Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Death and Afterlife 19 - Will We Chose Hades or Paradise?


A journey into the unknown.

In this series we have explored the nature of the journey we will face after we die. We know it is not really death because our soul lives on. In this journey we will face a struggle without pain as the soul separates from the body, and then we will enter an unknown territory. There will be an ordeal as we struggle to find the proper path based on the condition of our soul and the time of our physical death. So what happens next?

Next we experience either a foretaste of Heaven or of Hell. 

Our soul will settle in what is called Paradise or Hades awaiting to be rejoined with our spiritual bodies at the Second Coming of Christ as promised. Our residence will for the time being be in a temporary state as a result of our own condemnation. Were we strong and persistent in our desire to be united with God, or were our passions still powerful enough that we were influenced by the forces of the demons who are trying to pull us towards hades, away from God?

This new state is analogous to sleep.

St Aphrahat the Persian (Demonstration 8.19) writes:

The errant servant while he is sleeping desires not to awake, for he knows that when the dawn shall come and he shall awake, his lord will scourge and bind him.

But the good servant, to whom his lord had promised gifts, looks expectantly for the time when dawn shall come and he shall receive gifts from his lord. And even though he is soundly sleeping, in his dream he sees something like what his lord is about to give him, whatsoever he has promised him, and he rejoices in his dream, and exults, and is gladdened.

As for the wicked, his sleep is not pleasant to him, for he imagines that lo! the dawn has come for him, and his heart is broken in his dream.

But the righteous sleep, and their slumber is pleasant to them....Then in the watch of the dawn they awake with joy.

But as for the wicked, their sleep lies heavy upon them, and they are like a man who is laid low by a great and deep fever, and tosses on his couch hither and thither, and he is terrified the whole night long, which lengthens itself out for him and he fears the dawn when his lord will condemn him.

Which will it be Hades or Paradise?

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