Author Topic: After Death  (Read 1399 times)

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Offline KostaNY

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After Death
« on: March 30, 2006, 12:46:19 AM »
I was reading an article and I came across this quote from St. EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN.

"When the fearful hour comes, when the divine takers-away command the soul to be translated from the body, when they draw us away by force and lead us away to the unavoidable judgment place -- then, seeing them, the poor man comes all into a shaking as if from an earthquake, is all in trembling. The divine takers-away, taking the soul, ascend in the air where stand the chiefs, the authorities and world-rulers of the opposing powers. These are our accusers, the fearful publicans, registrars, tax-collectors; they meet it on the way, register, examine and count all the sins and debts of this man -- the sins of youth and old age, voluntary and involuntary, committed in deed, word and thought. Great is the fear here, great the trembling of the poor soul, indescribable the want which it suffers then from the incalculable multitudes of its enemies surrounding it there in myriads, slandering it so as not to allow it to ascend to heaven, to dwell in the light of the living, to enter the land of life. But the holy angels, taking the soul, lead it away."

Now my question here is can the enemy still accuse us of prior sins we have commited before we came to the knowledge of the truth and believed on Christ for forgiveness of sins and our salvation ? Our sins are forgiven and blotted out because of our belief of Chirst as the Son of God. So if God has forgiven and forgotten our sins, how can the enemy still remember them and use them against us ? Does anyone know of any scriptures related to this, what does the Orthodox beliefs say on this ?

Heres another piece of the same article, it is of Orthodox beliefs.

Probably the clearest and most comprehensive account of the toll-houses is that given by an angel of the Lord to St. Macarius Of Egypt:

"From the earth to heaven there is a ladder and a each rung has a cohort of demons. These are called toll-houses and the evil spirits meet the soul and bring its handwritten accounts and show these to the angels, saying: on this day and such and such of the month this soul did that: either it stole or fornicated or committed adultery or engaged in sodomy or lied or encouraged someone to an evil deed. And everything else evil which it has done, they show to the angels.
The angels then show whatever good the soul has done, charity or prayer or liturgies or fasting or anything else.

And the angels and the demons reckon up, and if they find the good greater than the evil, the angels seize the soul and take it up the next rung, while the demons gnash their teeth like wild dogs and make haste the snatch that pitiable soul from the hands of the Angels. The soul, meanwhile, cowers and terror encompasses it, and it makes as if to hide in the bosom of the Angels and there is a great discussion and must turmoil until that soul is delivered from the hands of the demons.

And they come again to another rung and there find another toll-house, fiercer and more horrible. And in this too, there is much uproar and great and indescribable turbulence as to who shall take that wretched soul. And shouting out aloud, the demons examine the soul, causing terror and saying: 'Where are you going? Aren't you the one who fornicated and thoroughly polluted Holy Baptism? Aren't you the one who polluted the angelic habit? Get back. Get down. Get yourself to dark Hell. Get yourself to the outer fire. Get going to that worm that never sleeps.'

Then if it be that that soul is condemned, the demons bear it off to below the earth, to a dark and distressing spot. And woe to that soul in which that person was born. And who shall tell, holy Father, the straits in which the condemned souls will find themselves in that place!

But if the soul is found clean and sinless, it goes up the Heaven with such joy."

So now we get to where its good deeds versus bad deeds. What happened to believing on Christ only for our salvation, when someone is to read this what else can they absorb from this other then to think there salvation depends on the good deeds they have done, thus earning there way to salvation. What happened to believing only on Christ for complete forgiveness of sins. Is it now a case of who can boast they've done the better deeds ? I don't know what else to say about this so I'll let scripture say it for me. Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace thorugh the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Take care. Peace.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 06:12:22 AM by KostaNY »

Offline Doubting Thomas

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Re: After Death
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 09:21:42 AM »
I'm not endorsing the "toll-house" idea by posting this--heck I'm not even yet Orthodox--however, here are some more words from the Apostle Paul:

"(God) 'who will render to each one according to his deeds': eternal life to those who by patient continuence in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth but obey unrighteousness--indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." (Romans 2:6-10)
"My Lord and My God!"--Doubting Thomas, AD 33