At some point in time, every religiously minded person must reject all forms of faith other than faith in God alone. In the end of life, no one can realistically cling to faith in the church or its doctrines, in the evidence of pious living, in the assurances of the preacher, or even in one’s own interpretation of God’s written revelation. Only a faith which rests exclusively in the one we know is completely capable and faithful can provide the peace we all desire at death. All doctrines and beliefs that put ultimate responsibility on me will fail me in that critical hour because I can never trust myself or other men to understand and properly respond to what we perceive as God’s requirements.
No amount of Orthodox Church teaching will ever eliminate the reality of living and dying fearfully under the paradigm of a fearful God who makes my faith and faithfulness critical. Reassuring someone in the throes of a terminal illness because they have done everything they needed to do to avoid God’s wrath will never be comforting because doubts are inevitable in the idea of salvation by being and doing right. If that is not obvious now, it will be when we actually face that final moment.
I suppose I could lose my faith in the totally benevolent God of Love in the end, but if so, I’d only be where Orthodoxy would leave me anyway, dying with uncertainty.