Beatitude Series # 6
Eric A. Snyder, Minister, Farwell Church of Christ
Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
Original date May 15, 1999
Revised June 3, 2001
’An atheist was spending a quiet day fishing when suddenly his boat was attacked by the Loch Ness monster. In one easy flip, the beast tossed him and his boat high into the air. Then it opened its mouth to swallow both. As the man sailed head over heels, he cried out, "Oh, my God! Help me!" At once, the ferocious attack scene froze in place, and as the atheist hung in mid-air, a booming voice came down from the heavens, "I thought you didn’t believe in Me!" "Come on God, give me a break!!" the man pleaded. "Two minutes ago I didn’t believe in the Loch Ness monster either!"
God sometimes gets the short end of the stick because of the perception that He is a fictional Character. But when we come to the true realization that He does exist, it’s hard to avoid the wizard of OZ Character whom we perceive to be hiding behind the curtain. And just pulling all the strings trying to make us thing that he is bigger than he really is.
Mario Rubio is rolling a burrito when she notices skillet burns on the tortilla resembling the mournful face of Jesus Christ. Shortly thereafter, 8,000 curious pilgrims trek to the Rubios’ small stucco house in rural New Mexico to view the sacred icon. Mrs. Rubio leaves her house unlocked so that visitors may freely enter and examine the tortilla. (Newsweek, Aug. 14, 1978)
Oklahoma evangelist Oral Roberts spots a 900 foot Jesus straddling a hospital complex he is building next to his university. Roberts, interpreting the divine image as a plea for financial assistance, appeals to his followers and nets millions of dollars in donations. (Los Angeles Times, Oct. 8, 1992)
Christ appears, crucified, on a garage door in California and draws 8,000 visitors in one weekend. The image is later found to be caused by reflections from two street lights that had merged with shadows of a bush and a real-estate sign. (USA Today, April 12, 1989)
Turn to scripture
Seeing God is an idea that we as humans are attracted to
Were these instances of people seeing God? I really doubt it. But Jesus tells us in
Matt 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God
When the Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart", He was pronouncing blessedness on those who are pure at the very center of their being, at the very source of their every activity, not those who are merely pure on the surface. The bible says "the LORD sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart."
I. THE PERCEPTION OF PURITY
We all perceive purity differently.
Sales of bottled water in this country have exploded in recent years, largely as a result of a public perception of purity driven by advertisements and packaging labels featuring pristine glaciers and crystal-clear mountain springs. But bottled water sold in the United States is not necessarily cleaner or safer than most tap water, according to a four-year scientific study recently made public by National Resource Development Center.
Train Story: Lt. General, Young Woman, and Grandmother
We all have different perceptions
Misunderstandings of purity.
A blind man walks into a store with his Seeing Eye dog. All of a sudden, he picks up the leash and begins swinging the dog over his head. The manager runs up to the man and asks, "What are you doing?" The blind man replies, "Just looking around."
AN IMPURE HEART CAUSES SPIRITUAL BLINDNESS.
A. Sin blinds us to will of God in our life
B. Sin blinds us to the will of God for his church.
C. Sin blinds us to the will of God for this world
D. Sin blinds us to the reality of sin’s consequences.
One day at a busy airport, the passengers on a commercial airliner are seated waiting for the pilot to show up so they can get under way.
The pilot and copilot finally appear in the rear of the plane and begin walking up to the cockpit through the center aisle. Both appear to be blind; the pilot is using a white cane, bumping into passengers’ right and left as he stumbles down the aisle. The copilot is using a guide dog. Both have their eyes covered with sunglasses.
At first, the passengers do not react thinking that it must be some sort of practical joke. After a few minutes though, the engines start revving, and the airplane begins moving down the runway.
The passengers look at each other with some uneasiness. They start whispering among themselves and look desperately to the stewardesses for reassurance.
Yet, the plane starts accelerating rapidly, and people begin panicking. Some passengers are praying, and as the plane gets closer and closer to the end of the runway, the voices are becoming more and more hysterical.
When the plane has less than twenty feet of runway left, there is a sudden change in the pitch of the shouts as everyone screams at once. At the very last moment, the plane lifts off and is airborne.
Up in the cockpit, the copilot breathes a sigh of relief and tells the pilot: "You know, one of these days the passengers aren’t going to scream, and we aren’t going to know when to take off!"
Spiritually blind people have no moral navigational system they are completely at the mercy of others. They can neither discern truth nor understand the full consequences of their depraved behavior.
A pure heart is one that is:
A. Free from Corruption
B. Fixed on Christ
Jesus distinguishes that the heart is the place where purity starts
Wash their hands before they eat. Pharisees
Verse mark 7: 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.23 All these evils come from inside and make a man ’unclean.’"
II. THE PLACE OF PURITY
A. the Heart Defined
B. In the Bible, the word "heart" means the center of man’s personality. It is used in reference to man’s intellect, will, and emotions.
2. Will Determination
It’s where the decisions are made
Men make decisions with their wallet “Intellect… Can we afford this?”
Women make decisions with their Emotions “The baby is so cute”
1 What is your mind fixed on?
2 Where is your determination?
3. Do you love the Lord?
Jesus understands the decision making process and He knows that your heart is the beginning of the process.
These things need to be given over to the Lord
III. THE PROCESS OF PURITY
A Spiritual Process
Mr. Kelley’s math class
A. PURE HEART CAN ONLY COME THROUGH KNOWING CHIRST.
A. It is necessary to know Jesus Christ personally because no one has a pure heart!
B. Knowing Jesus personally does not come by ceremony or ritual or "good work" that results in heart transformation.
C. It is accomplished by God’s Spirit, as we trust in Jesus Christ. If you believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, rose from the dead and that He offers you eternal life through repentance and forgiveness of sins, your heart will be transformed today! He will enable you to see Him for who He really is!
Septic Tank Illustration
IV. THE PROMISE OF PURITY
Like the other promises associated with these Beatitudes, this one has both a present and future fulfillment.
1. There is a sense in which the "pure in heart" can have a vision of God while they are in this world (Hebrews 11:27).
2. The "pure in heart" see God as they survey the history of the world both past and present.
3. The "pure in heart" see God as He works through the circumstances of their lives as well as the lives of others.
4. The "pure in heart" see God as they sense His presence in their lives.
5. The "pure in heart" see God in the salvation of the lost.
B. B. Eternally
1. Although it is nice to "see God" in a spiritual sense while we are in this world, and although there is a certain sense of satisfaction in that, we will one day see God "face to face" and will be completely satisfied as we awake with His image (Psalm 17:15).
2. It is the prospect of one day seeing the Lord face to face that leads
A PURE HEART ENABLES US TO SEE GOD
A. Will see God in nature—Francis of Assisi
B. Will see God in the Scriptures--the veil is lifted by God’s Spirit and you see God on every page.
C. Will see God in His Church--unclean hearts see little good among God’s people, but the pure see God at work in spite of the failings of God’s people. "It should be remembered that every man sees that which is according to his own nature."
D. In our own lives
E. We Will one day see God face to face in heaven!
We all want to go to heaven but we are so attached to the things of this life.
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and he wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him.
An angel hears his plea and appears to him. "Sorry, but you can’t take your wealth with you." The man implores the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules.
The man continues to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappears and informs the man that God had decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathers his largest suitcase and fills it with pure gold bars and places it beside his bed.
Soon afterward the man dies and shows up at the Gates of Heaven to greet St. Peter. Peter seeing the suitcase says, "Hold on, you can’t bring that in here!" But, the man explains to Peter that he has permission and asks him to verify his story with the Lord.
Sure enough, Peter checks and comes back saying, "You’re right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I’m supposed to check it’s contents before letting it through."
Peter opens the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaims, "You brought pavement?!!!"