Thought for the Day – 18 April – Wednesday of the Third Week of Eastertide – Acts 8:1-8, Psalm 66:1-7, John 6:35-40
St John Chrysostom (347-407) – Sermon 45 on the Gospel of John – John 6:40
And I will raise him up at the last day. Why does He continually dwell upon the Resurrection? Is it that men may not judge of God’s providence by present things alone; that if they enjoy not results here, they become not on that account desponding but wait for the things that are to come and that they may not, because their sins are not punished for the present, despise Him, but look for another life.
Now those men gained nothing but let us take pains to gain by having the Resurrection continually sounded in our ears; and if we desire to be grasping, or to steal, or to do any wrong thing, let us straightway take into our thoughts that Day, let us picture to ourselves the Judgment-seat, for such reflections will check the evil impulse more strongly than any bit. Let us continually say to others and to ourselves, There is a resurrection, and a fearful tribunal awaits us.
If we see any man insolent and puffed up with the good things of his world, let us make the same remark to him and show him that all those things abide here: and if we observe another grieving and impatient, let us say the same to him and point out to him that his sorrows shall have an end; if we see one careless and dissipated, let us say the same charm over him and show that for his carelessness he must render account.
This saying is able more than any other remedy to heal our souls. For there is a Resurrection and that Resurrection is at our doors, not afar off, nor at a distance. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry. Hebrews 10:37 And again, We must all appear before the judgement-seat of Christ 2 Corinthians 5:10; that is, both bad and good, the one to be shamed in sight of all, the other in sight of all to be made more glorious. For as they who judge here, punish the wicked and honour the good publicly, so too will it be there, that the one sort may have the greater shame and the other more conspicuous glory.
Let us picture these things to ourselves every day. If we are ever revolving them, no care for present things will be able to sting us. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:18 Continually let us say to ourselves and to others, There is a Resurrection, and a Judgement and a scrutiny of our actions; and let as many as deem that there is such a thing as fate repeat this and they shall straightway be delivered from the rottenness of their malady; for if there is a Resurrection, and a Judgement, there is no fate, though they bring ten thousand arguments and choke themselves to prove it.
But I am ashamed to be teaching Christians concerning the Resurrection: for he that needs to learn that there is a Resurrection and who has not firmly persuaded himself that the affairs of this world go not on by fate and without design and as chance will have them, can be no Christian.
Wherefore, I exhort and beseech you, that we cleanse ourselves from all wickedness and do all in our power to obtain pardon and excuse in that Day….For a man cannot possibly live a pure life without believing in the Resurrection!