Thursday, May 5, 2016

(Gen. 1:1)

     “In the beginning God created heaven and earth”. With these first words of the Holy Bible God the Creator introduces himself to humanity. Everything contained in the Bible is true and is written with  divine inspiration, both the Old Testament and New Testament. Those who approach God with unbelief will not be concerned with any form of divine truth and thereby will shut themselves outside of the Kingdom. God created matter and then formed everything on earth from matter. God alone is uncreated and eternal. We humans live in time, our days are numbered for we enter the world through birth and leave through death and we will face the inevitable judgment.

     We all believe, and in and accept the fact that man exists and his existence is not only by sight but we confirm his existence, even after death by the works of his hands. Man has created out of matter things that are useful and things that are not necessary.   No one would deny that the existence of men is confirmed by seeing him and if we do not see him, by his works. The same is true of God, for we have seen Him through His flesh as the Godman. We see the sun and moon, the stars and clouds, the birds and animals, as well as the green herbs, and of course we know that these are not made by man but by God, being His works.

     Men who deny the existence of the Creator of all also deny right reason and with it a purpose for God’s creation, even though He testifies to His creation of the Godman Jesus Christ, saying: “Let us create man in our own image and likeness. God also testifies to His creation of the race of man  beginning with Adam the first of all men and then from the first created pair. “God formed man out of the clay of the earth and breathed into His person a breath (spirit) of life and the man became a living soul” Then God formed a female from Adam who became His wife Eve, and from these two eventually came the race of man. Anyone familiar with well documented historical accounts will see the truth and accuracy of these things.

However, not all men will believe and accept these facts, just as the Egyptians did not believe and accept the same facts and the idea of the true God worshiped by Joseph and the other Jews. For there have always been two categories among men, believers and unbelievers, the sincere and insincere as well as the faithful and unbelievers. The arguments against the existence of God through His testimony and works which declare Him are just as foolish as those who deny man’s existence and his works which declare him. For just as we are correct in claiming that the existence of man is confirmed by his works, so the existence of God is confirmed by His works. His sun shines brightly over the entire earth and many planets. The sun brightly says: Look at me, if you are able, for not man but God formed me and keeps my fiery essence glowing brightly for your sake!

     “In the beginning God created heaven and the earth.” Why did God create heaven and earth? Because He has a plan which is currently being fulfilled. We do not know all His reasons but we know an important one, for from the beginning God planned to conclude creation with the formation of man.

     So from the beginning of creation man was in God’s mind and he created man and woman in His own image. But His plan did not stop with the creation of man. For He also said: Let us create man in our own image and likeness, meaning man exactly like God. So from the beginning God spoke of His Only begotten Son, who would be born of the Virgin, being the man in His own image and likeness, and through Him God’s great plan is being fulfilled. He created heaven and earth with a distinct purpose which is unrealized by those who reject God’s words. The beginning will be concluded by the end and in the end this old world will pass away and there will be a new earth peopled by men and women in the image and likeness of Jesus Christ who is the Head of the Church which is His body containing the faithful.  

Monday, May 2, 2016


“I shall not die but live, and declare
 the works of the Lord” (Psalm 117:17).

     The Pascha of the Lord concerns everlasting life, for by His death He has put death to death. Who is able to speak the words of the Psalm: “I shall not die but live? All those who in faith worship and obey the living Lord Jesus. They will know that the God of all dwells in them and that they will never die, filling them with great joy. Enoch, Elias and John did not die and they are seen as proof of our own immortality.  Pascha, the Lord’s Pascha celebrates death being put to death and life is bestowed on all the faithful. Pascha brings victory over death and new life into our souls.

     We Orthodox Christians must with great certainty testify to the life that never ends, which is the life we live by following our Lord Jesus Christ. The ruler of darkness who sought to quench the light has been overthrown by Christ and he will enter into outer darkness as he deserves. Faith in Christ causes our whole life to undergo great change for with our faith we also receive eternal life. Consuming of the Holy Eucharist cause us the partake of Christ himself who put death to death and is the eternal source of life that never ends. Thus we now cry out: “I shall not die but live and declare the works of the Lord.”

     The Lord finished His work and rested, that is, He rested for three days in the tomb and then, on that glorious day of Pascha, He arose and will never die again and tells us: “I shall not die but live.”
Those who reject Christ have no part in life but are dead before they die and will be cast into outer darkness, for they do not desire life that never ends.

     This temporary life causes us to realize the temporary nature of our existence here and our complete freedom to do what we will. This life requires us to eat and drink work and sleep in order to maintain it. However this life will come to an end for sooner or later we must die, for this life is about life and eventual death. 

     All mankind is called to the wonderful life that Christ brought to us on the day of Pascha which He bestows upon all who desire the life that never ends. The eternal life is not like this temporary life for it is deathless and without pain or sorrow or suffering, but is endless joy and exultation. The eternal life is the only endless life of total happiness. Living in this life we can cry to all: “I shall not die but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” Sin is the cause of mankind’s every evil for it confuses men and they live and suffer without realizing that sin is the cause of their misery. Man cannot live without God and it is a great evil to ignore or deny  God’s authority over humanity. When a man is caught into sin he is like a decapitated chicken which struggles convulsively, so the sinner is caught in the throes of death and its terrible consequences.