Service for Arthur Sewall, August 2, 1961, by Louis A Dole

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“Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God.”

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

“He will not always chide; neither will he keep his anger forever.

“He hath not dealt with us after our sins, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

“For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

“As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

“Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him.

“For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

“As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

“For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

“But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children.

“To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.”

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“Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” – Matthew 18:18

Readings

Jeremiah 52:1-12 · Matthew 18:15-35 · Psalm 105:17-36

Sermon

The text states clearly and concisely the relation between our life here and our life in the spiritual world.

The teaching that Christ suffered the penalty of sin in substitution for the sinner – called the doctrine of the vicarious atonement – denies the teaching of this text, as that doctrine means that there is no real relation between the character of our life in this world and our life in the next.

The sphere of the vicarious atonement, although this doctrine is seldom specifically preached today, still environs us. It is still strong. Unconsciously it enters into our minds and twists our thoughts, making us feel that our culture, learning, wealth, social position, or system of faith, apart from the real quality of our life, will save us. Against such dreams of imagined salvation is asserted this law of honest, stalwart labor in the heart and mind: “Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

What is it that is to be bound or loosed? It is traits of character, faculties of the mind, affections of the heart, the capacity for love and joy in the soul, in short, all our human possibilities so marvelously provided within each person by the Creator.

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“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” – John 10:28

Readings

Isaiah 63 · Luke 24:1-27 · Psalms 122, 123

Sermon

There is but one subject for today – the Resurrection. It is delightful to us that we celebrate Easter in the spring of the year, when all life is rising again from the sleep of winter. Everyone feels within himself new gladness and new hope in the warmth of the returning sun and the renewal of earth’s life. But this new life which we see bursting into leaf and blossom is still but earthly and physical life. This resurrection of the earth in spring is the symbol – not the reality.

When the Lord said, “Whither I go ye know, and the way ye know,” He was speaking of His death and resurrection. He went to prepare a place for us in heaven, and the way is by His Word, which teaches of Him and shows us that where His presence is there is heaven.

Nor is man’s mere resurrection from the grave the reality of which the Lord spoke when He said, “I give unto them eternal life.” All men have risen from the grave. The life of man is indestructible and always has been so. There is no man who ever lived who does not live now. We cannot die in the sense that we cease to live. The Lord was not speaking of bodily life when He said, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.”

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