On the certainty of the righteous



"I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord." (Ps 117:17)

Who can say: "I shall not die"? He who cleaves to the living Lord. Who can positively state: "...but I shall live"? He who sees the living Lord before him. Enoch and Elijah did not die, but were caught up into life immortal. The Lord took them in His mercy, and as a proof to men of immortal life.
Christ the Lord died and rose again in His might and as a proof to men of resurrection from the dead. The apostles and saints died, but many of them appeared from the other world in their love for men, and as a proof to men of life eternal. Thus both those who were taken up and those who died live with the risen Lord Christ in the immortal Kingdom. "I shall not die, but live" said King David with great certainty, although he on earth before the Resurrection of the Lord and the proclamation of the general resurrection of the righteous. Each of us Christians must say with even greater certainty: "I shall not die, but live", because the risen Lord is the foundation of our faith, and because our eyes have seen and our ears have heard more, much more, than the eyes and ears of King David. After the Cross of Christ, the devil has become like smoke, and, after His Resurrection, death has become like a fog through which one passes to the sunlit fields of immortality. Blesses are they, my brethren, who are worthy to "live and declare the works of the Lord."

O living Lord, enliven us and save us. To Thee be glory and praise forever.

St. Nikolai Velimirovich; from The Prologue from Ochrid.

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"As the Prophets saw, as the Apostles taught, as the Church has received, as the Teachers express in dogma, as the inhabited world understands together with them, as grace illumines, as the truth makes clear, as error has been banished, as wisdom makes bold to declare, as Christ has assured, so we think, so we speak, so we preach, honoring Christ our true God, and his Saints, in words, in writings, in thoughts, in sacrifices, in churches, in icons, worshiping and revering the One as God and Lord, and honoring them because of their common Lord as those who are close to him and serve him, and making to them relative veneration. This is the faith of the Apostles; this is the faith of the Fathers; this is the faith of the Orthodox; this faith makes fast the inhabited world."
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