Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Four Last Things

For Advent this year, the clergy at All Saints are following the medieval tradition of preaching on the Four Last Things (Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven).

I. Death
I have already posted about Fr. Sean's beautiful sermon on death.

II. Judgment
Fr. Dan's sermon on Judgment is also compelling and worth your time. Some excerpts:
What is our end? Our end is simply wonderful and magnificent: to live in the presence of God forever and ever, world without end; to participate in the very life of God as his adopted children through the holy waters of Baptism; to become fully human; to learn and to grow in God's presence without ceasing forever and ever and ever and ever. 
For all divine judgment is rooted in this very first declaration of God: that his creation is very good. 
God’s judgment of Adam was really ultimately his divine means of grace and salvation for the human race.”
Listen to the whole thing!

III. Hell
And last week, Fr. Gene preached on "Lewis' conception of Hell as a mercy of God," ultimately concluding with the right combination of eschatological hope and epistemological humility:
There may come a time—and I believe Hell exists within the temporal creation—when all those in hell repent and accept the forgiveness freely offered by the Lord Jesus. However, the Church has not been vouchsafed with the revelation that this must come to pass. The possibility exists that the damned will cling to their rebellion forever, no matter how foolish or how horrible it seems. I do believe that it is acceptable to hope for and pray that all come to the beatific vision.
Read the whole thing.

IV. Heaven
I'll finish with a sermon on Heaven tomorrow.

As my rector wrote, “Now all the pressure is on you to top off the Advent series with an all encompassing, yet specifically attentively and responsibly executed sermon on the four last things while also gently pulling back the veil and exhibiting before our yearning eyes all that the Ancient of Days has prepared for those who love him!”

No pressure.