Friday, November 7, 2014

Rewards and retributions await us in the next life ( St. John Chrysostom )

Do not be surprised or upset when you witness evil and unjust people enjoying the comforts and pleasures of this present life. Realize that rewards
and retribution for good and evil deeds do not take place here on the earth.

Even when there is certain recompense, from time to time, it is not complete, but serves only as a small sample of the perfect payback that will take place in the next life. This occurs so that all they
who do not believe in the Resurrection of the dead and in the Final Judgment may at least receive a lesson and be kept in line when they are disciplined here on the earth.

Do you see an evil person becoming rich? Do not be discouraged. Conversely, do you see a good person suffering? Do not be surprised. Rewards and punishments are in store for the next life. A bad person does not only do bad things. It is quite possible that such a person has also done some good things during his lifetime. Similarly, it is not possible for any good person to be completely flawless. Even the best person will have committed a number of sins for which he is accountable. 

Thus, the evil person enjoys a short-lived earthly prosperity as a reward for the few good deeds he has done; however, he will be harshly punished in the next life in totality for all his wickedness. The good person, on the other hand, suffers during this present life in order to be cleansed of his sins, and
subsequently enjoy eternal bliss in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Desiring to demonstrate these very things to us, the Apostle Paul says, “For this reason many are weak and sick among you, and many pass away” (1 Cor. 11:30). He also wrote the following to a group of people concerning a certain Christian in
Corinth who had sinned:

“Deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus” (1 Cor. 5:5).Even in the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah says the following concerning Jerusalem: “For her sin is pardoned; for she received from the Lord’s hand double for her sins” (Isa. 40:2).

Additionally, the prophet David prays
to the Lord, “Look upon my humiliation and my pain, and forgive all my sins” (Ps. 24:18).
From the above, we can conclude that good
people are disciplined for their sins here on the earth. 

St. John Chrysostom