October 25th, 2015 Full Text | Plainfield Christian Science Church, Independent

SUNDAY OCTOBER 25, 2015


SUBJECT — PROBATION AFTER DEATH


GOLDEN TEXT: REVELATION 22 : 14


“Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”



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RESPONSIVE READING: Psalm 24 : 3-5 Psalm 23 : 1-6

3.     Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4.     He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5.     He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

1.     The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2.     He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3.     He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

4.     Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5.     Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6.     Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


LESSON SERMON

The Bible


1.     Isaiah 25 : 1 (to 3rd ;), 4, 7, 8

1     O LORD, thou art my God; I will exalt thee, I will praise thy name; for thou hast done wonderful things;

4     For thou hast been a strength to the poor, a strength to the needy in his distress, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat, when the blast of the terrible ones is as a storm against the wall.

7     And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations.

8     He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.


2.     II Corinthians 6: 2 (behold, now is the accepted)

2     …behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)


3.     Isaiah 28 : 10

10     For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:


4.     Matthew 4 : 23 (to 3rd ,)

23     And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom,


5.     Matthew 5 : 1 (to 1st ,), 2 (he), 18 (verily), 20

1     And seeing the multitudes,

2     …he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

18     …verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

20     For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.


6.     Luke 16 : 14, 15 (to ,), 19-31

14     And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.

15     And he said unto them,

19     There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:

20     And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,

21     And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

22     And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;

23     And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24     And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

25     But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.

26     And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.

27     Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house:

28     For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

29     Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.

30     And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.

31     And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.


7.     I Corinthians 1 : 1 (to 2nd ,)

1     Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God.


8.     I Corinthians 15 : 12, 19, 20, 24-26, 51-55, 57, 58

12     Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

19     If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20     But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

24     Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

25     For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.

26     The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

51     Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52     In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53     For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54     So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

55     O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

57     But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58     Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.


9.     Revelation 2 : 7

7     He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.


Science and Health


1.     vii : 1-2

To those leaning on the sustaining infinite, to-day is big with blessings.


2.     39 : 18-27

"Now," cried the apostle, "is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation," — meaning, not that now men must prepare for a future-world salvation, or safety, but that now is the time in which to experience that salvation in spirit and in life. Now is the time for so-called material pains and material pleasures to pass away, for both are unreal, because impossible in Science. To break this earthly spell, mortals must get the true idea and divine Principle of all that really exists and governs the universe harmoniously.


3.     233 : 1-15

Every day makes its demands upon us for higher proofs rather than professions of Christian power. These proofs consist solely in the destruction of sin, sickness, and death by the power of Spirit, as Jesus destroyed them. This is an element of progress, and progress is the law of God, whose law demands of us only what we can certainly fulfil.

In the midst of imperfection, perfection is seen and acknowledged only by degrees. The ages must slowly work up to perfection. How long it must be before we arrive at the demonstration of scientific being, no man knoweth, — not even "the Son but the Father;" but the false claim of error continues its delusions until the goal of goodness is assiduously earned and won.


4.     203 : 24-25 (to 1st .), 31-2

Death is not a stepping-stone to life, immortality, and bliss.

God, divine good, does not kill a man in order to give him eternal Life, for God alone is man's life. God is at once the centre and circumference of being. It is evil that dies; good dies not.


5.     290 : 16-25 (to 1st .) next page

If the change called death destroyed the belief in sin, sickness, and death, happiness would be won at the moment of dissolution, and be forever permanent; but this is not so. Perfection is gained only by perfection. They who are unrighteous shall be unrighteous still, until in divine Science Christ, Truth, removes all ignorance and sin.

The sin and error which possess us at the instant of death do not cease at that moment, but endure until the death of these errors. To be wholly spiritual, man must be sinless, and he becomes thus only when he reaches perfection. The murderer, though slain in the act, does not thereby forsake sin. He is no more spiritual for believing that his body died and learning that his cruel mind died not. His thoughts are no purer until evil is disarmed by good. His body is as material as his mind, and vice versa.

The suppositions that sin is pardoned while unforsaken, that happiness can be genuine in the midst of sin, that the so-called death of the body frees from sin, and that God's pardon is aught but the destruction of sin, — these are grave mistakes. We know that all will be changed "in the twinkling of an eye," when the last trump shall sound; but this last call of wisdom cannot come till mortals have already yielded to each lesser call in the growth of Christian character. Mortals need not fancy that belief in the experience of death will awaken them to glorified being.

Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them. Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind in which all the manifestations of Mind are harmonious and immortal, because sin is not there and man is found having no righteousness of his own, but in possession of "the mind of the Lord," as the Scripture says.

"In the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be." So we read in Ecclesiastes. This text has been transformed into the popular proverb, "As the tree falls, so it must lie." As man falleth asleep, so shall he awake. As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change.


6.     291 : 28-31

No final judgment awaits mortals, for the judgment-day of wisdom comes hourly and continually, even the judgment by which mortal man is divested of all material error.


7.     296 : 9-13

The old man with his deeds must be put off. Nothing sensual or sinful is immortal. The death of a false material sense and of sin, not the death of organic matter, is what reveals man and Life, harmonious, real, and eternal.


8.     253 : 32-8

The divine demand, "Be ye therefore perfect," is scientific, and the human footsteps leading to perfection are indispensable. Individuals are consistent who, watching and praying, can "run, and not be weary; . . .walk, and not faint," who gain good rapidly and hold their position, or attain slowly and yield not to discouragement. God requires perfection, but not until the battle between Spirit and flesh is fought and the victory won.


9.     254 : 10-15

When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously, He directs our path. Imperfect mortals grasp the ultimate of spiritual perfection slowly; but to begin aright and to continue the strife of demonstrating the great problem of being, is doing much.


10.     426 : 11-22

If the belief in death were obliterated, and the understanding obtained that there is no death, this would be a "tree of life," known by its fruits. Man should renew his energies and endeavors, and see the folly of hypocrisy, while also learning the necessity of working out his own salvation.

When it is learned that disease cannot destroy life, and that mortals are not saved from sin or sickness by death, this understanding will quicken into newness of life. It will master either a desire to die or a dread of the grave, and thus destroy the great fear that besets mortal existence.


11.     326 : 16-21

The purpose and motive to live aright can be gained now. This point won, you have started as you should. You have begun at the numeration-table of Christian Science, and nothing but wrong intention can hinder your advancement. Working and praying with true motives, your Father will open the way.



Love is the liberator.