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Author Topic: The Judgment is eternal?  (Read 612 times) Average Rating: 0
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AlexanderPeter
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« on: March 07, 2013, 03:45:33 PM »

Hello

My question is this: If the judgment that we will suffer in the future will be permenent...

In my logic a person because of his behaviour went to hell...but then he repented should  have a oportunity to go to heaven.

The contrary works to for those who are in heaven...

Because our soul is eternal...so in any time we can change...and if GOD forgives...it does make no sense to me the eternal punishement.

I just want to know the opinion of the Eastern Orthodox Church and your personal opinion.
                                                                                   Thank You!
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2013, 05:32:30 PM »

Well I take a Fr. Romanides approach to it, and I am not saying it is the definitive answer either, but it seems to me Orthodox enough.

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God himself is both heaven and hell, reward and punishment. All men have been created to see God unceasingly in His uncreated glory. Whether God will be for each man heaven or hell, reward or punishment, depends on man's response to God's love and on man's transformation from the state of selfish and self-centered love, to Godlike love which does not seek its own ends.
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Since all men will see God, no religion can claim for itself the power to send people either to heaven or to hell. This means that true spiritual fathers prepare their spiritual charges so that vision of God's glory will be heaven, and not hell, reward and not punishment. The primary purpose of Orthodox Christianity then, is to prepare its members for an experience which every human being will sooner or later have.
FRANKS, ROMANS, FEUDALISM, AND DOCTRINE Part 2
http://www.romanity.org/htm/rom.03.en.franks_romans_feudalism_and_doctrine.02.htm

I would read his works with some discretion, though, and compare them to what other Church Fathers and theologians say on the matter.

Maybe someone else can chime in with a different view than his.
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2013, 06:10:12 PM »

An in-depth series of talks on these matters from an Orthodox perspective:

Met. Anthony Bloom - The Last Things (especially from Talk 12 onwards for the issue you are interested in)

Quote
And then, when we try to go along these lines of thinking, it appears that the final result is an eternity of suffering, of rejection, of damnation, and on the other hand an eternity of bliss; and what, I think, I see to be the failure of such a scheme is that it puts on the same level two kinds of eternity, which I think cannot be put into parallel. If the eternity of torment and the eternity of bliss are to be put on a par, it means that in the eternity of torment, of damnation, evil acquires an equally eternal quality with good; it means that godlessness, that is the falling away from God, acquires a metaphysical density, a reality, whereas the only reality is God and life in God. This seems to be not only a philosophical problem but something very real. Can one say that it is the same thing to be alive in God or to be dead outside God? Can one say that the eternity of eternal life is the same as the eternity of damnation? Does not this scheme, as I said, before, introduce a new idea, an idea which is radically contrary to Scripture, to the Faith, to our experience, by making evil co-eternal with good in a mock solution of the problem of evil and good? Throughout history and in all the teaching of Scripture and the Church, the only reality is God; only God is real, only God is eternal, only God and what is in Him has substance, concreteness, reality, and of a sudden, because the Judgement has come, evil acquires substance, solidity and concreteness. This seems absurd, not only logically, but as a final failure of God's undertaking, that the last word of Judgement should establish evil instead of disestablishing it. It is no solution, it is the contrary of a solution.

(...)I want to emphasize that I am not now offering you a solution final: but I am attempting to show you another way of thinking about the subject. The problem of this eternal destiny was faced by Origen, by the Gnostics and, finally, in a particularly vivid and deep way, expounded by Gregory of Nyssa. The Church has not accepted the simple solutions offered by these theologians and thinkers as far as the universal salvation of all is concerned, but also the Church has remained very careful not to reject the totality of their teaching. We are face to face with a problem to which only unsatisfactory answers have been offered; these have been rejected, and the problem still exists. And that the problem exists, as I tried to explain last time, is made clear if only by the fact that however cut and dried our affirmations are concerning an eternity of suffering for the sinner, we are told at the outset and at the conclusion that we must hope beyond hope.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 06:17:52 PM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 07:30:01 PM »

Hello

My question is this: If the judgment that we will suffer in the future will be permenent...

In my logic a person because of his behaviour went to hell...but then he repented should  have a oportunity to go to heaven.
One fundamental problem: God isn't bound to follow your logic, but you sure as hell are bound to follow His.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2013, 07:44:50 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2013, 08:27:25 PM »

I does follow that since there are angels who fell from grace , there could also be forgiveness for those in hell.

With God, Jesus said, All things are Possible.
◄  Mark 10:27  ►

New International Version (©1984)
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."

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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2013, 10:19:50 PM »

Hello

My question is this: If the judgment that we will suffer in the future will be permenent...

In my logic a person because of his behaviour went to hell...but then he repented should  have a oportunity to go to heaven.
One fundamental problem: God isn't bound to follow your logic, but you sure as hell are bound to follow His.

But hell just ain't as sure as it used to be . . .
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2013, 10:45:13 PM »

Hello

My question is this: If the judgment that we will suffer in the future will be permenent...

In my logic a person because of his behaviour went to hell...but then he repented should  have a oportunity to go to heaven.
One fundamental problem: God isn't bound to follow your logic, but you sure as hell are bound to follow His.

I see what you did there. Bravo!
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« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2013, 11:46:54 PM »

St Isaac the Syrian:

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I am of the opinion that he is going to manifest some wonderful outcome, a matter of immense and ineffable compassion on the part of the glorious Creator, with respect to the ordering of this difficult matter of gehenna's torment: out of it the wealth of his love and power and wisdom will become known all the more--and so will the insistent might of the waves of his goodness. It is not the way of the compassionate Maker to create rational beings in order to deliver them over mercilessly to unending affliction in punishment for things of which he knew even before they were fashioned, aware how they would turn out when he created them--and whom nonetheless he created. (Quoted in Met Hilarion Alfeyev, The Spiritual World of Isaac the Syrian, p. 287)
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« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2013, 05:13:39 AM »

Theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae said that God knows that those in hell would never repent. He Himself has made sure to offer them every opportunity. Of course, God does not wish that anybody perishes, so, those who reject Him are the ones responsible for their hell.
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« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2013, 05:42:49 PM »

We may, in the third place, consider a few of the circumstances which will follow the general judgment. And the first is the execution of the sentence pronounced on the evil and on the good: “These shall go away into eternal punishment, and the righteous into life eternal.” It should be observed, it is the very same word which is used, both in the former and in the latter clause. It follows, that either the punishment lasts for ever, or the reward too will come to an end; - no, never, unless God could come to an end, or his mercy and truth could fail. “Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father,”...

The wicked, meantime, shall be turned into hell, even all the people that forget God. They will be “punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” They will be “cast into the lake of fire burning with brimstone,” originally “prepared for the devil and his angels;” where they will gnaw their tongues for anguish and pain; they will curse God and look upwards... For “their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.”

- John Wesley, 10.3.1758
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« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2013, 06:13:15 PM »

Met. Anthony rightly observed that the point of the parable of the sheep and goats is to show the criteria according to which we will be judged, not so much the outcome/sentence of the judgement.

Then, he raises the issue of what "eternal" means. 'Olam in Hebrew and aion in Greek is a huge/indefinite amount of time, beyond the grasp of any human. Both time and eternity are not the same for us as they are for God: "For a thousand years in Your sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" (Ps. 89/90:4).

The eternity of God is 'olam 'olamim/aion ton aionon - the superlative of eon/age/world (like Song of songs, King of kings, Holy of holies). "Unto the ages of ages" or "world without end" as it is beautifully translated into English from the Hebrew. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2013, 06:14:05 PM by Romaios » Logged
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2013, 08:22:16 PM »

Theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae said that God knows that those in hell would never repent. He Himself has made sure to offer them every opportunity. Of course, God does not wish that anybody perishes, so, those who reject Him are the ones responsible for their hell.

I would argue that no one can know what God knows, and as it would stand that he also would know who will never turn evil and fall from grace as Satan did.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2013, 08:23:28 PM by Sinful Hypocrite » Logged

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