--- In SOCM-FORUM@yahoogroups.com
, Benny wrote:
> Dear Mathew G M
> Read your notes . let us review what Holy Bible teach us on the quoted text from yr message
> Quote :
> But if by 'free will' , if we dont want 'forgiveness' and dont want to be 'like' God.. our God respects that decision of ours.
> Unquote :
> First let us see Psalms 7. 11-13, Here we can see what will happen to a person if he is not relent.
> In short , If we live 0-100 years in any of Sabha ( Jacobite, Orthodox, Catholics, Marthoma, CSI ..etc ) and if we fail to understand what is the will of the God from Gospels then the fate of the person will be in the hands of God.
Dear Brother Benny,
I believe what you and I are saying is the same thing. If we out of our "free will" reject forgiveness and doesnot become "like" God, the consequences are really bad. We end up in a place with an unquenchable fire.. Gehenna. The following article gives a good understanding of Gehenna.
The whole article can be summarized in the words of St Isaac the Syrian (this is the father whom we commemorate in the 5th Thubden..Mor Apremum, Mor Yakkobum, MOR ISAHAKKUM, Mor Balai-yum'
"I say, that those who are suffering in Gehenna, are suffering in being scourged by love.... It is totally false to think that the sinners in Gehenna are deprived of God's love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love's power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it" (Homily 84)
St. Isaac the Syrian, our father among the saints further gives us the following quote on how to interpret words like 'wrath of God'.
He says and I quote:
"God loves equally the righteous and sinners, making no distinction between them. To say that the love of God diminishes or vanishes because of a created being's fall means `to reduce the glorious Nature of the Creator to weakness and change'. For we know that `there is no change or any earlier or later intentions, with the Creator: there is no hatred or resentment in His nature, no greater or lesser place in His love, no before or after in His knowledge.
Even when God chastises one, He does this out of love and for the sake of one's salvation rather than for the sake of retribution. God respects human free will and does not want to do anything against it: `God chastises with love, not for the sake of revenge - far be it! - but seeking to make whole His image. And He does not harbour wrath until a time when correction is no longer possible, for He does not seek vengeance for Himself. This is the aim of love. Love's chastisement is for correction, but it does not aim at retribution... The man who chooses to consider God as avenger, presuming that in this manner he bears witness to His justice, the same accuses Him as being bereft of goodness. Far be it, that vengeance could ever be found in that Fountain of love and Ocean brimming with goodness!'
One should not interpret literally those Old Testament texts where the terms wrath, anger, hatred and others are used of the Creator. If such anthropomorphic terms occur in Scripture, they are used in a figurative sense, for God never does anything out of wrath, anger or hatred: everything of that sort is far removed from His Nature. We should not read everything literally as it is written, but rather see within the bodily exterior of the Old Testament narratives the hidden providence and eternal knowledge of God. `Fear God out of love for Him, and not for the reputation of austerity that has been attributed to Him'.
With God, there in no hatred towards anyone, but all-embracing love, which does not distinguish between righteous and sinner, between a friend of truth and an enemy of truth, between angel and demon. Every created being is precious in God's eyes, He cares for every creature, and everyone finds in Him a loving Father. If we turn away from God, He does not turn away from us: `If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful, for He cannot deny Himself'. Whatever may happen to humankind and to the whole of creation, however far it may be removed from God, He remains faithful to it in His love, which He cannot and will not deny. "
The above are not my words, but that of our father among the saints, St. Isaac the Syrian (Mor Isahak).
Mathew G M