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For the Lesson titled "Probation After Death” from October 21 - 27, 2013
This week’s Bible Lesson, titled “Probation After Death,” asks us to ponder deep questions about life after death. While some may believe they are destined to go directly to a place called heaven or hell after death, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy speaks of a probationary time and ultimate salvation for all: “Universal salvation rests on progression and probation, and is unattainable without them.” “As death findeth mortal man, so shall he be after death, until probation and growth shall effect the needed change” (p. 291, citations 7 and 5). None of us is ever condemned to eternal suffering. Instead, we will all be saved.
As we continue to progress and grow Godward, we experience what we may call “heaven” and “hell” moments. Our growing time can be like what it says in Isaiah: “For precept must be upon precept, … line upon line, … here a little, and there a little” (28:10, cit. 5). We can celebrate our heaven moments, “Sing unto the Lord, bless his name; shew forth his salvation from day to day” (Psalms 96:2, cit. 6). And we are encouraged to be patient and to persevere: “If your endeavors are beset by fearful odds, and you receive no present reward, go not back to error, nor become a sluggard in the race” (Science and Health, p. 22, cit. 10).
About the author
Abigail Fuller Innes has a master’s degree in physics, and she has a master’s of divinity degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary.