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I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE.
LET not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I come again, and will receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go, ye know the
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto the Father.
If ye love me, ye will keep my commandments. And I will pray my Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may be with for ever, you even the Spirit of truth. He shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be fearful.
FOURTH GOSPEL, chapter fourteen.
I GO TO PREPARE A PLACE.
The Endless Life.
Jesus always said that he came from God and would go to
There is so much in this, we must stop and think. Perhaps the words are not plain. The Great Teacher spoke of this world and this life as parts of some larger world and larger life. What he said about coming from God and going to God, he also said of his disciples, Ye have the endless life, too.
Jesus also said, God is here and now; and Paul, the great apostle, said, In God we live and move and have our being. Before.
The people to whom Jesus usually spoke, the Jews, did not have much to say about any life but the present one. You know some persons, perhaps, who do not believe that we live after death.
Jesus preached that there was no death. He taught the endless life. You live here, then you go somewhere else. He did not tell us much about the future, only that God is there, and we must live as children of God. Because Jesus said so much about the resurrection and life after death was one of the reasons for his crucifixion.
All is changed now. The words of Jesus, "I am the resurrection and the life," are read at funerals. We plant flowers on graves, and sing beautiful hymns of faith and hope. Children believe that their parents live in heaven, and friends expect to see friends in another world.
Do we know any more about the other life? No. Has any one come back to tell us about it? Some say, Yes; but most people say, No. Why, then, do we believe such happy things about the life beyond? Because of what Jesus showed, in his own life, of the endless life, and because a great deal has been learned in many ways, since Jesus lived, to make us believe in immortality.
We have this in "Our Faith." You remember the last,
fifth "point" in the printed statement, The Progress of Mankind onward and upward forever. That means the endless life.
Now what makes the best onward, upward life? Our Passage tells us in these words: Believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me. He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do.
Jesus asked his disciples to see what he did and how he did it. Then they might go and do likewise. He took his power from the great Source of all life, from God. He worked with God. Any one who does this has the real power to live on, and live forever.
Root and Branch.
In this same John's Gospel is a picture of a tree and branches. It tells us what Jesus meant about the endless life. No branch can live when it is cut off from the tree. It dries and dies. So it is with us. We cannot live on our own life: we are branches. The tree is God. He is the life that pours into
But you will say: No one ever saw God. How can we know and feel that He is near us and with us? By keeping conscience strong, by heart goodness, by purity, by nobleness. These are the channels through which the power of God, or Goodness, comes.
Every one who has the spirit of Jesus is open to the endless life. No one ever really saw the force called electricity, no one can tell what it is. It is used for light, for heat, for lifting, for healing. We know we can use it. We know it is a
So, by picture, with God-power. It has been tried. Jesus used it. Great souls have used it. We can have it. The power to become true men and women.
In our Passage, Jesus reveals his power. It was strange, but it was real. Believe in me, and believe in my words. Where I go, there you shall go. What I do, you shall do. I will give you peace, courage, victory over death.
Thousands and thousands have been made noble and victorious by believing. It will lift the world. His name is in every pulpit, and his cross shines over every church.
This power makes us not only strong, it makes us wise. We all want to be wise. For that we go to day-school and Sunday School,- to be wise and good. I mean by wisdom the right use of life. If we are to live again after death, then there is no death: that is only a word that means change. We go away, and live in another place. So we must plan large. Young people can for an endless life. But one thing at a time. one life at a time, yet a part of a great whole. us happy when we are disappointed: this way of wisdom will help us think of death without fear.
Into the Light.
do that. Plan In this sense, This will make
Jesus brought life and immortality into the light. The people of the earth had believed in the endless life, but not so fully, not so strongly, as after Christianity's sun rose and shone. o'er all mankind.
HINTS FOR TEACHERS.
1. The people before the time of Jesus did not believe clearly in a life after death. Explain what the Old Testament teaches. There were some, the Pharisees, who did hold such a faith.
2. Show the argument of Jesus: As I am more fully one with the Divine, so am I to live on forever. Unfold the Christian idea of an endless life.
3. Make a distinction between much that has been and is taught about the future life and the truth of immortality.
4. Bring out the necessity of learning to live rather than learning to die.
5. How faith in immortality brings comfort and courage. QUESTIONS FOR PUPILS.
Did Jesus teach the endless life? What do you think he meant? Have people always believed it? Do all people believe it now? What is meant by the tree and the branches? Is God the one source of life? How can we make use of this power? Can you repeat the illustration about electricity? Can you give the illustration from the White Mountains? Do most people round the world believe they are not to die? But their Where do you think
bodies die: how do you explain this? heaven is?
YE ARE MEMBERS ONE OF ANOTHER.
I SAY, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but so to think as to think soberly. For even as we have many members in one body, and all the members have not the same office: so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and severally members one of another.
Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. In love of the brethren be tenderly affectioned one to another; in honor preferring one another; in diligence not slothful; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.
Bless them that persecute you; bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Set not your mind on high things, but be carried away with things that are lowly. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
ROMANS, chapter twelve.