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Author Topic: Does this verse represent double predestination?  (Read 1577 times) Average Rating: 0
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Volnutt
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« on: November 13, 2011, 03:40:00 AM »

Matthew 11:23, ESV, emphasis mine.
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And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Sounds to me like Christ is saying that God could have saved the people of Sodom (gotten them to repent), yet chose not to.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 03:42:10 AM by Volnutt » Logged
JLatimer
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« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 11:17:04 AM »

In short, no.

Our Lord does not even imply here that the people of Sodom were eternally damned, anyhow.
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« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 12:13:00 AM »

Matthew 11:23, ESV, emphasis mine.
Quote
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Sounds to me like Christ is saying that God could have saved the people of Sodom (gotten them to repent), yet chose not to.

The verse shows that Capernaum's citizens were harder of heart than the Sodomites had been, but it doesn't say God hadn't wanted the Sodomites to repent. Let's not forget that God "desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth" (1 Timothy 2:4 ESV) and that Christ Jesus "gave himself as a ransom for all" (verses 5, 6 ESV).

God alone knows why he gives more revelation, more opportunities, and more signs and wonders to some people than to others. He will judge people according to what they did with the privileges and opportunities they had, but I don't see where the unsaved will be lost because God hadn't wanted them to repent.
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« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2011, 05:43:04 PM »

The reason God destroyed Sodom though, was that there was not five righteous people. Therefore if Sodom stood until Jesus' day it would more people in that city had repented of their wickedness, which would not have happened unless those works had been done in them.

Yes, we could speculate about salvation after death, but none of that is Orthodox dogma.
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mathetes
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 11:35:06 PM »

The reason God destroyed Sodom though, was that there was not five righteous people. Therefore if Sodom stood until Jesus' day it would more people in that city had repented of their wickedness, which would not have happened unless those works had been done in them.

Yes, we could speculate about salvation after death, but none of that is Orthodox dogma.

Actually, 10 was the minimum number of righteous people necessary to keep God from destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. (At synagogues, 10 is also the minimum number of Jewish adults required for a communal religious service.)

You contend that if Sodom had remained until Jesus' earthly ministry, more Sodomites would have repented of their wickedness. You add, though, that this repentance wouldn't have happened without the signs and wonders our Lord and the disciples were performing.

I'm concerned that you may be second-guessing God's way of operating. My copy of the Orthodox Study Bible merely comments about Matthew 11:20-24, "It is a far greater sin to have seen Christ's works and rejected Him than never to have known Him at all." That seems a safe comment since God's way of operating (hardening some people and being merciful to others) is unsearchable and impossible to figure out. Still, His purpose is to "have mercy on all" (Romans 11:32).

When it comes to the number of people saved versus the number lost, we can surmise that far more people are lost than saved because most people travel the broad road to destruction instead of the strait, narrow path to life (Matthew 7:13-14). Yet we shouldn't criticize God as if He were unjust or unloving not to make the way of life more attractive. He sent Jesus to save His people from their sins, not in their sins (Matthew 1:21). It's only by God's mercy and grace that any of us are saved at all.

Getting back to Sodom, we might ask ourselves whether the city's dramatic destruction has led to the repentance and conversion of more people than would've converted if the city had been spared. Of course, we don't know, yet we should be confident that the victorious saints in heaven will be singing, "Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Just and true are Your ways, O King of the saints!" (Revelation 15:3 OSB). Didn't Abraham, when interceding for Sodom and Gomorrah, trust that the Judge of all the earth was going to do right (Genesis 18:25)?
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 11:48:12 PM by mathetes » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 11:42:02 PM »

Well, then I guess we don't have much to discuss. I don't play the crypto-Calvinist "God is beyond even the possibility of criticism, so just shut up and glorify Him" game anymore, sorry.
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2011, 12:08:27 AM »

Well, then I guess we don't have much to discuss. I don't play the crypto-Calvinist "God is beyond even the possibility of criticism, so just shut up and glorify Him" game anymore, sorry.

Volnutt, you've confused me with your last post. What are you getting at? Whom are you responding to?  Huh
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2011, 12:18:08 AM »

I was responding to you.

I'm sorry, but I don't automatically assume everything God does is good. Maybe He's all-good, maybe He's not but it's something which needs to be wrestled with and not just given a Romans 9 hand wave. Were I to say otherwise, I'd be violating my conscience.
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2011, 01:01:16 AM »

I was responding to you.

I'm sorry, but I don't automatically assume everything God does is good. Maybe He's all-good, maybe He's not but it's something which needs to be wrestled with and not just given a Romans 9 hand wave. Were I to say otherwise, I'd be violating my conscience.

I agree that not everything done by God is a form of good. His evil works are not sinful, however; in fact, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah would've been a just form of punishment just as other evils (e.g., sword, pestilence, famine) have been.

Rather than judge God, we should remind ourselves that we're not all-knowing. When we learn more, we'll understand better, like the saints praising our Lord in heaven. We should remember that Job, though blameless in many ways and critical of God's evil toward him, abhored himself and regretted his words after God appeared to him.

I hope these things I write don't seem like crypto-Calvinism. I'm definitely not a Calvinist.
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« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2011, 01:15:54 AM »

I'm not using the OT sense of evil as disaster, I mean evil as in sin.

What you say sounds like a contradiction. If God really desired none to perish, He would only destroy them for their sins after doing all He could to move them to repentance. I'm not saying every Sodomite would have repented, but Jesus clearly indicates God could have moved some of them (at least ten so the city would have remained, as you point out).

What ever happened to to the Good Shepherd who leaves 99 sheep to search for one lost one?
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 01:19:36 AM by Volnutt » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2011, 01:49:53 AM »

Matthew 11:23, ESV, emphasis mine.
Quote
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Sounds to me like Christ is saying that God could have saved the people of Sodom (gotten them to repent), yet chose not to.

If you assume irresistible grace, perhaps. Orthodox do not believe in this teaching. Orthodoxy teaches that a man must co-operate with the grace of God so that He can do good works in and through the man. He respects our free will, and does not force his grace on us. The men of Sodom were hardened to the grace of God, they rejected it and refused to co-operate with it; therefore no good work were done in them.
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Volnutt
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« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2011, 01:53:45 AM »

Matthew 11:23, ESV, emphasis mine.
Quote
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Sounds to me like Christ is saying that God could have saved the people of Sodom (gotten them to repent), yet chose not to.

If you assume irresistible grace, perhaps. Orthodox do not believe in this teaching. Orthodoxy teaches that a man must co-operate with the grace of God so that He can do good works in and through the man. He respects our free will, and does not force his grace on us. The men of Sodom were hardened to the grace of God, they rejected it and refused to co-operate with it; therefore no good work were done in them.
Jesus did not say "might have," he said "would have." Yes, grace is resistible, but God knows who will respond to what urging and how.
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2011, 02:08:17 AM »

Matthew 11:23, ESV, emphasis mine.
Quote
And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? You will be brought down to Hades. For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day.
Sounds to me like Christ is saying that God could have saved the people of Sodom (gotten them to repent), yet chose not to.

If you assume irresistible grace, perhaps. Orthodox do not believe in this teaching. Orthodoxy teaches that a man must co-operate with the grace of God so that He can do good works in and through the man. He respects our free will, and does not force his grace on us. The men of Sodom were hardened to the grace of God, they rejected it and refused to co-operate with it; therefore no good work were done in them.
Jesus did not say "might have," he said "would have." Yes, grace is resistible, but God knows who will respond to what urging and how.

Jesus is using an illustration here to say that the people in the cities who he is calling out (Capernaum, Chorazin, Bethsaida etc.) have harder hearts than those in Sodom, Tyre, Sidon, etc. as they did not believe after seeing all the miracles he performed. This verse illustrates that even if God does hundreds of miracles in public there will still be some who reject him due to their stubbornness, etc. A truly incomprehensible thing, but this verse bears witness to it. All he is asking for is people to repent; turn from their ways, and they simply won't do it. To those whom much has been given, much will be expected. These people witnessed God in the flesh perform incredible miracles and still rejected His message. Truly, they have no excuse.
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2011, 02:13:57 AM »

So did Jesus literally mean some or all of the Sodomites would have repented after seeing miracles or didn't He?

Those people are dead now, "punished with everlasting fire," as Jude puts it. Could God have really saved them? If so, why didn't He? To make an example of them? Well, then there's the essence of double predestination.
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« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2011, 02:28:58 AM »

As far as the people of those towns such as Sodom, they had their chance to accept or reject Christ when he harrowed the gates of Hades.

They serve as examples of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire. Those who choose to reject Christ's commandments (behave as the Sodomites did) will eternally suffer the fire of God's presence, as they will want to escape but cannot. He is preaching to people who have heard the gospel message, and they will have no excuse if they reject it. I do not think his goal here was to lay claim on the eternal state of the Sodomites, but use them as an example for how not to conduct their lives, and describe the possible fate of those who do.
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2011, 02:40:33 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2011, 02:49:10 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
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« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2011, 02:52:51 AM »



The traditional Eastern Orthodox icon of the Resurrection of Jesus does not depict simply the physical act of Jesus' coming out of the Tomb, but rather it depicts what Orthodox Christians believe to be the spiritual reality of what his Death and Resurrection accomplished.
The icon shows Jesus, vested in white and gold to symbolize his divine majesty, standing on the brazen gates of Hades (also called the "Doors of Death"), which are broken and have fallen in the form of a cross, illustrating the belief that by his death on the cross, Jesus trampled down death (see Paschal troparion). He is holding Adam and Eve and pulling them up out of Hades. Traditionally, he is not shown holding them by the hands, but by their wrists, to illustrate the theological teaching that mankind could not pull himself out of his ancestral sin, but that it could come about only by the work (energia) of God. Jesus is surrounded by various righteous figures from the Old Testament (Abraham, David, etc.); the bottom of the icon depicts Hades as a chasm of darkness, often with various pieces of broken locks and chains strewn about. Quite frequently, one or two figures are shown in the darkness, bound in chains, who are generally identified as personifications of Death and/or the Devil.

~wiki
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« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2011, 03:18:18 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.
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« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2011, 12:58:17 PM »

I'm not using the OT sense of evil as disaster, I mean evil as in sin.

What you say sounds like a contradiction. If God really desired none to perish, He would only destroy them for their sins after doing all He could to move them to repentance. I'm not saying every Sodomite would have repented, but Jesus clearly indicates God could have moved some of them (at least ten so the city would have remained, as you point out).

What ever happened to to the Good Shepherd who leaves 99 sheep to search for one lost one?

Physical death is not the greatest evil that can befall a man.

You can have a working assumption that God is good, and still wrestle with Him. God says to Job, "where were you...?" but He also repeatedly says, "gird up your loins like a man".
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
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« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2011, 01:08:19 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
« Last Edit: November 16, 2011, 01:12:00 PM by JLatimer » Logged

1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2011, 08:32:11 PM »


Physical death is not the greatest evil that can befall a man.
I didn't say it was. Their death was only the first step in their damnation.
You can have a working assumption that God is good, and still wrestle with Him. God says to Job, "where were you...?" but He also repeatedly says, "gird up your loins like a man".
I guess. It's getting harder and harder for me though...
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« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2011, 08:34:33 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?
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« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2011, 10:02:07 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion.

I'm cool with that.
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« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2011, 10:03:43 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion.

I'm cool with that.
Me too, I just don't want to get kicked out of Church before I've even attended a Liturgy lol.
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« Reply #25 on: November 16, 2011, 10:47:11 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?

How can any verse teach apokatastasis in light of John 3:36? If whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life but shall remain under God's wrath, some people will never be saved. Universalism, then, is unbiblical.
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« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2011, 01:45:48 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?

How can any verse teach apokatastasis in light of John 3:36? If whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life but shall remain under God's wrath, some people will never be saved. Universalism, then, is unbiblical.
The Orthodox Church does condemn apokastasis, but I'm wondering if the quoted troparia and Met. Hilarion's words don't contradict the official stance.
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« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2011, 10:01:28 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?

It's not necessarily true that everyone accepted Him. It is true that because of the saving work if Christ, death, sin, and the devil no longer have any objective, unavoidable power over anyone.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2011, 10:06:51 AM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?

How can any verse teach apokatastasis in light of John 3:36? If whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life but shall remain under God's wrath, some people will never be saved. Universalism, then, is unbiblical.
The Orthodox Church does condemn apokastasis, but I'm wondering if the quoted troparia and Met. Hilarion's words don't contradict the official stance.

If you read the whole article you'll see Met. Hilarion does not teach apokatastasis.
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1 Samuel 25:22 (KJV)
So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
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« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2011, 10:30:37 AM »

Being raised from the dead and being saved are two different things.
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« Reply #30 on: November 17, 2011, 06:19:10 PM »

Is that dogma or pious speculation? I thought the Harrowing was only for the Old Testament righteous.

AFAIK, Orthodoxy teaches the John the Baptist went first, paving the way into Hades preaching Christ. Christ descended into Hades and lifted up all those who embraced him.
Ok.

"Hell's gatekeepers trembled before you; you raised with you the dead from every age."

"Rising from the tomb, you broke the bonds of Hades and destroyed the sentence of death, O Lord, delivering all from the snares of the enemy."

"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." (I Peter 3:18-21)

"Many church fathers and liturgical texts of the Orthodox Church repeatedly underline that having descended into Hades, Christ opened the way to salvation for all people, not only for 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 Christ’s descent into Hades there was no one left there except for the devil and demons." - Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (whole article here: http://orthodoxeurope.org/page/11/1/5.aspx )
If everyone who died before the Crucifixion (billions upon billions) accepted Christ, then it would seem Apokastasis is a forgone conclusion. How much more will they accept Him after eons in Gehena?

It's not necessarily true that everyone accepted Him. It is true that because of the saving work if Christ, death, sin, and the devil no longer have any objective, unavoidable power over anyone.
I see. I guess I misread it then.

And I didn't say Met. Hilarion intends to teach apocastasis, just that it seems like a logical implication from he's saying.
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« Reply #31 on: November 17, 2011, 06:19:50 PM »

Being raised from the dead and being saved are two different things.
I know. What's your point?
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