Editor’s note: I post this sermon from George MacDonald’s second volume of “Unspoken Sermons” with the hope of addressing some well-intentioned concerns about statements in the Scriptures that indicate universal reconciliation (e.g., Romans 5.19, Colossians 1.19-20, etc.) and universal salvation (e.g., 1 Timothy 4.10, etc.).
Two incipient responses to universal reconciliation/salvation include:
Are you saying, ‘Everyone is going to heaven?’ (a get-out-of-jail card for everyone without any real penalties for sin).
What about ____? Hitler, Stalin, etc.
This sermon occurs to me as one of the best answers to such concerns and others. Here is a summary of the major components of the sermon:
- The Parables: their purpose according to Jesus
- The importance of doing what we see to do and the (merciful) blindness placed on those who insist on understanding instead of doing.
- Christ our righteousness – never an imputed righteousness
- Righteousness is simply fairness with a dialogue of objections
- Choose to be righteous and help will be freely given; otherwise, there are ways to compel you
- A vision of the prison of “The Outer Darkness”