“Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” by Louis A. Dole

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“Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” – Luke 10:25

Readings

Deuteronomy 28:1-14 · Matthew 19:16-30 · Psalm 16

Sermon

The terms “everlasting life” and “eternal life” sometimes are used to mean the same – that is, life without end – but there is a difference in some cases.

Everyone has everlasting life, for the evil as well as the good live forever in the spiritual world after the death of the body. No one need ask “What shall I do to inherit everlasting life” for everyone is sure to have it. But to inherit eternal life is altogether different.

No short definition of eternal life can be made that carries to another its real meaning because it involves so much. Eternal life is life directly from God, the kind of life that is in God. But for such a definition to have meaning one must know at least something of the quality of life that is in God. It is like asking “What is sunlight?” Sunlight is indeed light directly from the sun, but such a definition does not tell us exactly what sunlight is.

With the Lord there is no such thing as time. A thousand years are as a day in His sight. The angels have no idea of time. Think of an angel four thousand years old. He does not think of years, for he is merely four thousand years advanced in the love and wisdom of the Lord. So eternal life means a life of continual increase in God’s life, a life that contains unlimited unfolding of the glory of God.

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“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles,” by Louis A. Dole

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“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” – Revelation 11:2

Readings

Jeremiah 31:31-40 · Revelation 11 · Psalm 52

Sermon

The Tabernacle was built according to the pattern showed to Moses on the mount. It was the center of Jewish worship. All the tribes had their position in relation to it. Covered by the pillar of cloud by day and by the pillar of fire by night, it was the visible sign of the presence and protection of the Almighty.

The Tabernacle, made from the costliest offerings of all the people and built by hands inspired by God to do the delicate work, had a beauty and glory beyond anything man himself could conceive. Whether it is realized or not, man is ever a worshiper and from earliest times has found delight in adorning his temples and making them works of beauty. But the Tabernacle, as well as the Temple and modern churches whose basic structure is that of the Tabernacle, has a beauty beyond that of mere outward form.

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Eulogy for Arthur N. Lawrence, August 17, 1963, by Louis A. Dole

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Arthur N. Lawrence
Lisbon Falls, Aug. 17, 1963

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10

It is hard to conceive of a theme which comes closer to our hearts or makes us think more deeply than that which is concerned with the end of our career in this world and our entrance into the eternal world, in which all who are prepared become eternally happy.

Without a knowledge of the Lord and of His Divine providence over us, as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures, life here cannot be understood.

The first thing that the Bible tells us is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and finally man in the image and likeness of his Creator. Then man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.

It is a beautiful world that has been created for us, a world that is able to satisfy our every physical need and desire if we but seek to understand and master it. In symbolic language God tells us, “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” and “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” These words beautifully describe the real situation. We are God’s tenants and caretakers here. We are to subdue the earth, to dress it and to keep it. We are to study it, to enjoy it, and to make the best use we can of it. It is a wonderful task and God has endowed mankind with the capacities which will enable him to carry out His commands.

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“Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 3:2

Readings

Zechariah 13:1-9 · Matthew 3:1-17 · Psalm 48

Sermon

We know that heaven is not in some remote part of the natural sky; that we cannot say of it, “Lo, here, or Lo, there.” But still we are apt to think of it as far away. We are also inclined to think of heaven as remote in time. We speak commonly of the future world. In the thought of some it lies at the indefinitely remote time when they expect a general resurrection. With others death is the gateway to heaven, and still it seems too distant to be of much present and practical interest.

But the truth is that heaven is far away neither in space nor in time. It is here and now. We live in it now, or may do so. It is a present reality, the most real and most important element of the life which we are now living. When we speak of heaven and living for heaven, we are not necessarily setting our hearts on something far away and despising the life in which we now are. One might live for a far-off heaven, and no doubt some have lived so, careless of this world’s joys or sorrows or opportunities for usefulness, their eyes fixed on some vision of the future. But we may live for heaven and still live thoroughly in the present. We may value heaven – and they who have some true knowledge of heaven ought so to value it – as the most real of present realities.

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“Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.” – Psalm 55:6

Readings

Isaiah 60:8-22 · Matthew 5:33-48 · Psalm 84

Sermon

The Psalm from which this text is taken is a prayer of David for deliverance from his enemies. He is weary from the struggle and longs for a relief, which to him seems like wishing for the impossible. But looking a little deeper, the import of the Psalm is that a relief is possible.

Our natural bodies, heavy and inert, tie us to natural place and conditions. We are often compelled to remain amid surroundings which are uncongenial, and to see and hear things that are unpleasant. And in our occupations we are often limited to a narrow, monotonous round which we see day after day with little variation.

But it is only the natural body that is tied. The soul is not fettered by time and space. It rises on the wings of thought and flies where it pleases. The walls and pavements of the city may limit the natural sight, but the soul is free and in thought revisits the places it loves best – the shaded woods where the air is clear and pure and the paths through which we love to walk. The soul rises without fatigue to the tops of mountains and looks out upon the forests spread out beneath, the checkered farms, the villages and lakes in the distance. The flight of thought carries the soul across the sea without effort or delay, revisiting places and scenes of interest in other countries.

This freedom of the soul from the limitations of time and space, this power to come and go at will is imaged in the fight of birds. So in the Scriptures we read that angels were seen flying.

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“It is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” – Matthew 18:14

Readings

Isaiah 2 · Matthew 18:1-14 · Psalm 91

Sermon

In these words the Lord declares the Divine purpose with respect to little children. It is one among several passages in the Gospels which give expression to the same truth. To His disciples and to others with whom He conversed it seems to have been a new and strange doctrine that little helpless children were worthy of interest and attention from grown-up men, and especially from one who was a wise teacher of men. They sternly rebuked the women who brought little children to the Lord for His blessing. That a feeling of contempt was in their hearts is evident from the Lord’s rebuke: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones.” His own feeling and conduct were the reverse of theirs. He took the children in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them, and said, “Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And when the disciples asked Him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He “called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Also He taught that little ones were the peculiar care of the highest angels, saying: “in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.” Finally, He tells how dearly they are loved by the Infinite God Himself, whose will it is that not one of them should perish.

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