My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
Christ is in our midst! He was, is, and ever shall be.
GOD’S UNIVERSAL JUDGMENT: THE
SECOND COMING OF OUR LORD AND
SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
"When the Son of Man comes in His Glory, and
ALL THE HOLY ANGELS WITH Him,
then He will sit on the Throne of His Glory. ALL THE
NATIONS WILL BE GATHERED BEFORE HIM…" (Saint Matthew 25:31).
The God of love is also a God of Righteousness, and when Jesus Christ comes again in glory, He will come AS "OUR JUDGE." "Behold the goodness and SEVERITY OF God" ( Romans 11:22). The Son of Man will come in His glory to judge the living and the dead. He shows the heavens opened and "all the Holy Angels" to witness His Final Judgment. In His First Coming the Son of Man came in HUMILITY, to "serve" and to die, the Second Coming will be in His "Glory" as a King TO JUDGE "ALL THE NATIONS" of the earth.
What is clear to Christian believers throughout the centuries is that indeed He is coming for the second time and that everyone on earth will be ACCOUNTABLE OF HIS/HER ACTIONS AND LIFE. There is accountability! In the book of Revelation 20:12, we read: "And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and BOOKS WERE OPENED. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead WERE JUDGED ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS, BY THE THINGS WHICH WERE WRITTEN in the books." The books of judgment (Daniel 7:10), contain A RECORD OF MEN’S OWN DEEDS; THEIR OWN WORKS WILL JUDGE THEM (Psalm 62:12; Jeremiah 17:10). God’s mercy is far greater than human works or bad. In our Divine Liturgy, we petition the Almighty God for "A GOOD ACCOUNT BEFORE THE DREAD JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST."
God, our Heavenly Judge, executes judgment from the "GREAT WHITE THRONE" (Daniel 7:9; Enoch 18:8). "I continue to watch until thrones were put in place, and the Ancient of Days ENTHRONED Himself. His clothing was white as snow, and the hair of His head was like pure wool. His Throne was a fiery flame, and its wheels a burning fire. A river of fire flowed from before Him. Thousands and thousands stood before Him. The COURT WAS IN SESSION, AND THE BOOKS WERE OPENED." (Daniel 7:9-11).
We must not be disbelieving or dismissive of the fact that our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s Second Coming will happen but when no one knows. Christians, throughout the centuries, lived always in anticipation of His Coming, that is, as though He is coming this very minute, today. Not knowing when, and that they will be judged by Him, lived, as much as humanly possible, righteous and virtuous lives. They believed what is revealed by the Holy Church and Holy Scripture as true, unlike contemporary Christians who are oblivious to His Second Coming. Because of ignorance, there is no concern, no preparation, no repentance, no fear of God, not ready to give any accountability for sinful actions and the lack of works of mercy. In some heterodox Christian traditions that have removed and erased any trace of His Second Coming. Furthermore, arrogantly consider themselves as "saved." For them, there is no Second Coming and NO ACCOUNTABILITY TO GIVE TO THE ULTIMATE AND GREAT HEAVENLY JUDGE. They have "a free pass to the Kingdom."
In the current Christian community, one can live any kind and any contrary lifestyle to the Divine Teachings of Our Savior and without repentance can inherit the Kingdom of God. In other words, today’s Christian is delusional and totally unrealistic. Today’s Christian is uninformed and religiously illiterate. However, for the Christian, who truly and genuinely is interested to learn, the resources and tools are there, within our Holy Orthodox Christian Church to take advantage of. Just like the early Christians, we too must prepare ourselves spiritually as though our Lord and God, is Coming Today!
"Behold the goodness and SEVERITY OF GOD" (Romans 11:22). Such is the message of Holy Lent to each of us: TURN BACK WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME, REPENT BEFORE THE End comes. In the words of the Great Canon:
"The end draws near, my soul, the end draws near;
Yet thou dost not care or make ready.
The time grows short, rise up: the Judge is at the door.
The days of our life pass swiftly, as a dream, as a flower."
The Great Fast is a preparation for the Second Coming of the Savior for the Eternal Pascha in the Age to come. "Nor is the judgment merely in the future. Here and now, each day and each hour, in hardening our hearts towards others and in failing to respond to the opportunities we are given of helping them, WE ARE ALREADY PASSING JUDGMENT ON OURSELVES,"
"The Saints have become according to grace that which the Lord Christ is according to nature. That is, they havae become gods according to grace: pure and living habitations of God. For God says: ‘I will dwell in them, walk in them, and I will be their God’ (2 Corinthians 6:16). The Holy Scripture likewise says: ‘the souls of the righteous are in God’s hand, and death cannot lay hold o them’ (Wisdom of Solomon 3:1). For death is rather the sleep of Saints than their death. Further: ‘Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His Saints’ (Psalm 119:6).
According to Saint Justin Popovic, "The truth of the Gospel is that the sin of man is a foul odor before God and every sin pleases the devil. Through the Holy Mysteries and holy virtues, Christians become "A SWEET-SAVOUR OF CHRIST UNTO GOD."
O LORD REMEMBER ME IN THY KINGDOM!
"Glory Be To God