What is the importance of having a pure heart?
To get an answer, you need to study the scriptures. Bible in many parts talks about the importance of having a pure heart; but I am not covering all of them in this article, but only some of the verses from Isaiah 33 and Psalm 24.
This morning I was going through these two chapters and some of the verses in them did really attract my attention and I thought of penning a few lines about this topic.
Well, let us first examine why it is important to have a pure heart? It is because:
- Without a pure heart – we cannot dwell with our God who is a consuming Fire. (Isaiah 33, 14)
- Without a pure heart – we cannot dwell on the heights, nor can we have the mountain fortress of God as a refuge. (Isaiah 33, 16)
- Without a pure heart – we cannot ascend the mountain of the Lord nor stand in his holy place (Psalm 24, 3)
See, what Apostle Paul Says in Hebrews:
In the above verses Apostle Paul is asking everyone to be holy, (one cannot be holy without being pure in heart) because, without holiness no one will see the LORD.
But Bible believing Christians do not seem to understand these facts.
Separation from the world and holiness are two most important characteristics of a Christian, but both are missing in the lives of majority of the contemporary Christians.
When we look at the lifestyle of present-day Christians, it seems like they belong to some political parties.
They have an identity called “Christian” but they do not have the characteristics of that identity in their lives. They live just like any other people on the street, the only difference is: on Sunday they go to church and sing; right?
Please think about what I am saying.
We, all the time talk about; “how to be a good Christian” but we never stress the importance of practicing what the Holy Scriptures teach us.
We think, being a good Christian means:
- Going to church on Sunday,
- Putting some money in the offering box and
- Teaching in the Sunday School,
- Also attending a mid-week prayer group and that is it.
Oh! we have done enough to be qualified as a good Christian! What a great misunderstanding! What a great hypocrisy!
This way of thinking shows how much the church has globally deteriorated and how deep the world has infiltrated into it. Unless God intervenes and helps us, we cannot do anything much to change the status quo.
Well, let us examine in detail what the Word of God says about the importance of having a pure heart.
First, let us go through Psalm 24, 3 – 6:
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. 5 They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. (Psalm 24, 3-6)
From these verses, it is clear that a “pure heart” is the foundation of Holiness and the main criterion for getting access to the throne of Grace.
So, strictly speaking – those who have a pure heart will be allowed to ascend to the Mountain of the LORD. And also, they will be permitted to live eternally in HIS Holy Dwelling.
Next let us see Isaiah 33, 14-16.
14The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” 15 Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil— 16 they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them.(Isaiah 33, 14-16)
The above verses also give us a clear idea about the things we should not do in order to be holy and I will be re-stating most of them in the last part.
But what is going to happen to those who do not have a pure heart?
Those who do not have a pure heart will be thrown outside the city of New Jerusalem. The following verses confirm this approaching reality.
8But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”(Revelation 21, 8)
9Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men a 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6, 9-10)
Last, let us examine; How we could maintain a pure heart?
In order to keep your heart pure; you should do the following things:
- Keep your hands Clean
- Keep your hands from accepting Bribes
- Do not trust in an Idol
- Do not swear by a false God
- Speak what is right
- Reject gain from extortion
- Stop your ears against plots of murder
- Shut your eyes against contemplating evil
As I said earlier, the above points have been taken from Isaiah 33 and Psalm 24. I think, these points have covered most of the things that we need to avoid in order to maintain a pure heart.
Remember, we live in a fallen world and we interact all the time with fallen human beings. So, sometimes there can be situations in which we might fall, though we are born-again believers.
However, we don’t have to lie where we fall, get up, go before the throne of Grace and repent of the sins committed.
Jesus Christ who is at the right hand of HIS Heavenly Father will intercede on behalf of us and restore us. Amen.