By Rev. Dr. Curian Kaniyamparambil
The thief who had been living a sinful life was crucified and repented during his last minutes on the cross. So we don't know whether a person had repented or not before his death. Only God knows this. Let us leave the judgment to God. We should not judge as we have no right to judge others.
We pray for the dead so that God will bless them. It is a commandment from God that everyone will be judged based on his own deeds. God is not only just, but full of mercy and love. Until the day of resurrection, it is the time of mercy. Judgment doesn't take place before this. Therefore in our prayers we beg for forgiveness and mercy for those who, with hope in Christ, departed.
A Prayer from the Syrian Orthodox Church:
O God! Full of mercy, renew your creation on the day of resurrection. Let them who died in your hope get relief and rest on the bosom of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and make them stand on your right side in the resurrection.
As shown earlier, in His house, both the living and the dead are alike. Both groups live. If we can pray for the people alive in this world, we can also pray for the people alive in His nearness.
For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's...... He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. (Rom 14:8,9)
May he be blessed by the Lord who is ever merciful to the living and dead (Ruth 2:20)
Since our Lord preached to people in the netherworld, it is a proof that He is sympathetic to the dead. (1 Peter 4:6 - "For this cause, the gospel was preached also to those who are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, and live according to God in spirit.")
As written by John, we have an advocate with the father, Jesus Christ, the righteous (1 John 2:1). Are we to think that Jesus Christ is an Advocate only for the living and not for those who are departed?
TOC Section 1 (Q 1-26) | Section 2 (Q 27-56) | Section 3 (Q 57-81) | Section 4 (Q 82-115) | Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
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