Listen to this sermon: 02192012HowToSeeTheLord

Download the Notes: 02192012HowToSeeTheLord

How to See the Lord

We need a key ingredient to be able to see Lord after we die

Hebrews 12.14

(The main points are from Warren W. Wiersbe, The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: Old Testament, pages 250–252)

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • February 19, ad 2012

Scripture Reader and Reading: Kadin – First Peter 1.13–16


  1. What does God look like? 
    1. Do you want to find out?
    2. Revelation 22 gives us a glimpse of a magnificent sight and
      1. makes one of the grandest promises in all the Bible,

        3 And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him. 4 They shall see His face… (Rev 22.3, 4a).
      2. I can show you how you can see God, but
        1. to do so, you have to be a servant of God, and
        2. to be a servant of God you have to possess a certain quality.
  2. In Hebrews 12, the Holy Spirit revealed the key ingredient 
    1. that qualifies us to see God, saying that we should,

      14 Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord (Heb 12.14).
    2. Are you pursuing holiness?
      1. If not, you will not see the Lord.
      2. If so, you will see the Lord.
  3. God knows whether we are holy, and 
    1. He can shows us how to be holy.
    2. He even devoted an entire Book of the Bible to the subject of holiness, and
      1. He intends for us to learn from that Book, because
      2. many of the major doctrines of the New Testament
        1. come out of this Book of Holiness,
        2. otherwise, known as the Book of Leviticus.
  4. Here are some things Christians must learn 
    1. about holiness from the Book of Leviticus,
    2. where the word, “holy,” appears 95 times, but
      1. the idea of holiness
      2. appears in every verse.


  1. Our God Is a Holy God

    2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy’” (Lev 19.2).

    1. God is light and in Him is no darkness at all” (1Jo 1.5).
    2. He even challenges people to find something wrong with Him,

      4 “What more could have been done to My vineyard
      That I have not done in it?
      Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
      Did it bring forth wild grapes?”
      (Isa 5.4)
      5 Thus says the LORD:

      “What injustice have your fathers found in Me,
      That they have gone far from Me,
      Have followed idols,
      And have become idolaters?”
      (Jer 2.5)

      3 “O My people, what have I done to you?
      And how have I wearied you?
      Testify against Me.”
      (Mic 6.3)

    3. Reading the Book of Leviticus shows that our God is a holy God.
  2. God Wants His People to Be Holy

    2 “Speak to all the congregation of the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy’” (Lev 19.2).

    1. Peter quoted this to Christians, saying that,

      14 …as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1Pe 1.14–16).
    2. We do not want to conform ourselves according to our former lusts, because
      1. that will prevent us from seeing the holy God, but
      2. even as the holiness of God is eternal,
        1. so, the holiness that He demands from humanity is eternal.
        2. That is why Peter could quote from Leviticus.
    3. The point of Leviticus and the point of the Bible is to make us holy.
  3. Holiness Begins at the Altar 
    1. Have you seen the way the Book of Leviticus begins?
      1. The Lord started speaking of the offerings that Israel would bring, and
      2. He listed the qualities of those offerings, and,

        4 “Then he shall put his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it will be accepted on his behalf to make atonement for him. 5 He shall kill the bull before the LORD; and the priests, Aaron’s sons, shall bring the blood and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar that is by the door of the tabernacle of meeting” (Lev 1.4, 5).
    2. Right away we see an innocent animal
      1. die for the people’s sins, and
      2. the priest sprinkle the blood all around the altar.
    3. In this manner, the Book of Leviticus begins with five offerings,
      1. The Burnt Offering,
      2. The Grain Offering,
      3. The Peace Offering,
      4. The Sin Offering, and
      5. The Trespass Offering.
    4. All this so that the children of Israel could approach the holy God.
    5. Do we have an innocent sacrifice that enables us to approach the holy God?
      1. Hebrews 13.10 says we have an altar.
      2. Altars are for making offerings to God.
        1. An offering is something that is given up entirely to God.
          1. Jesus was, or is, that for us and
          2. we likewise offer ourselves.
        2. We cannot see the Lord unless we approach Him
          1. through the offering of Jesus Christ, and
          2. through our total offering of ourselves.
  4. Holiness Demands Obedience 
    1. Leviticus contains many passages that speak of the need for obedience, and
    2. Leviticus 26 even told the Israelites
      1. the blessings for obedience and
      2. the curses for disobedience,

        3 “If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments, and perform them… 11 I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you shall be My people” (Lev 26.3, 11, 12).
    3. If you want to see the Lord,
      1. He must be able to set His tabernacle among you,
      2. He must be able to be your God, and
      3. you must be one of His people.
        1. Those things do not happen,
        2. unless you obey Him.
    4. What the Lord told Israel is so central to God’s religion
      1. that Paul quoted this passage and
      2. applied it to Christians,

        16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
        “I will dwell in them
        And walk among them.
        I will be their God,
        And they shall be My people.”

        [Then Paul quoted Isaiah 52.11]
        17 Therefore

        “Come out from among them
        And be separate, says the Lord.
        Do not touch what is unclean,
        And I will receive you.”

        [Next Paul quoted Second Samuel 7.14]
        18 “I will be a Father to you,
        And you shall be My sons and daughters,
        Says the LORD Almighty.”

        [All three of those Old Testament passages being true for Christians, Paul continued]
        1 Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Co 6.16–7.1).

    5. Peter said to the Jewish Council,

      32 “And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him” (Acts 5.32).

      1. To see the Lord,
      2. you must have His Holy Spirit, and
        1. He gives the Holy Spirit
        2. to those who obey Him.


  1. Do you want to see the Lord? 
  2. The message of Acts 2 
    1. is a message of being holy
    2. to be able to see the Lord.
      1. When those Jews learned that they had crucified God’s Son,
      2. they knew they were out of favor with God, and
        1. that meant that they would not see Him,
        2. at least not in a favorable way, but
          1. when they saw Him,
          2. they knew it would be as a wrathful God.
  3. That is why they cried out so desperately in Acts 2.37,

    37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2.37).

    1. Peter’s answer does not tell them to be holy, but
    2. the idea is there,

      38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2.38).

      1. The remission, or forgiveness, of sins
      2. means to be made holy.
        1. Therefore, Peter promised the gift of the Holy Spirit,
        2. that is, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because
          1. if they repented of their sins, and
          2. were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,
            1. they would then be holy.
  4. If you continue to listen to Peter, 
    1. you will notice that what he said
    2. he intended for people all over the world throughout the rest of time,

      39 “For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2.39).

      1. The things of which he spoke in verse 38 were for
        1. the Jews to whom Peter spoke that day,
        2. all the descendants of the Jews,
        3. to all who are afar off,
          1. referring to the Gentiles and
          2. peoples of other lands, and
        4. Peter summarized it by saying
          1. that whoever the Lord our God calls,
          2. he or she can enjoy the gift of holiness.
      2. Therefore,
        1. if you repent of your sins, and
        2. if you are baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,
          1. you will see the Lord, but
        3. if you do not repent of your sins, and
        4. if you are not baptized in the name of Jesus Christ,
          1. you will not see the Lord,
          2. except as adversarial Judge.
  5. Do you want to see the Lord? 
    1. Are you ready to be holy?
    2. Are you ready to do something about it?