"Reserved in heaven"

One of the first truths grasped by the beginner in Christian Science is that heaven is not a place or locality. For many years scholastic theology made the attempt to teach the fallacy of a localized heaven, attainable only in the hereafter; but today it is not so insistent. The churches are slowly but surely adopting the scientifically Christian explanation,—which indeed merely repeats what Christ Jesus taught centuries ago on the shores of Galilee,—that heaven is a divine state of consciousness, the spiritual harmony which is the direct result of the government of God. God being infinite and All-in-all, as the Scriptures declare, there is no place where He is not; therefore the divine consciousness which is heaven is really ever present. It is an eternally existent fact, the true state of being now and forever, here and everywhere, and is inseparable from man as the image and likeness of God.

A mortal, not being the image and likeness of God, is not able unaided to perceive the ever present divine consciousness which is heaven, but this spiritual perception is possible as the belief in matter and mortality is put off and the Mind of Christ is understood. The dulness of mortals to spiritual, eternal facts is no proof that heaven is not a present reality; rather is it evidence that men are looking "with observation," though Jesus warned them not to do so. This is evidence that they are seeking the kingdom of heaven which to sense is "here" or "there," when the Master said, "Behold, the kingdom of God is within you." On page 576 of the Christian Science text-book, "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Mrs. Eddy says: "This kingdom of God 'is within you,'—is within reach of man's consciousness here, and the spiritual idea reveals it. In divine Science, man possesses this recognition of harmony consciously in proportion to his understanding of God."

In his first epistle Peter declares that God has "begotten us again, . . . to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you." Thousands of Bible students have read and reread this statement through the veil of the old belief that heaven was a place, and thereby postponed in their own experience the present benefit to be derived from the apostle's promise. But, in the new understanding of Christian Science, how perfectly clear it is that man's true inheritance, incorruptible and undefiled, is reserved for a state or condition of harmony in the divine consciousness where nothing can enter that would impair or destroy!

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