“For They Shall See God”
By: Brian A. Yeager
The word of God says, “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him… No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us” (John 1:18 and I John 4:12). Thus, when we read a Scripture that tells us how we can see God that should peek our interest a bit.
Why should the statement, “for they shall see God” peek our interest? For one, as noted above, no man has seen God. In fact, God told Moses: “And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight, and I know thee by name. And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory. And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy. And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live” (Exodus 33:17-20). Secondly, our goal is to spend eternity in Heaven (John 14:1-3 and II Corinthians 5:1). Our Father is in Heaven (Matthew 18:14, Luke 11:2, and I John 5:7). Thus, when a Scripture tells us we can see God, we have to realize that Scripture is also telling us something we must do to get to Heaven. Therefore, let’s get into our study and find out how we can see God.
Some Scriptures That Tell Us How We Can See God
First off, notice the Scripture that motivated this article: “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). According to Matthew 5:8, the pure in heart shall see God. Why does the condition of a person’s heart matter in being able to ultimately see God? Notice a few Scriptures that answer this question: “And thus did Hezekiah throughout all Judah, and wrought that which was good and right and truth before the LORD his God. And in every work that he began in the service of the house of God, and in the law, and in the commandments, to seek his God, he did it with all his heart, and prospered… For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach in Israel statutes and judgments… Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart… Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; yea, I shall observe it with my whole heart… But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience… But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you” (II Chronicles 31:20-21, Ezra 7:10, Psalms 119:2, Psalms 119:34, Luke 8:15, and Romans 6:17).
Now, notice the following Scriptures, which also teach that we must be pure to see God: “ Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord… Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure” (Hebrews 12:14 and I John 3:1-3). Now that the Scriptures have been presented on how we can see God, let’s examine these points further.
To See God You Have To Be Pure
In each of the Scriptures mentioned above there is one thing that ties all of them together. That one thing is purity. The purity we are to possess is the same purity that God has (I John 3:3). Some try to argue against being pure with statements like, “no one is perfect except for Jesus.” What these people fail to understand is, when one obeys the Gospel of Christ you become pure through the blood of Jesus (Acts 2:37-41, Acts 22:16, and Revelation 1:5). To be clear, we become pure through obedience to the Gospel: “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently” (I Peter 1:22).
Once we obey the Gospel we are expected to maintain our perfection, our purity, our holiness. Our Savior commands us to be perfect as God our Father is: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). Jesus wasn’t setting an unreachable goal here. Jesus wasn’t teaching an “ideal” that cannot be reached. The command for perfection exists throughout the New Testament (Romans 12:1-2, II Corinthians 7:1, II Corinthians 13:9, II Corinthians 13:11, Philippians 3:13-15, Colossians 1:25-28, Colossians 4:12, II Timothy 3:16-17, and James 1:3-4).
For those who say things like, “I am not God, I cannot be holy”, I suggest they read these verses: “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:13-16). Again, like the command of Christ above, this instruction by the inspired Apostle Peter is not just an “ideal”. The fact that we are to be holy and without blame is something we read throughout the entire New Testament (Ephesians 1:4, Colossians 1:20-22, James 1:26-27, and II Peter 3:10-14).
Some would respond, completely ignoring all that God has said, by arguing that man cannot be sinless. Let’s remember, sin is a reality. We read that, “all have sinned [past tense]” (Romans 3:23). Also, as we noted already in this article, we need the blood of Christ, through our obedience to the Gospel, for our sins to be washed away (cf. Matthew 26:28 and Hebrews 9:22-28). If, not when, we sin after we obey the Gospel we have to confess and repent of those sins (Acts 8:20-22 and I John 1:9) to have those sins forgiven through Christ (I John 2:1-2). Thus, for those who say we cannot be expected to be sinless, you’re ignoring the commands of God for us to cease from sin (John 5:10-14, Romans 6:1-2, II Timothy 2:19, and I Peter 4:1-2).
“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned” (I Timothy 1:5). To have charity [love] for God, we must obey Him (John 14:15, John 14:21-24, John 15:10, and I John 5:2-3). Do you love God with a pure heart? Are you pure in your obedience to Him? If not, you will not see God for all of eternity. You will however, spend time with the god you are serving through your sins (Matthew 25:41 and I John 3:8-10).
Volume 11 – Issue 21 - February 13th, 2011