“It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom,” by Louis A. Dole

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“It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” – Luke 12:32

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” – Matthew 25:34

Readings

Isaiah 51:7-16 · Luke 12:22-34 · Psalm 30

Sermon

These passages treat of judgment. In connection with the second passage this judgment is presented under three different images, the parables of the ten virgins, of the talents, and of the sheep and the goats.

Most people instinctively feel that when one dies, he immediately rises to life in the spiritual world, even though a belief almost universally prevails that the dead are not to be judged until the last day, which is understood to mean the end of the world. Of this time it is written, “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Of course in the New Church we believe that the judgment takes place individually when we enter the spiritual world at death.

It would be difficult to find within the covers of the Bible a verse which carries within its terms greater consolation than is contained in this passage from Revelation. All the tears and sorrows, all the sicknesses and afflictions, and even death will pass away forever. And the Lord says, “It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”

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The Way of Life, by Louis A. Dole

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“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 18:3

Readings

Isaiah 57:13-21 · Matthew 18:1-14 · Psalm 79

Sermon

The eighteenth chapter of Matthew begins with the incident in which the disciples contended among themselves as to who would be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. They came to the Lord and asked Him to settle the dispute, saying, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

Each of the disciples desired to be greatest, and to rule. This is the condition of the natural man, and continues to be that of every man until he comes under the dominion of the Lord.

In appealing to the Lord to settle their dispute, the disciples acknowledged His authority as supreme, and they were disposed to abide by His decision. They expected, however, that He would merely decide for them what they themselves could not agree upon – which of them should be greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

But when “Jesus 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,” they were astonished. This idea had never entered into their thoughts, much less into their discussion.

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Parables of the Kingdom, by Louis A. Dole

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“And he spake many things unto them in parables.” – Matthew 13:3

Readings

Joel 3:9-21 · Matthew 13:24-52 · Psalm 78:1-11

Sermon

The thirteenth chapter of Matthew consists almost entirely of parables. It begins with the familiar parable of the “Sower.” Then follow in order the parables of the tares, the mustard seed, the leaven, the treasure hid in the field, the merchantman seeking goodly pearls, and the drag-net. It is in this chapter that we find the words, “without a parable spake he not unto them.” The whole Word is a parable, having deeper meanings within the letter.

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