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[PSST: Feel thoroughly purged! Rejoice in this work that God has done! (RR)]
Possible Sunday School Topics for the Christian Science Bible Lesson on

"Everlasting Punishment"
for October 29, 2017

By Tom and Amy Evans, former staff members and big fans of CedarS

PSST for Golden Text

What is “iniquity”? What does it mean to be purged? How do mercy and truth do this?
Do thoughts of mercy and of the truth of being change our perspective?

PSST for Responsive Reading

Define “drawn”. How does it feel to be drawn with lovingkindness? Consider what it takes to turn something that is deep red back to white. How does God do this? Is “blotting” covering up or absorbing and removing? How are you singing and rejoicing in the work that God has done?

PSST for Section 1

Look at citation B2. Should we be fearful of wrong thoughts? How can we be willing to let go of wrong thoughts and allow God to lead us “in the way everlasting”? Do we invite God to try/test our thoughts (B2)? Consider this as you are studying about the refiner’s pot. Discuss what it means to “delight in his way” (B3). This is not just doing good because of a requirement, but delighting along the way. How do you do this? What can we do when we know that none of our steps will slide? Citation B4 reminds us that God does not tempt us. Why is this important to remember? Talk about God as unchanging and unflinching (shadow of turning). Take a look at another translation for citation B5. Try www.biblehub.com or www.biblegateway.com.
How do you as a Sunday School teacher search for other biblical translations quickly? Do you have a parallel Bible? How about walking with your class over to the stack of Bibles on the shelf in Sunday School and thumbing through a few translations as you read scripture this Sunday?

Think about the implications when “man possesses nothing which he has not derived from God” (S2). What does that mean? Where do people get all of their true traits and ideas? What is Mrs. Eddy saying about false beliefs in citation S5? How can she say the false belief is the tempter, the sin, the disease, and its cause? Are sin and disease temptations? Look at the spiritual interpretation of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically the line “And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death” (S&H page 17). Is Mrs. Eddy saying that sin, disease, and death are temptations? Does the way you read this line out loud make a difference in the meaning? Are you conscious of the meaning when you read a passage out loud or are you just reading words? If you have the meaning of the words in your heart then the meaning will come out more clearly. Do you think about the way it sounds to others?

PSST for Section 2

Citations B6 & B7 – How are these passages inviting us think about change and divine correction? Might the Psalm 66 and Proverbs 3 be saying “Don’t be afraid but confident in purification. Rejoice as you change”? Look at the way B2 and B9 are connected around inviting God to test and examine us.

Citation S7- Why is the statement “God is Love” so important? Does this statement help us reach heaven?

Citation S8 – Why does Mrs. Eddy say “it is easier to desire Truth than to rid one’s self of error”? Is that true in your experience? Citation S9 includes a familiar passage, “the belief in sin is punished so long as the belief lasts.” Is this an “easy way out” of punishment? How does this line address the topic of this week’s lesson Everlasting Punishment? Do Christian Scientists believe in everlasting punishment a.k.a. hell? Try turning Mrs. Eddy’s statement around, like: When the belief in sin is gone, there is no longer any belief left to be punished. What does it take to accomplish this task? Is it a one-time chore?

PSST for Section 3

Why is Malachi picking on the sons of Levi? (B11) Who were his sons? (The tribe of Levi, hundreds of thousands of people in Malachi’s time, was the group from which the priests were selected who offered sacrifices for the rest of Israel.) If sections one and two invited God to “examine” or “try” our thoughts, what practical steps for a pure life is Jesus presenting in B13, part of the Sermon on the Mount?

What does citation S11 Say about Christ’s purpose? Why does Mrs. Eddy say Christ, instead of Jesus? Is there a difference? How does S&H citation 12 tie in with citation B14? Is there a difference between doing something wrong and entertaining the idea in thought? Define propensity as referred to in citation S13.

This PSST suggests several times that students go back and look up words in the dictionary. Is that a regular habit of your class? Science and Health is the textbook of Christian Science and many of the words receive the rating “Few English speakers likely know this word” on dictionary.com’s Difficulty Index. In citation S14 what is needed or required for “true happiness”?

PSST for Section 4

Is there a difference between citations S11 and B16? What does the author of 1st Timothy in citation B16 mean where he writes “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”? You might even have your class read citation B17 first and then go back and look at citation B16.

Discuss the meaning of Mrs. Eddy’s paragraph in citation S15 after your students look up contrition, absolution, and penitent (You can search for that one 😉 ). What does citation S16 look like in our lives? How about in others? What is the “superabundance of being” in citation S17? Throughout the lesson there have been multiple references to God refining us, blotting out the error and otherwise extracting wrong thoughts. How can we “pour in truth through flood-tides of Love” in citation S17? What does that entail? How does Love lead to reformation (S18)?

PSST for Section 5

What verse is Paul quoting in citation B19 in his letter to the Romans? Do you ever look up biblical references? How might you find out what passage Paul is referring to? Reference Bibles and commentaries can help. You might have one in the Sunday School, or there are websites designed specifically to list biblical cross-references. If Paul’s letter refers to Jacob who is the same man as Israel and as Christians we extend the phrase “Children of Israel” to include all of God’s people or all of humanity, what is Romans 11:26 saying? Is Jacob the only one who will be turned away from ungodliness? You know the stories in Section 4 and 5 very well. The woman referred to outside of the Bible as “Mary Magdalene” (B17) and the lame man healed at the pool of five porches Bethesda (B20) are both events Jesus participated in which you have likely heard before, but how can you apply these ideas of reformation? Put yourself in their shoes. What kind of change might have been taking place in the thought of the woman in Luke 7? How about the man in John 5? What new outlook might they have on life after Jesus helped them?

In citation S21 is Mrs. Eddy saying that those who believe life exists in matter are sinners, or is she saying any actions taken by people who believe life is in matter are sinful, or is she saying something else? What is the remedy to citation S21? What analogy is Mrs. Eddy making in citation S23? Can you think of another analogy besides a scale to depict a spiritual point?

Sunday School teachers, brief your students on giving a Christian Science Treatment then feel free to tell them Tom and Amy put you up to this assignment:

Class, please use S&H 420:10-13 as the basis for praying for your Sunday School teacher right now. Take a few minutes to write down ideas if you need to. Share your prayer out loud in your own words. Afterwards, you can discuss how it went. What might you add or subtract if you were praying for someone who was very new to Christian Science? Why is S&H 420:17-18 true (S24)? How does it work? In citation S25 what does higher spiritual understanding mean? How does this higher understanding remove anything that deserves to be punished?

PSST for Section 6

Citation B23- Notice the progression of selections chosen for this week’s lesson from refining silver to now in Job 23:10 we will “come forth as gold.” How does the author of Job suggest one live in order to “come out as pure as gold” (New Living Translation)?

Citation B24- Wow! Could there be a more joyous verse? Look this up in another translation. What could cause a person praying to be this happy? Are you happy when you pray?

In citation S27 what does the image of God look like? Is that us? Citation S28 is a triumphal affirmation and rejoicing over the absence of sin “…for the accuser is not there…” Why would it be such a big deal if humanity realized the accuser / suggestion / error / devil is not present?

The title of the lesson sure sounds depressing, but isn’t the lesson about purification, freedom, and rejoicing?

Have a great Sunday School class!

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