Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Will You Receive Undeserved Bliss or Just Desserts?

When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne.  Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.  And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.… And [the unrighteous] will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.  (Matt 25:31-33)

For all, the righteous and the unrighteous alike, shall be brought before God the Word.  For the Father has committed all judgment to Him, and in fulfillment of the Father’s counsel, He comes as Judge whom we call Christ.…  He, in administering the righteous judgment of the Father to all, assigns to each what is righteous according to his works.  And being present at His judicial decision, all, both men and angels and demons, shall utter one voice, saying, “Righteous is your judgment.”*  Of which voice the justification will be seen in the awarding to each that which is just; since to those who have done well shall be assigned righteously eternal bliss, and to the lovers of iniquity shall be given eternal punishment.  And the fire which is unquenchable and without end awaits these latter, and a certain fiery worm which dies not, and which does not waste the body, but continues bursting forth from the body with unending pain.†  No sleep will give them rest; no night will soothe them; no death will deliver them from punishment; no voice of interceding friends will profit them.  For neither are the righteous seen by them any longer, nor are they worthy of remembrance.  But the righteous will remember only the righteous deeds by which they reached the heavenly kingdom….  You who believe these words, O men, will be partakers with the righteous, and will have part in these future blessings, which “no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.”‡  To Him be the glory and the power, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Hippolytus, Against Plato, on the Cause of the Universe 3

*  Psalm 119:137
†  Isaiah 66:24
‡  1 Corinthians 2:9

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