what Melodist quoted was exactly on point, those people whom the Lord denies, were Christians who believed in his name, preached and taught in his name, they have been calling his name, yet all that did not save them... and we should ask WHY NOT? if confidence was only in What God is capable of doing and yet we fail to participate in the grace that he freely gives and do what he wills then even though God is capable of doing all things, he will not take away our choices even when they are bad ones and lead to our ultimate demise, he will warn, entereat, beg even but never takes our free will from us, to chose our path.
so here is the confidence we are talking about..
1, we are confident in who Christ is, and what he is capable of doing!
2, we are Confident that without Christ we can do NOTHING!
3, we are Confident in the Salvation that is in Christ given for us Free!
4, we are confident that we are given FREE WILL to either receive or reject the gift of eternal Life that is being offered for free.
Free will makes it imperative that we cooperate with God in our salvation by saying yes to him. When we are struggling with sin and our attachment to it, we confess and ask for God’s help not because we doubt Christ can save us, but because Christ can save us! Because we are called to be Holy not by our works alone, but in union with God's Grace. The faith without Work is the faith of the demons.
Holy Communion is given for all who confess their sins (sinners who are repentant of their sins and are willing and committed to Live with Christ in Christ through Christ) examine yourself, and know that you need Christ is the Church's message, know you are a sinner, and Christ came for sinners, to heal them for those who want (have faith) to be healed. if they do not want to be healed, if they have no faith in him, if they are not willing to abandon their sinful ways yet come while plotting murder , while still engaged in adultery, still engaged in idolatry etc... Just because they call his name does not make them immune from the judgment that will come upon them.
Repentance is the utmost confidence in God's Mercy!
Knowing that God's Mercy is infinite, and Christ is the Savior of the World! Those who come to God with a repentant heart are never turned away!
1John 1:5-10 " 5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives."
St Paul reminds the Philippians to take care and to work out their salvation in fear and trembling, why the fear, why the trembling when only a chapter before he has told them that God is able to finish what he has started in them. Of course there is no contradiction, God is always able to finish what he has started, however the human can always back out while on this earth by loving the world as Demas did, and abandoning the will of God towards him and all humans : that all to be Saved! Indeed St. Paul says to them that it is God that works in them, to will and to act according to his good purpose.
Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed--not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence--continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
God is the one working in all of us all the good things we get to do, with this we have confidence that the grace of God will work in us when we cooperate with it.
1 Corinthian 12:6 there are different kinds of working, but the same God works all of them in all men.
1 Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
1 Timothy 4:10 for therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.
Now, what of the immorality of a brother? A believer, yet who does and persists in the work of darkness? Should he for having confidence in God be allowed to eat and drink from the Lord's Table while unrepentant of his sin and unwilling to sever his attachment to it? St. Paul says different...
1 Corinthians 5:1-13
1It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. 2And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this? 3Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. 4When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.
6Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? 7Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb has been sacrificed. 8Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with bread without yeast, the bread of sincerity and truth.
9I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
12What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”
Do not mistake the humility of Christians for Lack of Confidence in God or, despair! It is the very humility that leads them constantly to have a broken and repentant heart, that loves God and has utterly confidently surrender itself to Him.
Many make the mistake of Judah, in thinking that they are beyond God's mercy that kind of theaching is both forigen and blasphemous for the Orthodox! NO ONE is beyond God's mercy! not even Lucifer if were he to repent, God's Mercy will drown all the sins that the fallen angel the ancient enemy of mankind has committed against God as if it was a speck of sand in the ocean of God's mercy! It is this confidence you constantly hear among the Orthodox, when they say Lord Have mercy! It is the pouring out of God's infinite love we are asking and we know and believe that nothing overpowers His love for us!
The infinite Glory before whom the angels tremble, we eat and drink, in confidence of his mercy, his love, for us, and because we know who he is and because of our love to him, we approach with reverence, with awe and wonder, with repentant heart that laments her sin against her beloved even as she thanks him for the new beginning the new chance he gives her to be One with Him and to remain in his love. We approach with humility as we are awed by his humility; we approach because we have no life by ourselves, as he is our Light and our Life! We approach because he is our only healer who restores our souls.
Those that abstain from communion should do so only if they do not have a repentant heart over whatever sin they have attached themselves to. If a person does not admit that he or she needs the healing of Christ then that person has no business eating and drinking the body and blood of our Lord. It takes an honest examination of oneself to see whether or not one is repentant of the sin one loved to commit. The murderer should stop killing, the adulterer should stop cheating, the thief should stop stealing etc... Then come to Christ with tears of repentance and Christ along with the Father and the Holy Spirit will make their home with him.
Those who abstain, claiming unworthiness just because they are sinners even while they are repentant of it, then in that case they are in error, they have strayed away from the teaching of the Orthodox Church! The Church is there for sinners, we are all sinners, it’s because we are sinners that we need Christ, however we must repent and come to Him who is willing to heal us, to make us New Man in Christ. As often as we sin against him and yet turn back to him once more, he is willing to forgive and embrace us with his love. The greatest sin we can commit is to say God will not forgive me! To despair!