Will There be a Terrible Judgment?

Archbishop Averky (Taushev) 1906-1976

In our time we have become witnesses of a completely new teaching, so far unheard-of in our Church, to the effect that the Second Coming of Christ and the Terrible Judgment must be understood somehow in an ‘allegorical’ way, and not literally, and that the Terrible Judgment will in essence be not at all terrible. In propagandizing this ‘teaching’, they affirm with great aplomb and authority that everything we expounded above ‘has been thought up by dark fanatical monks’, and that contemporary ‘enlightened Christians’ cannot and must not believe in it all. (But how, we may ask, can we not believe in that which has been clearly and definitively said in the Sacred Scriptures, or by the great Fathers of the Church or the glorious, Spirit-bearing ascetics who have been glorified by the Holy Church?) For Christ Himself, they say, said that He came not to judge the world, but to save it (and then references are made to John 12.47, Matthew 18.11 and Luke 9.56).

Already a long time ago we were warned that the cunning of Satan and his servants, especially in the last times, will be manifest also in the fact that, in order to destroy people, they will also begin skillfully to use even the texts of the Sacred Scriptures, interpreting them in a distorted manner. (After all, on such distorted interpretations are based all the numerous contemporary sects.) And it is like that in the given case: Christ truly came to earth the first time in order to save the world, but the second time He will come no longer to save, but to judge the world. Moreover, the measure of this Judgment, as He Himself said, will be the word uttered by Him: The word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day (John 12.48), that is: he who does not observe the teaching brought by Christ the Savior to the earth will be subjected to condemnation at the Terrible Judgment.

To whom could this not be clear? Only to a mind that is ill-intentioned!  But how can one distort that which is said so clearly in the Sacred Scriptures?  Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth shall mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.’ (Revelation 1.7; cf. Acts 1.11). Behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his works (Revelation 22.12), says the Lord Himself. What could be clearer or more comprehensible than these words? And so there will undoubtedly be the Terrible Judgment, and there will be the reward of each according to his works, and there will be hell and the everlasting torments for the impenitent sinners. This will be demanded by the Highest Divine Justice, which is so clearly felt and whose inexorable necessity is recognized by every human heart that is uncorrupted, not poisoned by lying pseudo-wisdom…(“Budet li Strashnij Sud?” [Will there be a Terrible Judgment?], in Russian).

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