THE LAST JUDGMENT
“And He shall come again in glory, to judge the living and the dead, whose kingdom will have no end.”
Repeatedly, in the Creed of our Orthodox Faith, we show our faith and strong belief in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God . . . “who shall come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.” We repeatedly confess this in Church expressing our inner belief in words of the Creed. There is another witness to the final judgment that accuses and excuses us, which is our conscience through which God communicates with us. Our conscience reminds us, at times stinging us when we do wrong and other times praising us when we avoid evil and strive to do only good. A good conscience is a blessing which causes our souls to be at rest and peaceful, a contribution to our happiness in this world.
Will there be a judgment, some ask doubtfully and if so, why? The answer is emphatically yes, and the why is testified to by the fact that it is very natural to be judged as we are presently subject to numerous judgments by others in many aspects of our lives. This is because we are free and therefore responsible for our thoughts, words and deeds, and freedom always bears responsibility. Whether attending school, at work, in business, or in any other endeavor we are frequently subject to various sets of rules and laws which we must obey under the threat of punishment or the promise of reward by continued freedom and possible gain. A man steals from his employer and is terminated,or goes to jail and often both. Another man is faithful to his employer and enjoys a peaceful and productive life and perhaps a pension. In every aspect of our lives, because we are free, we undergo judgment, whether walking, driving, sitting, standing, whether in schools, universities, or politics. Wherever there is freedom of decision and action there is necessarily responsibility for actions whether good or bad. Freedom is conditional and can be either suspended or taken away taken away from us in the form of punishment and confinement.