About Heaven

According to mortal belief it is a long way from earth to heaven; and there are no short cuts by which the distance may be reduced. To all mankind the distance from earth to heaven is exactly the same; but the time requisite to traverse that distance may be longer or shorter, according to the willingness of the wayfarer to follow the narrow path that leads to the goal. Eagerness to reach the goal may sometimes tempt us into bypaths that prolong the journey; but an earnest, constant purpose to follow faithfully every precept of the master Christian, as interpreted by Christian Science, will surely speed our progress toward that haven of bliss for which earth's weary pilgrims sigh. On page 587 of "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" Mrs. Eddy defines heaven as "harmony; the reign of Spirit; government by divine Principle; spirituality; bliss; the atmosphere of Soul."

To sigh for heaven is vain, as vain as the cry of a child for the moon; and yet well-meaning Christian people of every age not only have lamented their sins and mistakes, but have sighed for a refuge from what was largely the result of their own false beliefs about God and the heaven prepared for His people. If the theory about heaven long prevalent with the majority of Christians, were really true, it would be necessary to die in order to reach the heavenly home. Many, indeed, still hold to that opinion, expecting death to transform them into glorified beings whose future state will be unalloyed happiness in the presence of God and His holy angels; and yet the Scriptures plainly aver that death is an enemy. Paul speaks of it as "the last enemy that shall be destroyed." Christ Jesus said that he came to do the will of his Father, and he proceeded to destroy not only sin but also sickness and death. This fact alone should be evidence sufficient that death is not the friend but the enemy of man; and surely an enemy would not, if it could, transport us to heaven, if heaven is such a desirable destination. The tomb may be straight and narrow, but it certainly is not the straight and narrow path which must be traversed by all who reach heaven.

According to the Scriptures, "The kingdom of God is within you." Does this statement agree with the theory of a heaven located at some far-off point beyond the starry skies? Certainly not. Those words were addressed to a multitude, and applied to universal humanity, which means that the kingdom of God is within every man. "Ye are from beneath; I am from above," said the Master. Scholastic theology has used this statement as proof that the bodily Jesus came direct from heaven, because of the words "from above;" but it does not usually apply the same logic to those whom he addressed as being "from beneath," for the simple reason that it would mean that his hearers were from hell, which is by no means a desirable place of origin.

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God's Ideas
April 12, 1919

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