"The end of the world"

Mortals , it seems, commonly anticipate the end of all material existence, some even foreseeing so great a cataclysm as the end of the world. They reason, logically from their standpoint, that all which has a beginning must likewise end. Many find justification in the Scriptures for believing that the world and all it contains will end abruptly. Numerous have been the predictions to this purpose, even the exact date of the occurrence being forecast.

These prophesyings, so far as based upon the Bible, apparently err in misinterpreting the sayings of Christ Jesus. The true meaning of his words is not to be gained except through spiritual understanding. Mrs. Eddy has made very clear that in the spiritual interpretation of the Scriptures lies their real value. Accordingly, it is quite misleading to accept many of the Master's sayings literally, that is, apart from the spiritual lesson he wished to convey. For example, when explaining the parable of the tares to his disciples, as recorded in the gospels of Matthew, Jesus said, "The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels." Here, manifestly, the Master was citing the ancient struggle between Truth and error, the angels being true ideas from God, evil being erroneous beliefs of men held to as true, that is, the claims of matter and its concomitants to be real.

It does not follow that Jesus was then foreseeing or forecasting the end, at a specified time, of material belief, manifest as the earth or world, which symbolizes the totality of error; but, rather, that he foresaw the final triumph of Truth, when erroneous beliefs of every type should disappear and only God and His universe be in evidence. "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

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Rebuking Sin with Love
May 2, 1925

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