It has been suggested on another thread that a soul my repent or reach the goal of Theosis AFTER death. This seems to be solely based on the tradition of praying for the dead.
As an inquirer with little grasp of true Orthodoxy I humbly ask if this is a widely held belief? Coming from the Latin tradition, we believe that free will only acts during our mortal lives and that with death we loose the ability to affect our state of grace.
I ask because it seems odd to me that Jesus and the Apostles would teach that we should live like Christ here on earth, if it were within God's plan that we can repent for a totally hedonistic, atheistic, and selfish life AFTER death.
Speaking from a totally selfish HUMAN point of view, what would be the point of living a chaste life and of seeking grace through the manner of our life if it doesn't really mean much. If I can live a dissolute life, whore around on the wife, steal from the poor, etc. and then when confronted with the light of God after death realize that it was all really true and THEN repent and be saved, then the whole living like Christ idea seems rather mute doesn't it? Our human nature, our fallen nature, does not cause us to be "good" for goodness sake, to borrow a phrase. Without a theology to suggest to us that it is the "right" and "advantageous" path, how many would choose to follow it?
Why would monastics, a great tradition in Orthodoxy deny themselves if this is true? I know that it can be argued that we each choose our path to God, BUT after we die and are confronted with the reality would anyone choose NOT to repent. It seems to this uninitiated mind contradictory to Christian ideals.
Please correct me.