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On the Resurrection of the Damned

David Davis

James V. Schall, S.J. - published on 02/23/14

Why should we think of these things, especially in the modern world where no one believes in God, the afterlife, eternal rewards, or punishments? It is precisely to reaffirm that in this life, we work out what is the eternity in which we choose to continue forever. We might think our lives are unimportant or that it does not matter what we do or believe. The teaching of the resurrection of the damned is designed as a grace to remind us, to teach us that we cannot hide from our own crimes or choices.

In Chapter 2 of the First Book of Samuel, we read: “For an all-knowing God is the Lord, a God who judges deeds.” It is from this judgment, based on our deeds, that we ultimately rise to be among the blessed or are cast to be with the damned. The divine judgment, in turn, is based on our free choices, which we decided to live with both in time and eternity. The resurrection of the damned is a logical consequence of the real freedom of will and God’s inability to make what was free to be not free. God allows our freedom to work themselves out to their full completion. This is what is required in a world in which the free creature is offered eternal life but rejects it in preference to his own will and the life that follows from it – the life we call the resurrection of the damned.

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