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What is the meaning of "final judgment"

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#1 Lakis Papas

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 08:32 PM

Lately, I am concerned about the following issue. Let me, first, write a brief story to make things easier to make my point:

 Once there were two neighbors. The one envied the wealth of the other and managed to seize his property by deception. This had the effect of dissolving the life of the wronged completely and broke his family apart. Eventually, they were both found in a court house. Before the beginning of the trial, the judge had the foresight to award the wronged with a multiple of wealth that he had lost and also to set things up so that his family be reunited. Then the trial started. 
 
This is my question: is there a case, since the judge restored the wronged in a much superior way compared to his previous state?

 

By analogy the question is raised for the final Judgment: If the Judge will restore the wronged in a supreme way, is there a basis for the unjust to be blamed? At the final Judgment, the victim will become immortal, without any physical need for food, property, clothing and generally without any need for all that things that were removed by the defendant. Additionally, regarding the mental anguish of the victim, can the previous torment of some limited time, that the defendant forced upon the victim, be compared with the eternal bliss? And even the loss of life is compensated by the gift of eternity. Will It be so intense the memory of the wronged that will forever keep him asking for reciprocation?
 
I understand that this picture is simplistic, but the Church presents this simplistic picture as a type of the final Judgment. If the core of "final Judgment" is not the award of a fair penalty, then why use the term "Judgment" in the first place? 
 
Then, some say that God is challenged by the defendant and God must be satisfied by defendant's punishment (the Law was violated, regardless of the state of the victim). But then, can perfection (God) be challenged by imperfection (man) ?
 
Why even Christ used the analogy of a tribunal when He talked about His future coming? It seems to me that this analogy is flawed (or I do not get the right concept). Why the loss of material or intellectual goods and even the loss of life itself has eternal ramifications, although these losses are going to be restored in the most perfect way? 
 
Let me summarize my questions:
 
1) Is there a crime with no current bad outcome? In fact, is there a crime with the victim in perfect condition?
 
2) Even if the culprit is unrepentant, what is the point of repentance for a crime that has been perfectly restored? (this is more like being unrepentant for a failed attempt to perform crime with lasting aftereffect) 
 
3) If I am to be judged for "who I truly am" and "how I understand the meaning of Life", regardless of the consequences of my actions, then (I think) this is not a Judgment. Why am I supposed to be somebody else different from myself whom I am free to define?

Edited by Lakis Papas, 29 March 2013 - 08:38 PM.


#2 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 09:54 PM

Whilst not wishing in any way to diminish the nature of the questions, my own reaction, for what it is worth, is that the tenor of Lakis's post tends to the juridical.  The Final Judgement, as I have been told, is about the opening of a man's soul for all to be revealed and God's determination of that man's eternal fate.  Much that is written and said about these things inevitably casts God into anthropomorphic modes but in reality we cannot discern God's mercy and His righteousness in His judgement.  'Crimes' - a human construct - are but the symptom of a man's failure to love God.  We are judged by the criterion of love: of God and our neighbour.



#3 Ilaria

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Posted 30 March 2013 - 09:14 AM

 
 
3) If I am to be judged for "who I truly am" and "how I understand the meaning of Life", regardless of the consequences of my actions, then (I think) this is not a Judgment. Why am I supposed to be somebody else different from myself whom I am free to define?

 

As far as I understood, by this question it seems you are trying to ''defend'' the fallen man (if I understood clear). So, the sin has altered the person to such a degree, that he identifies himself with this state; further, his bad actions, finally, turned to be positve for the victim.

In fact, what is the final Judgement?

 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day''.

I will be judged by the Word who created me by saying “Let us make mankind in Our image, in Our likeness''; indeed, it is up to me to choose  - ''I am free to define myself'' - shall I keep the image or not? Further, the actions I did are the result of my choice.



#4 Owen Jones

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

No doubt there is a juridicial aspect to Divine Justice.  I think a lot of Orthodox try to slink away from that issue because they are afraid it's too Catholic or even Calvinistic.  But it's there and we need to deal with it.

 

But the offence that warrants punishment is not so much against neighbor who is restored but to God Himself.  And of course Jesus raises the bar quite a bit to the point where even if there is intent, then there is violation.  So even if I do not commit the act, if I am, for example in the modern lexicon, obsessed with another man's wife, that is tantamount to the offense of adultery.  I've done nothing to actually harm her or the husband.  But I am harming myself and offending God!

 

Second, I doubt that I am truly free to "define myself."  I think it better to think in terms of God having already defined me.  He has already created according to a paradigm and it is my duty and obligation to conform my will, my mind and my heart to that paradigm.  So free will is not a matter of self-definition but rather a decision to become obedient.  Even a desire to be obedient carries much weight. 



#5 Owen Jones

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Posted 31 March 2013 - 01:20 PM

Oh, and by the way, Happy Easter!



#6 G.D. Andreano

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Posted 07 April 2015 - 12:11 PM

Judgment is not to be understood literally. God is not "sentencing" anyone. Judgment is the term used to describe the experience of the presence of God in His glory to those unable to coexist with it. Judgement is how unholy men perceive God's love.

#7 Loucas

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Posted 16 April 2015 - 08:27 PM

Hmmm, though how many references are there about watchfulness, being prepared? " If you love me you will keep my commandments" And seperating the Sheep from the Goats. The Holy Fathers look at the final judgement as it is written in Scripture, liturally. It is not uncommon to read of a Pios and Holy Monk who on his death bed wants only a little more time to pray for forgiveness. All I'm saying is the Saints, Fathers, Mothers of Orthodoxy do not take the Second Coming and Dreaded Judgement lightly or figurtively. They ALL teach us to pray and work out our Theosis while we still have time, thier urgency should inform our understanding of the Final Judgement. Christ said " Walk while you still have the light ". Also " You are forgiven, go and sin no more ". The forrunner whom our Lord called the Greatest of All the Prophets, preached repentance. Right here on this web site in the Patristic Themes there is a paragraph near the end of a study on sin and repentance that is ..

 

It is the revelation of the Father’s response to the Prodigal’s return,
that demonstrates the hope of redemption in the incarnate Saviour. Here
is the way out of exile. Here is the forgiveness that leads to union.
Here is the love of the Father that exceeds the bonds of sin, of death,
of estrangement. Here is the full revelation of sin met with the
sacrificial love of the Son:

 

notice the mention of..exile..death...estrangement? the Father's take the Spiritual Journey serious, and teach us the same. Christ said that if we believe, and of course pick up our cross and follow him, even if we die we will live. But if we do not we die when we die.


Edited by Loucas, 16 April 2015 - 08:35 PM.


#8 Loucas

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Posted 21 April 2015 - 03:09 PM

Read todays Gospell and our Lord himself says the Judgment is to live in the Darkness. And he uses the word Judgement. So to be saved and go to eternal Heaven we must believe and love the Son. If not we go to eternal darkness






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