Sunday, November 4th, 2018
“Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?”
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8. I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9. Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12. Yea, the Lord shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13. Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
17 …Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night:
33 Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.
34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.
57 And they that had laid hold on Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled.
58 But Peter followed him afar off unto the high priest’s palace, and went in, and sat with the servants, to see the end.
69 Now Peter sat without in the palace: and a damsel came unto him, saying, Thou also wast with Jesus of Galilee.
70 But he denied before them all, saying, I know not what thou sayest.
71 And when he was gone out into the porch, another maid saw him, and said unto them that were there, This fellow was also with Jesus of Nazareth.
72 And again he denied with an oath, I do not know the man.
73 And after a while came unto him they that stood by, and said to Peter, Surely thou also art one of them; for thy speech bewrayeth thee.
74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew.
75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
2 And when they had bound him, they led him away,
3 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
1 After these things Jesus shewed himself again to the disciples at the sea of Tiberias;
14 This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.
15 …when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
1 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
14 …Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them,
22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:
36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.
41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.
21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
The way to escape the misery of sin is to cease sinning. There is no other way.
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. As for spiritual error there is none.
All sin is of the flesh. It cannot be spiritual. Sin exists here or hereafter only so long as the illusion of mind in matter remains. It is a sense of sin, and not a sinful soul, which is lost. Evil is destroyed by the sense of good.
The belief of sin, which has grown terrible in strength and influence, is an unconscious error in the beginning, — an embryonic thought without motive; but afterwards it governs the so-called man. Passion, depraved appetites, dishonesty, envy, hatred, revenge ripen into action, only to pass from shame and woe to their final punishment.
Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform and the very easiest step. The next and great step required by wisdom is the test of our sincerity, — namely, reformation. To this end we are placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation bids us repeat the offence, and woe comes in return for what is done. So it will ever be, till we learn that there is no discount in the law of justice and that we must pay "the uttermost farthing." The measure ye mete "shall be measured to you again," and it will be full "and running over."
Saints and sinners get their full award, but not always in this world. The followers of Christ drank his cup. Ingratitude and persecution filled it to the brim; but God pours the riches of His love into the understanding and affections, giving us strength according to our day. Sinners flourish "like a green bay tree;" but, looking farther, the Psalmist could see their end, — the destruction of sin through suffering.
An apostle says that the Son of God [Christ] came to "destroy the works of the devil." We should follow our divine Exemplar, and seek the destruction of all evil works, error and disease included. We cannot escape the penalty due for sin. The Scriptures say, that if we deny Christ, "he also will deny us."
Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the sinner. God is not separate from the wisdom He bestows. The talents He gives we must improve. Calling on Him to forgive our work badly done or left undone, implies the vain supposition that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence.
To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until belief in material life and sin is destroyed.
Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus' prayer, "Forgive us our debts," specified also the terms of forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he said, "Go, and sin no more."
A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this may be no moral benefit to the criminal, and at best, it only saves the criminal from one form of punishment. The moral law, which has the right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitution before mortals can "go up higher." Broken law brings penalty in order to compel this progress.
Every pang of repentance and suffering, every effort for reform, every good thought and deed, will help us to understand Jesus' atonement for sin and aid its efficacy; but if the sinner continues to pray and repent, sin and be sorry, he has little part in the atonement, — in the at- one-ment with God, — for he lacks the practical repentance, which reforms the heart and enables man to do the will of wisdom. Those who cannot demonstrate, at least in part, the divine Principle of the teachings and practice of our Master have no part in God. If living in disobedience to Him, we ought to feel no security, although God is good.
Who will stop the practice of sin so long as he believes in the pleasures of sin? When mortals once admit that evil confers no pleasure, they turn from it. Remove error from thought, and it will not appear in effect.
A sinner can receive no encouragement from the fact that Science demonstrates the unreality of evil, for the sinner would make a reality of sin, — would make that real which is unreal, and thus heap up "wrath against the day of wrath." He is joining in a conspiracy against himself, — against his own awakening to the awful unreality by which he has been deceived. Only those, who repent of sin and forsake the unreal, can fully understand the unreality of evil.
The so-called sinner is a suicide. Sin kills the sinner and will continue to kill him so long as he sins. The foam and fury of illegitimate living and of fearful and doleful dying should disappear on the shore of time; then the waves of sin, sorrow, and death beat in vain.
Let the slave of wrong desire learn the lessons of Christian Science, and he will get the better of that desire, and ascend a degree in the scale of health, happiness, and existence.
If men understood their real spiritual source to be all blessedness, they would struggle for recourse to the spiritual and be at peace; but the deeper the error into which mortal mind is plunged, the more intense the opposition to spirituality, till error yields to Truth.
When we put off the false sense for the true, and see that sin and mortality have neither Principle nor permanency, we shall learn that sin and mortality are without actual origin or rightful existence.
The destruction of sin is the divine method of pardon. Divine Life destroys death, Truth destroys error, and Love destroys hate. Being destroyed, sin needs no other form of forgiveness.