“Did ancient Christians not consider themselves to be sinners?”

Thought of the Dread Judgment produces a dispiriting impression on most people, even on those who both pray to God and reflect on the salvation of their souls. It seems to them all that the words greeting the righteous bear little relation to their souls, which are more subject to the punishment pronounced to the sinful.

This was not the case with ancient Christians, who awaited the Second Coming with luminous joy; they replied to the Lord’s words Surely I come quickly, with the words Even so, come, Lord Jesus (Revelation 22:20).

Did ancient Christians not consider themselves to be sinners? Yes, of course they did; but their confidence in Divine mercy and in the ultimate victory of Christ over the world was so powerful that they did not, as it were, turn their eyes from the contemplation of His future victory. Therefore, they conceived of this very future as something bright and joyful, when Christ the Savior will wipe away every tear from the face of man.

Met. Anthony (Khrapotvitsky) of Kiev and Galicia

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