They Will See God

Matthew 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.”

The pure in heart haven’t achieved absolute holiness in their lives. They haven’t stopped sinning altogether. The Bible is clear that that doesn’t happen this side of heaven.

Their sins have been washed away in the cleansing waters of their baptisms, however, waters powered by Jesus’ death and resurrection to pay for their sins. The pure in heart have been converted, they have come to faith, and in that faith there is a new innocence, a new simplicity, a new honesty that acknowledges our sin and keeps going back to God for forgiveness.

These people, Jesus says, are blessed to see God. You realize that this blessing is something of an acquired taste. “Well whoopty-doo,” far too many people would say. “It’s not like that’s what I’ve been dying to see.”

Many years ago my family found a box with letters my grandmother had received from a man she almost married years before she married my grandfather. It was World War I, and the man was fighting somewhere in France. The letters were filled with the longing of two hearts desperate to see each other but forced to be apart. Do you feel the same longing to see this man, or my grandmother for that matter? Of course not. You’re not in love with them.

Only those with hearts purified by God’s grace consider it a blessing to see God, because only they want to see God. You can’t believe that you were a sinner, destined for hell and an eternity of misery away from God, with no way of changing your situation; and that then purely out of his grace God sacrificed the only Son he had to save you from your sins, make you his own child by faith, and give you heaven as a free gift; you can’t come to believe that and not at the same time come to love the One who showed you such love. As the sainted Dr. Becker used to say, “To know him is to love him” is more true of our Savior than anyone who ever lived.

And those who love Jesus know that it is a blessing when he promises, “They will see God.”

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