SUNDAY APRIL 26, 2015
SUBJECT — PROBATION AFTER DEATH
GOLDEN TEXT: REVELATION 21 : 7
“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
RESPONSIVE READING: Proverbs 2 : 1-9
1. My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
2. So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
3. Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
4. If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
5. Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.
6. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
7. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.
8. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
9. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
1. Psalm 63 : 1-4, 8, 9, 11
1 O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
3 Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
8 My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.
9 But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
11 But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.
2. Psalm 23 : 4, 6
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.
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.
3. Luke 4 : 14, 15, 23 (to 1st ,)
14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.
23 And he said unto them,
4. Luke 16 : 13-15, 19-31
13 No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
14 And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him.
15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
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.
5. Romans 1 : 1, 3-6
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ.
6. Romans 5 : 1-5, 10, 19-21
1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.
7. I Thessalonians 5 : 21, 24, 28
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.
28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Science and Health
1. 246 : 27-31
Life is eternal. We should find this out, and begin the demonstration thereof. Life and goodness are immortal. Let us then shape our views of existence into loveliness, freshness, and continuity, rather than into age and blight.
2. 426 : 5-7 next page
The discoverer of Christian Science finds the path less difficult when she has the high goal always before her thoughts, than when she counts her footsteps in endeavoring to reach it. When the destination is desirable, expectation speeds our progress. The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one. 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.
The relinquishment of all faith in death and also of the fear of its sting would raise the standard of health and morals far beyond its present elevation, and would enable us to hold the banner of Christianity aloft with unflinching faith in God, in Life eternal. Sin brought death, and death will disappear with the disappearance of sin. Man is immortal, and the body cannot die, because matter has no life to surrender. The human concepts named matter, death, disease, sickness, and sin are all that can be destroyed.
If it is true that man lives, this fact can never change in Science to the opposite belief that man dies. Life is the law of Soul, even the law of the spirit of Truth, and Soul is never without its representative. Man's individual being can no more die nor disappear in unconsciousness than can Soul, for both are immortal.
3. 291 : 12-25 (to 1st .)
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.
4. 429 : 13-18
Mortal mind affirms that mind is subordinate to the body, that the body is dying, that it must be buried and decomposed into dust; but mortal mind's affirmation is not true. Mortals waken from the dream of death with bodies unseen by those who think that they bury the body.
5. 569 : 3-28
Every mortal at some period, here or hereafter, must grapple with and overcome the mortal belief in a power opposed to God.
The Scripture, "Thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many," is literally fulfilled, when we are conscious of the supremacy of Truth, by which the nothingness of error is seen; and we know that the nothingness of error is in proportion to its wickedness. He that touches the hem of Christ's robe and masters his mortal beliefs, animality, and hate, rejoices in the proof of healing, — in a sweet and certain sense that God is Love. Alas for those who break faith with divine Science and fail to strangle the serpent of sin as well as of sickness! They are dwellers still in the deep darkness of belief. They are in the surging sea of error, not struggling to lift their heads above the drowning wave.
What must the end be? They must eventually expiate their sin through suffering. The sin, which one has made his bosom companion, comes back to him at last with accelerated force, for the devil knoweth his time is short. Here the Scriptures declare that evil is temporal, not eternal. The dragon is at last stung to death by his own malice; but how many periods of torture it may take to remove all sin, must depend upon sin's obduracy.
6. 430 : 3-12
Mortal mind must part with error, must put off itself with its deeds, and immortal manhood, the Christ ideal, will appear. Faith should enlarge its borders and strengthen its base by resting upon Spirit instead of matter. When man gives up his belief in death, he will advance more rapidly towards God, Life, and Love. Belief in sickness and death, as certainly as belief in sin, tends to shut out the true sense of Life and health. When will mankind wake to this great fact in Science?
7. 242 : 1-14
Through repentance, spiritual baptism, and regeneration, mortals put off their material beliefs and false individuality. It is only a question of time when "they shall all know Me [God], from the least of them unto the greatest." Denial of the claims of matter is a great step towards the joys of Spirit, towards human freedom and the final triumph over the body.
There is but one way to heaven, harmony, and Christ in divine Science shows us this way. It is to know no other reality — to have no other consciousness of life — than good, God and His reflection, and to rise superior to the so-called pain and pleasure of the senses.
8. 315 : 16-20
The likeness of God we lose sight of through sin, which beclouds the spiritual sense of Truth; and we realize this likeness only when we subdue sin and prove man's heritage, the liberty of the sons of God.