Sunday, August 30, 2015

Conclusion: The Eighth Day


Rev.22:10 -11

22.10-11. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

     And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12.9-10).

     Metropolitan Anastasius of New York writes: "The Lord sometimes waits for evil to reveal itself utterly, so that, having exposed its real nature, it might by itself be rejected by the hearts of men; and He subjects the righteous man to a sevenfold trial, so as to reveal his spiritual beauty before the whole world and increase his reward. Thus, for a time, He allows things to remain as they are: He that is filthy, let him be filthy still; and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still (Revelation 22.11).

     "If, with a righteous man, the least sinful obstacles characteristic of fallen human nature are burned up in the fire of trials, so also does God allow the ungodly one to enjoy prosperity for a time, so that he might receive his "reward" for those crumbs of good which he might at any time do during his life. The just Judge does not wish to remain in debt either to the righteous or to the sinful. The latter, of course, do not realize that He is dealing with them in this instance as a physician does with the hopelessly ill, deciding at the last moment to let them have anything they want, only because they have no hope for a future. With great eloquence and persuasiveness the blessed Augustine reveals this latter idea in his famous work On the City of God, which is, as is well known, the first attempt at a philosophy of history, when he speaks of the fall of Rome. The very prosperity of those condemned to destruction is no more than a phantom, like smoke, and therefore it should elicit no sense of envy in anyone, but only a sad pity for their lot, for the divine Word is immutable: Vengeance is Mine; I will repay (Romans 9.13; Deuteronomy 32.35). When I am given the appointed time, I will judge uprightly (Psalm 74.3); I will begin, and I will make an end (I Kings 3.12).

     "Fret not thyself because of evil-doers King David the prophet urges us, nor envy them that work iniquity. For like grass quickly shall they be withered, and like green herbs quickly shall they fall away (Psalm 36.1-2).

     "'Weep for the sinner who succeeds at everything', one of the Fathers of the Church teaches us, "for the sword of divine justice is hanging over him.' When the Lord deems it necessary, He reveals His judgement over ungodliness even here on earth, answering, as it were, the entreaty of mankind: Let me see Thy vengeance taken upon them, for to Thee I have declared my cause (Jeremiah11.2).”[444]          

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Who or What Is the Antichrist? : The Orthodox Christian Answer #2/2