5. Except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation, for the world of sin would seem forever real. 2 The self-deceiving must deceive, for they must teach deception. 3 And what else is hell? 4 This is a manual for the teachers of God. 5 They are not perfect, or they would not be here. 6 Yet it is their mission to become perfect here, and so they teach perfection over and over, in many, many ways, until they have learned it. 7 And then they are seen no more, although their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever. 8 Who are they? 9 How are they chosen? 10 What do they do? 11 How can they work out their own salvation and the salvation of the world? 12 This manual attempts to answer these questions.
Saving the World
If we thought that we were not meant to call ourselves teachers of God then this first sentence should disavow us of that idea. Jesus tells us that except for God’s teachers there would be little hope of salvation. We are essential to the salvation of the world. And this is our manual. It is going to tell us how it is we can work out our own salvation and the salvation of the world.
Should anyone suppose it could not mean them because they are far from faultless, Jesus assures us that his teachers are not perfect. The perfect are evidently not here. I suppose the perfect work with us on a different level. He says, though, that it is our mission to become perfect here, not when we leave here but right here right now. And how do we become perfect? We do it by teaching perfection over and over in many, many ways, until we have learned it.
I see myself doing this all the time, but I use my mistakes as teaching devices. I make errors, I correct them, and I tell other people how that worked for me. They can use the story to avoid my error, or use it to correct their own error. Then they can teach perfection. And it spreads like that.
Not everyone is going to write about his or her errors, or even talk about them. But their lives teach others that errors are not permanent and that there is a way to correct them. They are the ones whose lives inspire others to hang in there and keep working at it because they can see that it gets better.
When we reach perfection, Jesus says that we are no longer seen here. I suppose we leave this plane and work from another the way Jesus does and the way some saints, masters, and guides do. He says that these teachers may be gone but their thoughts remain a source of strength and truth forever. It is a temptation to think that he can’t be talking about me. Perhaps you are thinking that, too. But he is.