In this recording, Archimandrite Athanasios Mytilinaios (1927-2006), answers the question: “Following the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, how is the existence of men and of the universe shaped?” “There is not absolute joy in Paradise because the body is missing. Our existence desires what it acquired, both soul and body. Do not be surprised by that… If God makes us worthy of His Kingdom, we will be there with the whole of our existence, both our body and soul.”
Audio source: “Catechism”, no. 945 (in Greek), October 13, 1996
Following the Second Coming of Christ, others will be in Paradise and others in hell? What will happen to the earth and the whole universe?”
I have already answered numerous times to such a question. Thus, I will answer shortly. Of course, there are new friends, boys and girls, among us so we should always provide an answer.
In short, I answer. Following the Second Coming of Christ, there will not be others in Paradise and others in Hell.
I have told you many times that Paradise and the Kingdom of God are two different things.
They are two different things. Paradise is “the place” where the souls [emphasis] of men reside. Meaning, when a Saint leaves the present life his soul goes to Paradise, where all Saints, without exception, can be found.
Among them even St. John the Forerunner and the Apostles, there is only one exception
Theotokos [Virgin Mary]. She is the only exception. There [in Paradise], it is “a place” of glory of God.
With his descent to Hades, Christ transformed a part of Hades into Paradise. There, they enjoy in part, I emphasize, in part, the glory of God and they await the Resurrection of the dead.
There is not absolute joy in Paradise because the body is missing. Our existence desires what it acquired, both soul and body. Do not be surprised by that.
“This grievance,” so to say, of the Saints in Paradise is found in the Book of Revelation.
With the following phrase: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood.” [Revelation 6:10] It is said that a white robe was given to them and they were told to wait a little longer.
Pay attention to this, “a little longer,” “a little” which means that this situation will come to an end.
“Until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed.” [Revelation 6:11]
Thus, Paradise is not “a place” of absolute bliss. It is a bliss but there are only souls and not the whole of man, both soul and body.
Hell is a state where nobody is found [there] at this time. Neither demons, nor wicked men.
They are in Hades. The demons circulate. The souls of the sinful are confined in Hades so to say.
There, they await the Judgment of God. The Judgment has yet to take place. When it does, the devil, his demons and the sinful men will be judged.
It is clearly said by Christ at the end of the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. When Christ comes, the Resurrection of the dead will take place. Meaning, they will take back their body – what they now ask in Paradise The Saints will take back their body.
The Judgment will take place and then, the devil along with the sinful ones with a physical existence – I emphasize, “with a physical existence” – will head to eternal hell.
It is then that hell “initiates.” And it is then that the pious, the righteous will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
It is then that the eternal life will “initiate” with a physical presence. If God makes us worthy of His Kingdom, we will be [there] with the whole of our existence, both our body and soul.
For this, we will answer to God for all the sins we commit with our body. Children, are you listening? Especially, carnal sins. Are you listening? Are you listening? Pay attention!
This is why Apostle Paul says, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites […] will inherit the kingdom of God.” [1 Corinthians 6:9-10]
Are you listening? They will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Pay attention! They will not inherit the Kingdom of God, unless they repent. Only then, they will be forgiven. But they need not repeat such heavy sins. Apostle Paul says that with our body we will answer to the Righteous Judge.
It is then that we will enter the Kingdom of God or Hell. Thus, Paradise will not be preserved.
Paradise will hand the souls of the righteous and Hades will hand the souls of the impious. These are passing states, Hades and Paradise.
Do you know when Hades was first “inaugurated”? When the first man died. And the first man that died was Abel. Then Adam and Eve, their offspring, the whole humanity.
As concerns what happens to the universe, which the questions asks, we have answered it many times.
In short, the universe is not wiped out, it is not effaced. I told you this before in discussing our main subject.
The Revelation says so. For this, Christ says, “what I created, stays.” God did not wipe out anything of what He created.
Thus, the universe, as John the Evangelist says in his Revelation, will change. What will happen to it? It will become anew. It will not disappear but it will become anew, a new universe.
This new universe will be the space of the Kingdom of God. Otherwise, what is the purpose of a renovated but inhabited universe? What’s the purpose? It will become the Kingdom of God.
Now, how will this changed universe look like. We will only know when we see it. We are not even able to imagine such a thing. As Apostle Paul says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man
The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” [1 Corinthians 2:9]