Thursday, March 17, 2016

Without Holiness, No One Will See Jesus

"Without holiness, no one will see the Lord!" Hebrews 12:14

Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the Prince of preachers, said, "If your religion does not make you holy, it will damn you! It is simply painted pageantry to go to Hell in!"

"For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life." 1 Thessalonians 4:7 NIV

"[God] has saved us and called us to a holy life." 2 Timothy 1:9 NIV

"But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: BE HOLY, BECAUSE I AM HOLY." 1 Peter 1:15-16 NIV

"Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God." 2 Corinthians 7:1 NIV

"May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV

"Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness." Hebrews 12:10 NIV

"Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. ... But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." 2 Peter 3:11-12, 18 NIV

"But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life." Romans 6:22 NIV

"Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:12-14 NIV

"Dear friend, do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." 3 John 11 NIV

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven [will enter]." Matthew 7:21 NIV

"If you are living according to the flesh, you will die; but if, by the Spirit, you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." Romans 8:13-14

"Therefore COME OUT FROM THEM AND BE SEPARATE, says the Lord. TOUCH NO UNCLEAN THING, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:17 NIV

These 14 passages are only a handful of the many that speak on this issue. Professing Christians like to make excuses for themselves and why they are not living holier lives the way they are called to, even going so far as quoting from the highly misinterpreted passage of Romans 7. Jesus commands/demands holiness and obedience from us. Without holiness of life and character, we shall not see Jesus. Scripture cannot make that point any clearer. We can make all the excuses for ourselves that we want, trying to justify ourselves in self-righteousness, but it all amounts to what we see in Matthew 7:21-23. This passage should put the fear of God into our hearts.

Jesus warns people to count the cost of what it means to follow Him for a reason, because it is not easy and not everyone can do so. It is a serious matter, the most important matter in life, and it requires our greatest commitment and earnest. He wants us to consider the toll it will have on us. Because the world hates Jesus, they will hate us, too. We will be persecuted for His name's sake. There is nothing simple or easy about being a genuine born again Christian. It is costly and it is difficult. If we are not willing to pay the cost, then we cannot be His disciples; we cannot be Christians. Jesus said, "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it." Both gates say "Heaven" at the top of them, but one is lying. Ever read Pilgrim's Progress? That is the epitome of what Scripture teaches. We need to strive to obtain it. Take heaven by force.

Paul was not the exception. He was the rule. He daily beat his body into submission so that he could obtain the prize. He strove daily toward the goal. The goal is Christ-likeness. The prize is Christ Himself. Jesus set the bar for holiness and we need to strive to obtain it, no matter how many times we might stumble, fail, and fall in this life. We need to pick ourselves back up, repent of our short comings, lean on the Lord and ask for His help, and try again. We do not get to reset the goal posts. We are either all in or we are all out. We are either in the game to win it or we are standing outside of the stadium. There are no spectators, there are no fence sitters. Anyone not in the game is standing outside the stadium.

If you are not growing in holiness, if you are not growing in grace and truth, you might want to consider the fact that you are more than likely an illegitimate child and not a son or daughter. You might want to consider the fact that you are more than likely not of the faith and as such do not belong to Jesus as an inheritance. If you desire Jesus, if you desire to be more like Him, if He is precious to you, if you long to spend personal time with Him, if you want to know Him more intimately and personally, there will be a pursuit of holiness and obedience, submitting and conforming yourself to His Word and His likeness. Otherwise, you are merely a Matthew 7:21-23 "Christian" on the broad path to destruction. If it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it is not an angel.

Without holiness of life and character, you will not see Jesus in eternity.