September 5, 2010

Elder Paisios, What Will Happen To Good-Hearted People That Do Not Believe?

You think they don't believe? But let's say they don't believe. When they were young, didn't their mother bring them to church for Communion? But even if they weren't brought for Communion, weren't they Baptized, weren't they Chrismated? Weren't they born of Orthodox and Baptized mothers? Well, those people who have good-heartedness, you will see, the Good God will work it out for them in some way, either with trials or with sicknesses or with burdens or with an earthquake or with lightning or with cataclysm or with a single word, etc., and in the end He will bring them to Paradise.

Also, many times a Saint or an Angel will appear to such a person, even though they are not worthy of such a great blessing. However Christ can do this, after first using all other means. But frequently what happens to such people? The Devil goes and deceives them, and many, poor things, are deluded, since the Devil begins to say to them: "Ah, I showed you such a great miracle because you can save the world." And the unfortunate does not say: "My God, how can I thank You? I was not worthy for such grace." Instead of feeling crushed, they receive the thoughts which the Devil brings and they become full of pride. Then the Devil goes to them again and shows them "television", showing them Angels and Saints and saying: "You will save the universe". If this person recovers again, the Good God will help them.

Overall we must not forget that we all have an inheritance from God, which is why all people deep inside possess good-heartedness. The Devil however disfigures. Some have maintained this good-heartedness despite not living near the Church. Well, God will work things out for them. For this reason, when you see a person having gone astray and lives a sinful life, but is pained in their soul - they see a sick person and their hearts are stirred, a poor person and they help them - from this you should understand that God will not forsake them, but will help them. And when you see a person far from God and hardened, without compassion, etc., then you must pray day and night for God to "move towards" their heart, in order to repent.

The judgments of God are vast. One thing I know: whoever lives a worldly life because they could not help it but were dragged and pushed into evil, though they had good intentions, God will be moved by them and will help them. He will use different ways for them to find their path. He will not forsake them. Even at the hour of death He will grant them to be found in a good condition.


Translated by John Sanidopoulos