Summary: "Open our eyes, Lord, we want to see Jesus," are the words of a chorus that expresses the desire of all Christians. This study deals with how best to "see" Him.
ON SEEING THE INVISIBLE
By Charles W. Holt
"And the LORD said, "You cannot see my face; for no man shall see Me, and live" (Ex. 33:20).
"No man hath seen God at any time" (Jn. 1:18; 1 Jn. 4:12).
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Mt. 5:8).
Seeing God is extremely difficultif not impossiblefor some people. They can’t see God anywhere nor in anything. To others, there’s nothing to it, He is everywhere. This is PANTHEISM. In other words, He can be seen in every flower, tree, sunset, a baby’s smile, etc. On one hand you have all the poetic drivel, the empty imaginations of putting God in the wind, rain, sun, moon, stars, bushes and trees. On the other hand, we have what the Bible says IS possible and what people have found through their personal experience. Put objective fact,God CAN be "seen" with subjective experience, "that which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon we declare to you" (1 Jn. 1:1,2), and you arrive at the dynamic reality that God HAS BEEN and STILL IS being seen by multitudes of people today. (No, this is not an, "I was abducted by aliens" experience."
Seeing God in a pantheistic way and seeing God as revealed in the Scripture are at polar opposites. Our concern in this study (as it must be in life) is to see God as the Bible reveals. To see God is to know God; to experience God; to have a relationship with God, and eventually dwell in the very place where God actually resides. "That where I am, there you may be also" (Jn. 14:3). And, "They shall see His face, and His name shall be on their foreheads" (Rev. 22:4). So you see, for the believer, there is a present reality and a bright prospect for the future. "For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face" (1 Cor. 13:12).
Carrie Breck, in her hymn, FACE TO FACE, wrote:
Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a blessed day is coming
When His glory shall be seen.
Face to face! O Blissful moment!
Face to face to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ who loves me so.
Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all his glory,
I shall see Him by and by!
According to our study text, "the pure in heart" do now, and will later, see God. It is true that the impure in heart will also see God. It is appointed unto men once to die, then comes the judgment when all will see Him (see Heb. 9:27 with Rev. 19:11-15). This is validated from Revelation 1:7, "and every eye shall see Him even they who pierced Him." It takes little imagination to understand the difference there is of seeing God with a pure heart and seeing God with an impure heart. The "impure in heart" will only see God as the Judge and hear Him pronounce the sentence of eternal separation from His light and love, "Depart from me, ye evildoers! who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels" (Mt. 7:23, 25:41). The "pure in heart" will see God as Lord, Savior, Redeemer. They will enter into a joyful fellowship with Him forever. They will hear, "Come, you are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance (Mt. 25:34) and "... well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord" (Mt. 25:23).
HEART: What we should understand by the use of this word.
-- Sometimes the Bible uses heart to indicate emotions.
--"Let not your heart be troubled" (Jn. 14:1).
-- Sometimes the Bible uses heart to indicate the intellect.
--"Why reason ye these things in your hearts" (Mk.2:8).
-- Sometimes the Bible uses heart to refer to the will.
--"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself" (Dan. 1:8).
Considering emotion, intellect and will as the very essence of our inner-self, we see that heart means THE MASTER CONTROL AREA OF LIFE.
--It is in our emotion, intellect, and will that we are created in the image of God.
--It is in our emotion, intellect, and will that we express our failures, disobedience, and sinfulness.
Consider this insightful verse: "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues [i.e., source] of life" (Pr. 4:23). The unregenerate (thus impure) heart is the source of all our problems. "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jer. 17:9). Without question or argument it can be said that the problem of mankind, you and I, is a heart problem (as defined above). While various interest groups focus on the environment, economy, and education as a way to solve our problems¡Xand many of these programs are useful, they have and will continue to fall woefully short of addressing the deepest core needs of mankind. The Bible teaches that the very foundation, the very center of our personality is evil and corrupt, therefore man’s actions can only be evil continually (see Gen. 6:5). The human problem has been and continues to be sin and the foulness that it rouses. And its source is THE HEART.