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[PSST: Apply the absolute truth from the Golden Text to current world issues.]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson:

“Everlasting Punishment”
for October 29-November 4, 2018

prepared by Merrill Boudreaux, C.S. 314-308-1059

P.S.S.T. Golden Text – What does the Golden Text tell us about God’s care for us? What does it indicate about how we should care for each other? Is there anything beyond everlasting? How has God’s kindness and mercy been shown in your life? How might we apply the absolute truth from the Golden Text to current world issues? For instance, the caravan of immigrants heading to the U.S.; opioid epidemic; political divisive animosity; among others.

P.S.S.T. Responsive Reading – What qualities expressed by God endure forever? Is God’s mercy conditional? That is, do we have to do something to receive it? Read the Responsive Reading to see answers.

P.S.S.T. Section 1 – Read 1 John 3:1-3 in several versions of the scriptures. What do these versions have in common? How do each speak of God’s love, relationship, hope, and our ability to know and feel God’s mercy/care for all that God creates? Can you ever be separated from God’s mercy/care?

P.S.S.T. Section 2 – Read together the Bible story in citation B7. What role does humility and meekness have in Manasseh’s experience? What does this story tell us about what happens when we think we can do it on our own; when we forget who it is that encourages and empowers us; when we ignore angel messages?

Read together Hymn 249 from the Christian Science Hymnal:

O, when we see God’s mercy Widespread in every place And know how flows the fountain Of His unbounded grace, Can we withhold a tribute, Forbear a psalm to raise, Or leave unsung one blessing, In this our hymn of praise?

Our gratitude is riches, Complaint is poverty, Our trials bloom in blessings, They test our constancy. O, life from joy is minted, An everlasting gold, True gladness is the treasure That grateful hearts will hold.

P.S.S.T. Section 3 – What is the conversation with God recorded in the Bible portion of this section? Role-play this conversation. What is revealed about how we should conduct our relationships with one another, especially as stated in citation B12? Read together citation S14. Can you accomplish these tasks now? Why would you desire to do so?

See citation S16. Of what value to us individually and collectively is it to follow these instructions? How does following these guidelines move you from everlasting punishment to neverlasting punishment? What truly are the results?

Read together Hymn 109 from the Christian Science Hymnal.
Here, O God, Thy healing presence Lifts our thoughts from self and sin, Fills with light their hidden places, When Thy love is welcomed in. Here Thy tender sweet persuasions Turn us home to heavenly ways, While our hearts, unsealed, adoring, Pour the fragrance of Thy praise.

Reverent lives unveil Thy beauty, Faithful witness bear of Thee; Binding up the broken-hearted, We reflect Thy radiancy. So may deeper consecration Show Thee forth in healing’s sign, Till through joyful self-surrender We in Love’s pure likeness shine.

P.S.S.T. Section 4 – In citations B15 and B16 what is the message Jesus had for all who heard him? How can you “hear” Jesus today? Read the scriptures, listen for Jesus’ messages – his voice is there speaking to every listening ear. Read citation B17 which states clearly, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation”.

Read together Hymn 175 from the Christian Science Hymnal:

Lo, He sent His Word and healed them, Still that Word of God is here. Still its tender healing message Speaks to every listening ear. Truth divine, that overcometh All the ills that seem to be, In our hearts Thy Word abiding, We may know Thee and be free.

Love divine, that faileth never, Still Thy presence and Thy power Mighty are to save and heal us, Guard and guide us every hour. Life divine, Thy Word proclaimeth All true being one with Thee. Sinless, fearless, whole, rejoicing, Now and through eternity.

Read together citation S23. Who are you in this citation? How exciting to have sonship with God, that is, to be a child of God, ever-loved, never punished!

P.S.S.T. Section 5 – Can you ever be punished for doing good, for speaking the truth, for working to demonstrate what Christian Science reveals about God and you? Looking through this section, identify the counterfacts that confirm no punishment for doing good.

  • No condemnation
  • Free from sin and death
  • No fear
  • Jesus rebuked a fever and restored Simon’s wife’s mother to doing good
  • “Whatever it is your duty to do, you can do without harm to yourself.” Citation S24.
  • The law of Love never punishes
  • It is your moral right to annul an unjust sentence
  • Jesus overruled the error which would impose penalties
  • “Whatever holds human thought in line with unselfed love, receives directly the divine power.” Citation S28.

P.S.S.T. Section 6 – What are the promises from God to His creation mentioned in this section? Ask students to write out the one that is particularly meaningful to them, the one that closely affirms Neverlasting Punishment.

Read together Hymn 53 from the Christian Science Hymnal:

Everlasting arms of Love Are beneath, around, above; God it is who bears us on, His the arm we lean upon.

He our ever-present guide Faithful is, whate’er betide; Gladly then we journey on, With His arm to lean upon.

From earth’s fears and vain alarms Safe in His encircling arms, He will keep us all the way, God, our refuge, strength and stay.

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