A RECENT edition of my daily paper carried an advertisement proclaiming that the return of Jesus Christ to earth is imminent. On another page of the same paper was a photograph of thousands of worshipers praying around an empty chair, waiting for it to be filled by a deceased man they believed to be the Messiah. There is much sincere anticipation of a future religious salvation going on in the world.
About two thousand years ago, these rousing words were heard on earth: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel." This is from the book of Mark in the Bible (1:15). In his own words, Christ Jesus was confirming his position as the Messiah for whom the Hebrew people were praying, and whom they expected to come in fulfillment of Scriptural prophecy. The Saviour's proclamation of his prophetic role is followed in the Bible by a remarkable description of the activity that identified his Messiahship: "And he healed many that were sick of divers diseases, and cast out many devils" (Mark 1:34). These healing works were the vindication of his bold claim to be God's promised Saviour.
The Founder of the Christian Science Church, Mary Baker Eddy, wrote a book called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. Christian Scientists view this book as revealing the divine Comforter which Jesus promised God would give us. It reveals divine Science, which is the full understanding of man's true relation to God. This understanding that God is ever-available to man has the same healing power that accompanied Jesus' own mission. Mrs. Eddy explains in Science and Health, "The time for the reappearing of the divine healing is throughout all time; and whosoever layeth his earthly all on the altar of divine Science, drinketh of Christ's cup now, and is endued with the spirit and power of Christian healing" (p. 55).
Science and Health makes clear how helpful it is, today, for us to think anew about the words of Jesus. They are timeless, and they promise that God's love is here to heal and redeem us. In truth, the time is always fulfilled, because the power of God is forever available. Jesus proved this in all kinds of circumstances, by being so deeply conscious that God created everything spiritual and perfect, and that this truth is unaltered.
You, too, can begin to view your own life from the basis of perfect, spiritual being. In so doing, you can prove that all health, happiness, and harmony are yours without interruption. To change your thinking from a material to a spiritual standpoint involves not only believing the gospel. It means firmly understanding that God is All and that you are perfect as His individual child. This spiritual understanding casts out the "devils" of evil thinking-of fear, ignorance, and sin-and the unhappy experiences that come as the consequence of such thoughts. No matter how convincing a thought-consuming physical condition may be-or a crushing financial burden or a troubling relationship-in reality the solution is at hand. You can progressively demonstrate, through prayer and Christian living, the reality of spiritual harmony.
It's a great liberation to know that your fondest hopes for goodness must lead you to the facts of your spiritual being. Explaining the Bible, Science and Health reveals that man is forever defined by that which constitutes God's eternal nature. Since God is forever good, and man is forever the full reflection of God, man is eternally good in nature. This is a permanent fact. Recognizing your spiritual identity ends the temptation to search for good everywhere but in the present. Such a searching is unproductive as well as unhappy. Focusing on the past, as well as waiting to cross some future threshold of fulfillment, had no place in the healing works of Jesus.
The time is always fulfilled for God to be God, and for man to be His beloved child. Now is the time for each of us to prove this.
I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
II Corinthians 6:2