John Hagee - Blessed Are The Pure In Heart
Note the brilliant sequence of the beatitudes. There are eight steps toward happiness and they are exact steps with exact consequences. Notice that the first four deal with man's relationship to God. And the last four deal with man's relationship to man. So the message is, your relationship to other people is crucial to your relationship with God. The Bible says, "Love one another: as I have loved you". Say that with me. "Love one another: as I have loved you". It's easy to love God. It's the jerk next door you can't get along with. The heart is considered, in scripture, to be the seed of the will, the seed of your intellect and the emotion of a man.
Put those three words together, your will, your intellect and the emotion. Love, hate, fear and courage, joy and sorrow, anger and happiness, all of these things are in your heart right now. Jesus said, "Happy are the pure in heart". What does it mean to be pure in heart? How can our hearts be pure? Some say we must retreat from the world. All Christians should move together in the same subdivision so that it'll be a spiritual subdivision. God forbid. Christianity, listen, Christianity is not escapism: it's evangelism. It's evangelism. How can we win the world unless we engage the world? The Bible says, "He that winneth souls is wise".
We're not here to please each other. We're here to please Jesus Christ. And Jesus Christ was a soul winner. Christianity is sailing through the stormy seas of life, smiling in triumph and victory. Christianity is transforming adversity into opportunity. Listen to that. Adversity into opportunity. Christianity is building an ark in a generation that had never seen rain. Christianity is being thrown into the fiery furnace and walking out without the smell of smoke upon you. You don't bend. You don't bow. And you don't burn. Christianity is being thrown into the lion's den and using the lions for a throw rug. Christianity is giving and forgiving. It's abundant life. It's amazing grace. It's salt and light in a corrupt world. Can I hear an amen?
Jesus said, "You are the salt of the earth". The purpose of salt before refrigeration was to stop corruption in all of the meats that were held. Salt used to be used as money. You've heard that phrase, "That man's not worth his salt". We are the light of the world. Don't curse the darkness, brother. Turn on the light. Quit running from the world. The world is not. The world has been conquered by Jesus Christ. We are not servants to the world. Jesus Christ has conquered the world, the flesh and the devil. "Greater is he that's in you than he that's within the world". "If God be for us, who can be against us"? "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered". Psalm 91, "Surely he will deliver you. His truth shall be your shield and buckler". "A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand may fall at your right hand, but no evil shall come nigh thy dwelling". Give the Lord a shout of praise in the house of God!
Christianity is not living in a straight jacket, looking pious and retreating into monastic seclusion, chattering stupid phrases like, "Lips that touch wine will never touch mine". I heard that when I was a kid. That was a big statement of bold faith. So being forbidden, I found out what that was as soon as I could. You did too. America has a fad called happy hour. That's where the community of drunks get together and they cry on each other's shoulders, happy hour. Get it straight. When God's kids get together, this is happy hour! It's fun being saved! "The joy of the Lord is your strength".
We have victory over the world, the flesh and the devil. The devil's afraid of you! Don't you be afraid of him! Christianity has its discipline. But if we lose our joy, if we lose our ability to laugh and be happy, we lose our song in the night, if we cease to be salt in the presence of corruption and light in the presence of darkness, we're not Christians. Let's be what Christ called us to be, "Soldiers of the cross," determined to hold the blood-stained banner, the light of Jesus Christ shining, the salt of the earth, determined to be victorious over the world, the flesh and the devil. Give the Lord praise in this house!
Listen to this statement. "If you stand against nothing, you are nothing. If you stand against nothing, you are nothing. Fight the good fight of faith," that's what saint Paul said. And if that's too savage for you, read king David, who said, "The Lord has taught my hands for war". What does it mean to be pure in heart? There are two meanings of the word. One meaning is the word "Sincere". Where did that word come from? It's two words together, "Sin," meaning without: "Sere," which means wax. Sincere means without wax. How was that word crafted in the time when the Bible was written in the Roman world? They didn't have cell phones that made every person you saw a moving photographer.
If I never see another cell phone, I will be happy. But to the point, you would bring a craftsman into your house, a stone master, and he would take a block of stone and chisel it for days until there was a likeness of you that was almost exact. But with the passing of time, that statue would crack. And they would take rock dust and wax, and massage it into the crack. And it looked perfect. But if you wanted to buy that statue, say it was about Caesar or someone else, and someone was going to pay a large price for it, he would take it and set it on your front porch for one hour in the sun. And when it heated up, that wax poured out and that statue was worthless. If the rock stood the test of time, you were sincere, otherwise, you were just a walking ball of wax. So, when some ask you, "Are you sincere"? He really don't know what he's asking you. But that's what he means. Is there an absence of any kind of motive here? It also means cleansed without defilement.
John the Revelator said of the new Jerusalem, and this is going to be a reality when Christ returns to earth with all of the church. And this is Jerusalem, Israel, the literal Israel, is going to set down from heaven. But they're not everyone going to be able to get in that city. John the Revelator says, "But there shall by no means enter anything that defiles the city or causes an abomination or a lie, but only those things that are written in the lamb's book of life," Revelation 21:27. Revelation 22 says, "Blessed are they that keep his commandments, that they have the right to the tree of life," which is in the City of Jerusalem, "And may enter through the gates of the city". Listen. Then he says, "Without are dogs, and sorcerers... And murderers, and idolaters, and whoever loves and makes a lie". Listen to that last one. "Whoever loves and makes a lie". Do you lie?
You will never see the of heaven. Anything that you tell that's less than the truth is not the truth, therefore it's a lie. When you testify in court, they say, "Will you say the whole truth and nothing but the truth"? That's what they're saying. All of it must be true. Nothing unclean is going to enter heaven. Therefore you are made pure by the blood of Jesus Christ. You are made pure by the blood of Jesus Christ. But you must choose Jesus Christ as your substitute. You must choose his redemption by blood. When temptation comes, you cannot say, "Get thou behind me, Satan, and push me in". "The devil made me do it," how many of you've ever heard that phrase? Mmm. Yeah. "The devil made me do it". No, you decided to do it.
The Bible says, "And everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure," 1 John 3:3. The Bible says, "Draw nigh unto God, and he will draw nigh to you". Listen. But who takes the first step here? You take the first step toward God. The Bible says, "Cleanse your hands, you sinners". And all of us are sinners saved by grace. "And purify your hearts". Who takes the first step? We do. It's not God's job to chase you down. It's your job to call upon the Lord. He says, "Call upon me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you know not". God is waiting to hear you call. And if it takes trial to make you call, he'll keep you in a state of trial because he wants to hear from you. Purity is not pretense.
As Jesus gave these beatitudes, he was looking into the eyes of pharisees, who were the most pompous peacocks that ever walked the face of the earth. They kept the letter of the law with hearts that was cold and hard and jaded and arrogant and hateful. They were as mean as a junkyard dog, and they did that in the name of God. They worked from the outside in. And Jesus is saying, you work from the inside out. The Bible says, "Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart". You can pretend to be pure outside. But God is recording your thoughts. "God even knows your thoughts," the Bible says this, before you think them. That's a scary, scary verse for me. But God is recording your thoughts. He examines your motives. He records the places you go. He records the things you say. He records who you go with. He observes the literature you read. He knows the seething emotions simmering just beneath the surface that are ready to explode.
When God examined the heart of man, he said, "The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who could know it"? Jeremiah 17:9 "The heart is deceitful in all things". The greatest deceiver you will ever face is the person you face when you look in the mirror. Mmm. Jesus said, "Out of the hearts of men proceed evil thoughts, fornication, murder, theft, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, all evil eye, blasphemy, pride and foolish". He said that in Mark 7. Jesus of Nazareth, the Lamb of God, said that. How many of you know those things are all wrong? Six of you. That's good. We're really doing good. The impure heart is generally the reason for unhappiness.
When the heart is at war with God, there is tension. When you are at war with God, there is frustration, anger, confusion, bitterness, loneliness, fear, guilt, regret. When you lie, your heart hurts. When you cheat in a business deal, your heart hurts. When you slander a brother or sister in Christ, your heart hurts. When you fight with members of your family, your heart hurts. It's out of harmony with the will of God. The Bible says, "A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit I will put within you: I will take away the stony heart that's in your flesh and I will give you a new heart," Ezekiel 36. That's actually called a heart transplant. A heart surgeon will give you a new heart for $50,000. But Jesus Christ of Nazareth will do it for free. "A new heart will I give you".
Purity is not created by a superior environment. Americans are duped into believing that all of man's troubles are due to his environment. The message is, if you want a super man, create a super environment. That's wrong! I remind you that Adam and Eve were in a perfect environment, paradise, when they sinned against God. I remind you also that most of the New Testament was written in a jail cell by Paul. It wasn't written on the French Riviera with an orchestra in the background. You can go to church and sing amazing grace and not be pure. You can give your body to be burned and not be pure. You can hold the hand of an angel like lot's wife. She held the hand of an angel and turned to a pillar of salt. Question: is your heart right with God? Are your motives pure? Are your thoughts righteous? Are your statements to the members of your family filled with grace and truth and love, or are they cutting like a sword?
While I'm killing all of these sacred cows, let me say that purity is not created by intellectual development. We are also being told that a superior intelligence will produce a superior man. And I am telling you that, that superior man without Jesus is nothing more than an animal. And I'm getting ready to prove it for you. Not a pure heart, a superior intellect. Germany was a nation of culture, art, literature and laws. Yet, Adolf Hitler transformed the German people into a vicious mob of monsters called Nazis, who were intellectual savages. Some of them had PhDs. They listened to bach while six million Jews were systematically slaughtered at their expense. They threw their children in Auschwitz into the ovens while they were yet alive. That's barbarian conduct. And they were educated to the Enth Degree.
So I am saying, knowledge without holiness produces nothing but an intellectual devil. If you don't come to Christ and serve him, you are nothing! Purity is conforming to the holiness of God. What is the benchmark of purity in a world whose moral code would disgust a dog? I've heard the phrase, "The world is going to the dogs". I resent that. I'm a dog lover. My dog's morals are higher than that. Whose conscience is seared with a hot iron? Who scorns purity as old-fashioned, puritanical and irrelevant to our progressive society? The benchmark of purity is the holiness of God, not ours. God's goal for our lives is not to be like each other: it's to be like him. It's to be like him.
The Bible says, "Be ye holy as I am holy," 1 Peter 1. Say that with me. "Be ye holy as I am holy". Paul writes in Hebrews 12, "Without holiness, no man shall see God". Think about that. Without holiness, you're not going to heaven! "Blessed are the pure in heart," the Bible says, "For they shall see God". King David writes in Psalm 24, "Who shall ascend to the hill of God"? That's the throne of God. "And who shall stand in his holy place"? Listen. "He that has clean hands and a pure heart". "Clean hands and a pure heart".
Purity is a mental control. The greatest battle of the 21st century is the battle of the mind. Satan knows it and he's battling for the minds of your children and this generation. Satan has been in the mind control business since the Garden of Eden. Satan said to eve, "Would you like to be like God? All you have to do is eat this forbidden fruit," and she did. And then she fed it to her stupid husband. And he bit into it. Instead of saying, "You're doing the wrong thing," he bit into it. And God cursed them both. And we have suffered under that curse from that day until this one. It all happened in the mind.
"Thy word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against thee". "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus". Jesus Christ is the living word. The Bible says, "The word became flesh and he dwelt among us". "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you," Isaiah 26:3. The Bible says, "Casting down every thought and every evil imagination that exalts itself against God". Saturate your mind with the Word of God. It will preserve your peace. It will preserve your sanity. It will preserve your soul. It will preserve the United States of America against all evil, both foreign and domestic. Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered. Give the Lord a praise in the house!
Purity is often mouth control. And I'm not talking about Listerine. The Bible says you will be held accountable for every word you speak at the judgment bar of God. An evangelist by the name of Juan Carlos Ortiz, who spoke in our church at one time, and had a global ministry: Juan Carlos said, "Before you ask God for power to raise the dead, ask God for the power to control your mouth". That should be in the Bible somewhere. Be sincere with your compliments, because people can tell the difference between sugar and saccharin.
Purity is motive control. Why you do something is more important than what you do. Do you give gifts to people to control those people, your wife, your husband? Do you tithe because it's tax deductible or because you love Jesus Christ and God the Father, who sent his son to Calvary to redeem you from the clutches of sin and Satan? Do you pray only in a crisis? If you pray only in the crisis, God will keep you in a state of crisis, because he likes to hear from you. He will. "Call upon me, and I will answer you". I think God sits on his throne, "Oh, well here comes brother crisis".
David says, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto him, and bless his name". When you start to pray, just praise God for his goodness. Thank him for what he has done. Thank him for the blessings that he has given to you. Go into his courts with praise and glorify his name! And the last phrase in closing, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God". "For they shall see God". Is it possible to see God? Absolutely. Moses talked with God face to face. He saw his hinder parts on the mount Sinai when he was receiving the Ten Commandments. Paul said, "Now we see through a glass, darkly: but then face to face" in God's tomorrow.
So we are going to see God. If we have a pure heart, if we walk in holiness, if we demonstrate love one for the other, we will see God. Maybe later today, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week, the trump of God will sound. The dead in Christ will rise, and we which remain and alive shall soar into the heavens into the presence of Jesus Christ. We will walk into the gates of glory. Crowns of glory will be given. Robes of righteousness will be given to the righteous. We will be singing there with thousands of saints of God who have been there. Your mothers and fathers are there. Your brothers and sisters are there. Rejoice, saints of God! The victory is ours through Christ the Lord!