrine insists that
after His death on the cross Christ descended to hell only to deliver the
Old Testament righteous from it. A similar understanding is quite widespread
among Orthodox Christians.

On the other hand, the New Testament speaks of the preaching of Christ in
hell as addressed to the unrepentant sinners: 'For Christ also died for sins
once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to
God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit; in which
he went and preached to the spirit in prison, who formerly did not obey,
when God's patience waited.

However, many Church Fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church
repeatedly underline that having descended to hell, Christ opened the way to
salvation for all people, not only the Old Testament righteous. The descent
of Christ into Hades is perceived as an event of cosmic significance
involving all people without exception. They also speak about the victory of
Christ over death, the full devastation of hell and that after the descent
of Christ into Hades there was nobody left there except for the devil and
demons
.


-oOo-

Bishop Hilarion was also guest speaker at the Divine Mercy Congress last year where his speech was so greatly appreciated that the applause could not be stopped.  This is all the more remarkable because it was also applauded by Cardinal Schornberg and yet by Catholic lights the speech contained some notable heresy!!

http://thedivinemercy.org/news/story.php?NID=3132

The [Divine Mercy] Congress Catches Fire!
Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: Christ the Conqueror of Hell
Russian Orthodox Bishop: God's Mercy is immeasurable love of the Father
By Dan Valenti (Apr 6, 2008)

-----------------------------------------------------------

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« Reply #51 on: January 01, 2011, 06:46:02 PM »

When hell is translated as Hades and is seen as something different and apart from Hell, it seems to all fall into place. Thinking Hades and Hell are the same thing causes some issues with the above mentioned passage.

Could you please clarify this?
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« Reply #52 on: January 01, 2011, 06:52:42 PM »

When hell is translated as Hades and is seen as something different and apart from Hell, it seems to all fall into place. Thinking Hades and Hell are the same thing causes some issues with the above mentioned passage.

Could you please clarify this?

Hell and Hades are not distinguished in the Russian language.  

I made a comment on these many distinctions in message 349 at
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28892.msg462405/topicseen.html#msg462405
« Last Edit: January 01, 2011, 06:55:41 PM by Irish Hermit » Logged
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« Reply #53 on: January 01, 2011, 07:12:39 PM »

Very intersting Fr. Ambrose. I guess I was trying to derive the experience of death before Christ by the experience Lazarus had. I'm not sure if he speaks much about it, except the tradition that he never smiled for the remainder of his life (except on one occasion where a boy stole a clay pot).

So I assume it must have been pretty grim and dark without the light of Christ to lead the way out of that darkness..
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« Reply #54 on: January 01, 2011, 07:25:39 PM »

Since I have been studying, my beliefs have changed somewhat.

I used to beleive that the 'exclusivity' of Orthodox terminology was meant to be taken literally.  However, I've drawn a very different conclusion as I have studied further.

My conclusion is that, at death, the soul goes through a great deal of turmoil regarding the conscience and one's guilt, but the final test where the soul is 'presented' to Christ (this is usually commemorated at the 40 Day memorial).  The soul must either accept the Truth or reject Him.  The soul must either finally unite itself to Christ or depart for Sheol and awate theLast Judgment.

So, basically, everyone has to become part of the Church, i.e. the Body of Christ, in order to enter into the place of rest to await the General Resurrection.  Some folks do it now, and other folks do it then.  I believe that this invitation is offered even to those who, in this life, rejected the Church because of their weakness or, in many cases, our own weakness and failure to manifest Christ to our neighbors.

I guess you could say that Orthodoxy is unavoidable, even for those who would avoid it now, because it is the truth and one cannot enter into Truth without it.

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« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2011, 01:00:28 PM »

To me throughout Scripture we are called to believe in God in order to be saved. Is it just me or do some people not believe this?

Please, read the Akathist.  It will put you in touch with the Church's view of God's compassion and love for those who do not believe that He exists.
I read it soon after you sent it to me.
I guess most on here and I will have to agree to disagree. We are called to make disciples of the whole world, and no disciple that I know of lacked faith in the living God. If he was a pagan, he repented and followed the God we know, or at least to the best of his ability. I believe, rightly or wrongly, that the ignorant may be received. But the one who purposefully rejects Christ directly will not be saved. The Gospels routinely make analogy to Christ as the Bridegroom. To force a relationship upon a Jew, Muslim, or Satanist would make him a rapist. I know this is a bit raw, but it is where I stand.
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