Here is a link to a PDF with some thoughts and quotations about what Jesus Himself says about salvation. I hope it stimulates some thoughts. What Does Jesus Say By Subject
The Lord’s Forgiveness
A few amazing teachings on how the Lord forgives:
“The Lord is never angry, never takes revenge, hates, condemns, punishes, throws anyone into hell, or tempts him. Thus the Lord never does evil to anyone!” (True Christian Religion 650)
“There is in fact a sphere continually radiated from the Lord which raises all to heaven. This fills the whole of both the spiritual and natural worlds. It is like a strong current in the ocean, which invisibly draws a ship along. All who believe in the Lord and live according to His commandments come within that sphere or current and are raised up.” (True Christian Religion 652)
These are powerful teachings speaking to how hard the Lord is working for your salvation. Because the Lord’s purpose is blessing people with heavenly life, He is always working to help people let go of their evils. Another passage from the True Christian Religion says: “the Lord being mercy itself, forgives everyone his sins, and does not hold even one of them against a person.” (TCR 539) Wow!
Even so, forgiveness does not come in a moment. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is he complexity of the lusts that are attached to each evil. In Divine Providence, we read: “There are thousands of lusts which enter into and compose each evil.” (Divine Providence 279 ) The practice of repentance gradually clips away these evil ties over time releasing the person from the addiction associated with that evil – that takes time!
A fascinating defination of ‘forgiveness’ is found in the Arcana Caelestia: “being able to be maintained by the Lord in the good of love and the truths of faith and to be withheld from evils and falsities constitutes the forgiveness of sins” (Arcana Caelestia 9448).
Really, that means that a person can’t forgive another person of their sins – only the Lord can do that. There are tons of passages in the Bible directing us to forgive others. How is this possible? Rather than taking responsibility for another’s sins, the Lord teaches that true forgiveness is: “regarding someone not from the point of evil but of good” (AC 7697). That is a bigger issue. It involves letting go of resentments, hurt and anger related with a people who have caused you harm. So ‘how many times should we forgive our brother who has sinned against us? Seventy times seven – basically an infinite number because we are taught to train ourselves to view others from good rather than evil. That is a high road that involves the discipline of repentance.
Here is some interesting news emailed to me by Brian Smith. He writes: “I would like to plug an awesome new project called ‘NewChurchPerspective.com’. Its basically an online magazine about New Church topics. NCPerspective now has articles by over 10 writers on a wide variety of topics. This is designed to be a platform which allows people to express their ideas, questions and efforts to apply concepts from the Writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. As a reader have the opportunity to read and respond in the comment lines. You are also warmly encouraged to write and submit what ever New Church topics have been burning on your mind.”
To check out the website follow this link: New Church Perspectiveaddress
Here is a PFD of Brian Keith’s collection of passages that are arranged topically for memorial services. It is a wonderful resource for writing Eulogies etc.