ask an eastern orthodox Christian

Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: Getting Into Heaven

Ask An Eastern Orthodox Christian: Getting Into Heaven

What would you like to know about the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith? Submit your question.

By Nicholas Damascus

As a Reformed Calvinist will I go to Heaven?

Who can say with certainty where one will reside in the afterlife? It is not within anyone’s purview to judge or declare who is destined for hell or heaven. For even the sheep and the goats in the Final Judgement were surprised as to where they would spend eternity (Matthew 25:32-46). 

In the Orthodox faith it is not about getting that ticket to slide into heaven. It’s not about scoring points or just pleasing or winning the favor of God. The Orthodox faith is about one’s personal transformation from their prison of self-centeredness to a state of giving of oneself to another, that is, “becoming love itself” to everyone and all of creation. Becoming love is not just to pull love off the shelf and use it here and there and then put it back on the shelf. 

It is said in Romans 12:2, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The New Testament was written in ancient Greek, and “mind” here means the spirit/heart region or nous in Greek. It is the condition and transformation of the heart that opens the door to the Kingdom of Heaven and enables us to receive all that God wants to give and share with us. 

There is no official doctrine or dogma concerning heaven and hell in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church. However, they are understood from a consensus of theological opinions and commentary of the saints and church fathers. 

The Orthodox belief is that God is everywhere, present, and fillest all things. There is no created place of divine absence. Heaven or hell may not be so much a place, but rather the individual’s attitude towards God’s ever-present love. 

See the article on what Eastern Orthodox understand about Heaven and Hell. 

See also the article on Salvation as defined by the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

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