The Teachers of the Eastern Orthodox Church, having Holy Scripture as their
foundation, teach that those who die in the Lord go to a place of rest,
according to the statement in the Apocalypse: "Blessed are the dead who
die in the Lord from henceforth. Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from
their labors; and their works do follow them" (Revelation 14:13). This
place of rest is viewed as spiritual Paradise, where the souls of those who
have died in the Lord, the souls of the righteous, enjoy the blessings of rest,
while awaiting the day of rewarding and the prize of the high calling of God in
About the sinners, they teach that their souls go down to Hades, where there
is suffering, sorrow, and groaning, awaiting the dreadful day of the Judgment.
The Fathers of the Orthodox Church do not admit the existence of another
place, intermediate between Paradise and Hades, as such a place is not
mentioned in Holy Scripture.
After the end of the General Judgment, the Righteous Judge (God) will
declare the decision both to the righteous and to the sinners. To the righteous
He will say: "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared
for you from the foundation of the world;" while to the sinners He will
say: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the
devil and his angels." And these will go away to eternal hades, while the
righteous will go to eternal life. This retribution after the General Judgment
will be complete, final, and definitive. It will complete, because it is not
the soul alone, as the Partial Judgment of man after death, but the soul
together with the body, that will receive what is deserved. It will be final,
because it will be enduring and not temporary like that at Partial Judgment.
And it will be definitive, because both for the righteous and for the sinners
it will be unalterable and eternal.
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