We customarily describe this day as “terrible court/judgement”. That description is nearly exact, because it would indeed be the last day of judgement, and for some; in trepidation would they face the court of our Lord. It would be evident that for the righteous, this fearful judgement day of the Lord’s would not dismay them.
It is written in the Holy Bible: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.“ (Matt 25:31-32 (KJV)
In the writings of the Holy Bible, exist many criteria that would determine whom would go where – either to the right side of the Holy Judge or to the left side. One very important and prevalent condition to our soul’s well being is how we interact with people who are either of close relation or not, and are amongst us.
To those whom are on the right side of the Holy Judge and Lord, he instructs them: “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.” (Matt 25:34-35 (KJV)
To the wonderment of the righteous when they questioned and were answered by the Lord: “And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt 25:40 (KJV)
To the questions portrayed by the sinful, convicted to eternal damnation; when they have not done what they were to uphold, the Lord Jesus Christ answers them: “Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.” (Matt 25:45 (KJV)
With His statement of the last judgement day Lord Jesus Christ concludes with these words: And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matt 25:46 (KJV)
So there would not be any unclarity or suspicion; Christ reminds us clearly when he said: “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matt 7:21 (KJV)
It is known and familiar to us that the prayer that does not exit our hearts but our mouths and not substantiated through empty good deeds. With that in mind, it is vital that we pay strict attention through our entire lives so that upon the final judgement day we should not be unprepared. “A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.” (Psalms 112:5 (KJV)
“Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.” (James 2:17 (KJV)
All thoughts regarding prayer and faith are in vain without actual good deeds, stated the apostle St. Jovan the Divine: “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?” (1 John 4:20 (KJV)
St. John also concludes: “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” (1 John 4:21 (KJV)
I don’t think that this theme and topic “Judgement Day” that we are discussing is accidentally given to us to contemplate right before the Great Lent/Fast for Easter. During the Great Lent we shall refrain from daily preoccupations, reflect more on our spiritual being/soul, and our salvation. This is the reason the Church is directing our thoughts and deeds towards these very important conditions for the purpose of our salvation. It is given to our knowledge that without good will and good deeds towards our brothers; be them relatives or strangers; there is no salvation. Let us have this noted and act accordingly towards this knowledge provided to us.
For we are truly in a continuous rush where we fail to do as expected of us and base it on, and excuse it on external sources that are in tune with the tempo of daily life. However, we easily forget and omit that we are the ones whom allow life to grind us. If we wish to, and consciously refrain from fashionable and ostentatious endeavours and concentrated on limiting our desires; we would be able to live in peace and harmony.
We should never forget and dismiss one important thought: If we consciously or subconsciously omit to ask ourselves these valuable questions and have no answers or resolutions to provide ourselves with; the day will come, rest assured, when the Righteous Judge our Lord will ask of us these questions where we will be obliged to provide answers. We can see and are witnesses to how quickly time elapses; many things occur that are expected and unexpected. Thus that Great Judgement Day shall come to pass as well. It is not coincidentally that the Wise King Solomon stated: “And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there.” (Eccl 3:16 (KJV)
The Orthodox Church is filled with love, an open heart and great tolerance, and never frightened their children (parishioners) with the Last Judgement Day as a whip upon them. However, the Church is obliged to remind their children: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.“ (2 Cor 5:10 (KJV)
May all of us keep this in our minds and hearts for the purpose of our salvation.