This past week I ran into an old coworker of mine. She was in town getting some tests at the hospital. She was having heart problems, and it was believed that she might have some type of heart disease. The problem she had physically is one that we all have spiritually!
The Beatitudes are a portion of Scripture many are familiar with and love to quote:
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Matthew 5:5 Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
But then a few verses later, we come to this Beatitude - one of my personal favourites:
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
According to God, we need to have a pure heart to see Him, to spend eternity in His presence. That would be a blessing indeed!
The problem is: noone who has ever lived or will live in the future (except Jesus Christ) has had a pure heart!
The heart of the problem is the problem of the heart!
The Lord Jesus Christ, the Great Physician, is the only one that can properly diagnose our true heart condition.
Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts.
Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Here are some of the symptoms He gives regarding our heart problem. Approximately half of the almost 900 verses in the Bible which refer to the heart are referring to it in a bad context.
Some Of The Symptoms:
Obstinate, hardened, lifted up (proud, haughty), stiffnecked, deceived, fearful, covetous, darkened (blind), naughty, foolish, impenitent, unbelieving, double hearted (hypocritical), froward (perverse, stubbornly rebellious), turned away from God and the truth.
In it are: errors, abominations, idols, wicked imaginations, mischief.
Mark 7:20-23 And He said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
The Great Physician's Diagnosis:
Jeremiah 17:9-10 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Proverbs 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.
The Bible teaches that all sin and evil comes from our heart. Unfortunately, what is on the inside is bound to come out eventually!
The Progression Of This Heart Disease:
Genesis 6:5, 11 And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.
Before the flood, man's heart problem was so great and the wickedness that came out of it was so profound that it effected the whole earth, and brought God's judgement upon it. This problem still persists today!
Ecclesiastes 9:3 This is an evil among all things that are done under the sun, that there is one event unto all: yea, also the heart of the sons of men is full of evil, and madness is in their heart while they live, and after that they go to the dead.Is There A Solution?
Proverbs 20:9 Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?
Job 14:4 Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one.
According to God's Word, man cannot change his own heart. The good news is, God can!
Acts 15:9 And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.
It is only faith that can purify our hearts. The Holy Spirit uses our faith in the finished work of Christ upon the cross to purify our wicked hearts. When Jesus died upon the cross for our sins, shed His precious sinless blood, was buried and arose from the grave three days and three nights later, He did what was necessary to save us from our sins - now it is up to us to believe the Gospel of Christ and receive His gift of eternal life. When we believe that Jesus paid the full penalty for our sins, repent of them and turn to Him to save us from the guilt and wrath we deserve, the Holy Spirit regenerates us (we are born again) and He gives us a new heart.
Ezekiel 36:26 A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Hebrews 10:16-17 This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
Jesus Christ also comes to dwell in our hearts at the moment of salvation.
Ephesians 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.
Has the Holy Spirit revealed to you the plague of your own heart - have you come to see that it is impure in God's sight and needs to be made clean in order for you to dwell eternally in Heaven, in the presence of God?
1 Kings 8:38-39 What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all Thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands toward this house: Then hear Thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart Thou knowest; (for Thou, even Thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men;)
Have you confessed (agreed with God) the truth of the Gospel and your need for the Saviour? Do you believe in your heart what Jesus has done for you, and that you can be saved today?
Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Matthew 5:8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
Will you be one of those blessed ones who will see God in Heaven? I would love to see you there!
Written and preached April 15th/05
For more information on what the Bible says about salvation:
God's Simple Plan Of Salvation