My beloved brothers and sisters in Our Risen Lord, God, and Savior JESUS CHRIST,


Sentenced to Immortality (Part II)
By Saint Justin Popovic

If a man fights with sins and passions, this demonstrates that he INDEED BELIEVES IN THE Risen Lord; if the fight with them, he fights for life eternal. If he does not fight, his faith is in vain. If man’s faith IS NOT A FIGHT FOR IMMORTALITY and ETERNITY, than tell me, what is it? If faith in Christ does not bring us to resurrection and life eternal, than what use is it to us? If Christ is not risen, that meant that neither sin nor death has been vanquished, than why believe in Christ?

For the one who by faith in the Risen Lord fights with each of his sins there will be affirmed in him gradually the feeling that Christ is indeed risen, has indeed vanquished the sting of sin, has indeed vanquished death on all the forms of combat. Sin GRADUALLY DIMINISHES THE SOUL IN MAN, DRIVING IT INTO DEATH, TRANSFORMING IT FROM IMMORTALITY TO MORTALITY, FROM INCORRUPTION TO CORRUPTION. The more the sins, the more the mortal man. If man does not feel immortality in himself, know that he is in sins, in bad thoughts, in languid feelings. Christianity is an appeal: FIGHT WITH DEATH UNTIL THE LAST BREATH, FIGHT UNTIL A FINAL VICTORY HAS BEEN REACHED. Every sin is a desertion: EVERY PASSION IS A RETREAT; EVERY VICE IS A DEFEAT.

One need not be surprised that Christians also die bodily. This is because THE DEATH OF THE BODY IS SOWING. The MORTAL BODY is sown, says the Apostle Paul, and it grows, and IS RAISED IN AN IMMORTAL BODY (I Corinthians 15:42-44). The body dissolves, like a sown seed, that THE HOLY SPIRIT MAY QUICKEN AND PERFECT IT. If the Lord Christ had not been risen in body, what use would it have for Him? He would not have saved THE ENTIRE MAN. If His body did not rise, then why was He incarnate?

Why did He take on Himself flesh, if He gave it nothing of his Divinity?

If Christ is not risen, then why believe in Him? To be honest, I would never have believed in Him had He not risen and had not therefore vanquished death. Our GREATEST ENEMY was KILLED AND WE WERE GIVEN IMMORTALITY. Without this, our world is a noisy display of revolting stupidity and despair, for neither in Heaven nor under Heaven is there a greater stupidity than this world WITHOUT THE RESURRECTION; and there is not a greater despair than this life without immortality. There is no being in a single world more miserable than man who does NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. It would have been better for such a man never to have been born.

In our human world, death is the greatest torment and inhumane horror. FREEDOM FROM THIS TORMENT AND HORROR IS SALVATION. Such a salvation was given the race of man by the Vanquisher of death–the Risen God-Man. He related to us all the mystery of salvation by His Resurrection. TO BE SAVED MEANS TO ASSURE OUR BODY AND SOUL OF IMMORTALITY AND LIFE ETERNAL. How to attain this? By no other way than by a theanthropic life, A NEW LIFE, A LIFE IN THE Risen Lord, in and by the Lord’s Resurrection.

For us Christians, our life on earth is a school in which we learn how to assure ourselves of resurrection and Life Eternal. For what use is this life if we cannot acquire by it Life Eternal? But, in order to be resurrected with the Lord Christ, MAN MUST SUFFER WITH Him, and live His life as his own. If he does this, then on Pascha he can say with Saint Gregory the Theologian: "Yesterday I was crucified with Him, today I LIVE WITH HIM, yesterday I was buried with Him, TODAY I RISE WITH HIM" (Troparion 2, Ode 3. Matins, Pascha).

Christ’s Four Gospels are summed up in only four words,

In each of these words is a Gospel, and in the Four Gospels is all the meaning OF ALL GOD’S WORLD, VISIBLE AND INVISIBLE. When all knowledge and all the thoughts of men are concentrated in the cry of the Paschal salutation, Christ is Risen!, then IMMORTAL JOY EMBRACES ALL BEINGS AND IN JOY RESPONDS: INDEED HE IS RISEN! (Source: Orthodox Heritage)

"Glory Be To GOD
All Things!"

– Saint John Chrysostomos

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With sincere agape in the Resurrection of Our Lord, God, and Savior JESUS CHRIST,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God

+ Father George

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