In theology school, I became quite interested in different Christian doctrines. I was particularly drawn to the core doctrines of the Orthodox Church and its beliefs about Heaven. During my research, I traveled to Eastern Europe as an exchange student, but I also learned a great deal from the local Orthodox churches. Last semester, my college theology students asked for explanations about the Orthodox Church’s beliefs about Heaven and the afterlife. Interestingly, most of them were rather clueless about it and thought Orthodox do not believe in Heaven. Many asked if Orthodox faithful will make Heaven. Based on my research, I was able to answer their questions comprehensively. So, will Orthodox go to Heaven?
The Orthodox believe they will go to Heaven in eternal and endless joy. The Orthodox believe that all the believers that love God completely will bask in God’s infinite Joy and enjoy eternal life in paradise. They also believe in Heaven and hell and that when Christ comes back again to judge believers. According to the Orthodox teachings, the saved believers will experience an eternity where God will sanctify them in an inexhaustible process because they believe that God is infinitely great.
In this post, I’ll share more about the Orthodox beliefs regarding Heaven and the afterlife. So, let’s dive right into it!
What do Orthodox Christians believe about the afterlife?
The Orthodox Christians believe that when someone dies, the body and the soul become deified, although the body and soul’s full dedication will only happen on the Last Day, the Day of Judgment and Resurrection.
Most Orthodox Christians believe in the resurrection of the body during Messiah’s second coming or the Messianic Age. This belief is also upheld by the Orthodox Jews, who believe in the teachings of the Torah, specifying that the Jewish believers will reunite with their family members who died in the past in the afterlife.
What do Orthodox Christians believe about salvation?
The Orthodox Christians believe that salvation starts with the incarnation, through which God became Man. This is a concept that they call theosis or deitification.
Accordingly, Orthodox Christians believe that the journey to salvation starts with reincarnation, a process through which God becomes human. They believe that Jesus is the reincarnated version of God, for he was born man and God, with two separate natures. Then during the crucifixion, God broke down the barrier created by sin, bringing salvation to humanity.
They believe that God, the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit must dwell in constant movement together in love to attain salvation. So, because humans are created in the image and likeness of God, salvation means dwelling together with Humanity and the Holy Trinity in the Trinitarian movement guided by love. The Orthodox Christians follow the teachings in John 17:21, which emphasizes the hope that all of humankind will dwell with God together in perfect communion. All believers can enjoy this life in Full communion with God, but the people who hate God will end up in hell and not receive salvation.
They also believe that the Christians that will earn salvation are the ones who consider God to be their all and fully trust in Him.
How are Eastern Orthodox Christians saved?
To be saved, the Eastern Orthodox Christians are required to receive salvation in God, and through the renewal of their faith, participating in the Sacraments of the Church, and following God’s commands, they will spend eternity with God.
They also believe that salvation is gained through participating in God’s energies and keeping his precious promises without being corrupted by the world – 2 Peter 1:4. The Orthodox theologians also believe in the importance of being in an intimate fellowship with God for the Christians to receive salvation.
According to their teachings, being fully human means enjoying fellowship with God in close communion. They believe that being the child of God means having a deep relationship and a strong union with God rather than receiving gifts from Him. This union of humankind and reincarnated Christ comprise salvation for the Eastern Orthodox Christians.
Do Orthodox Christians believe salvation can be lost?
No, they don’t believe that someone can lose their salvation. Orthodox Christians believe that Christians are being saved and not that they are already saved. They also believe that Christians cannot lose their salvation once they have received it, no matter how badly they act in the future.
It’s taught that all Christians are sealed with the power of the Holy Spirit from the time they receive salvation and that nothing breaks this seal.
Do Catholics believe Orthodox Christians will go to Heaven?
According to the Roman Catholic Church’s teachings, salvation comes from faith in Jesus Christ. So, while the Orthodox Church’s beliefs may differ from those of the Catholic Church regarding salvation and Heaven or hell, they still believe that the non-Catholics will go to Heaven. This belief also comes from the fact that orthodox beliefs don’t matter when it comes to salvation; what matters is that salvation for humankind comes from Jesus Christ.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.