My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
(1 Corinthians, chapter 15)
"I LOOK FOR THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD…" (CREED)
In the Great Day of the Coming of the Son of Man, there will be accomplished the Universal Resurrection of the dead the Lord says: "The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His (the Son of God’s ) voice, and shall come forth: THEY THAT HAVE DONE GOOD, unto the Resurrection of life; and THAT THEY HAVE DONE EVIL, unto TO THE RESURRECTION OF DAMNATION" (John 5:28-29). When the Sadducees expressed UNBELIEF in the possibility of the resurrection, the Lord reproached them; "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power (that is, the Almightiness of God" (Matthew 22:29).
The certainty of the Truth of the RESURRECTION and the importance of the belief in the resurrection were expressed by the holy Apostle Paul in the following words: "If there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, THEN IS OUR PREACHING VAIN, AND YOUR FAITH IS ALSO VAIN. Yea and we are found false witnesses of God because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: Whom He raised not up if so be that the dead rise not… But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept… For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive" (1 Corinthians 15:13-15, 20, 22).
The resurrection of the dead will be universal and simultaneous, BOTH OF THE RIGHTEOUS AND OF SINNERS. All the dead "shall come forth: they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation" (John 5:29). "There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the JUST and UNJUST" (Acts 24:15; these are the words of the holy Apostle Paul before the governor Felix). If the same Apostle in another place (1 Corinthians, chapter 15, likewise 1 Thessalonians, chapter 4), speaking of the resurrection of the dead in Christ, does not mention the resurrection of sinners, this is evidently because his direct purpose is to strengthen the faith of the Christians themselves in their future resurrection in Christ. However, there is no doubt that the appearance or FORM OF THE RESURRECTED RIGHTEOUS WILL BE DIFFERENT FROM THAT OF RESURRECTED SINNERS: "Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father–are words spoken by the Lord only of the righteous (Matthew 13:43). "Some WILL RESEMBLE LIGHT, AND OTHERS DARKNESS," reflects Saint Ephraim the Syrian in this passage (Homily "On the Fear of God and the Last Judgment").
From the word of God, one must conclude that the resurrected bodies WILL BE ESSENTIALLY THE SAME ONES THAT BELONGED TO THEIR SOULS IN THIS EARTHLY LIFE: THIS corruptible MUST PUT ON INCORRUPTION, and THIS mortal MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY" (1 Corinthians 15:53). But at the same time, they will be TRANSFORMED, AND FIRST OF ALL, THE BODIES OF THE RIGHTEOUS WILL BE INCORRUPT AND IMMORTAL, AS IS EVIDENT FROM THE SAME WORKS OF THE APOSTLE. They WILL BE COMPLETELY FREE FROM WEAKNESS AND FROM THE INFIRMITIES OF THE PRESENT LIFE. They WILL BE SPIRITUAL, HEAVENLY, NOT HAVING EARTHLY, BODILY NEEDS. LIFE AFTER THE RESURRECTION WILL BE LIKE THE LIFE OF THE FLESHLESS SPIRITS, THE ANGELS, ACCORDING TO THE WORD OF THE LORD (Luke 20:36). As for sinners, their bodies also without any doubt will rise IN A NEW FORM, but while receiving an incorrupt and spiritual nature, AT THE SAME TIME THEY WILL EXPRESS IN THEMSELVES THE CONDITION OF THEIR SOULS." (Source: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology)
(To be continued)
"Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostom
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God
+ Father George