What must we do to enter the presence of God? Many imagine that it is just a matter of going there, that when they die, it is the place we all end up. God’s presence is more than an idea, more than an all-access place where everyone gets to go. As God brought the nation of Israel into His presence, the disparity between God and His people is made apparent.
Entering God’s Presence – SERMON AUDIO
God is absolutely HOLY! His holiness is set in sharp contrast with the unholy nature of His people (and all people) as we look at Exodus 19…..
Exodus 19:10-13 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow, and let them wash their clothes. 11 And let them be ready for the third day. For on the third day the LORD will come down upon Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 You shall set bounds for the people all around, saying, ‘Take heed to yourselves that you do not go up to the mountain or touch its base. Whoever touches the mountain shall surely be put to death. 13 Not a hand shall touch him, but he shall surely be stoned or shot with an arrow; whether man or beast, he shall not live.’ When the trumpet sounds long, they shall come near the mountain.”
Anyone who imagines that he can just walk into the presence of God as though he walked into a room, fails to even begin to grasp God’s nature! Entering the presence of God requires far more than an external purity, though the internal purity that is required is exemplified in our outward conduct. God has not Changed! He is just as holy as He has always been. In order to come into the presence of God we need Christ, His sacrifice and mediation. The writer of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews comments on our passage and adds some further revelation to it…
Hebrews 12:18-25 For you have not come to the mountain that may be touched and that burned with fire, and to blackness and darkness and tempest, 19 and the sound of a trumpet and the voice of words, so that those who heard it begged that the word should not be spoken to them anymore. 20 (For they could not endure what was commanded: “AND IF SO MUCH AS A BEAST TOUCHES THE MOUNTAIN, IT SHALL BE STONED OR SHOT WITH AN ARROW.” 21 And so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I AM EXCEEDINGLY AFRAID AND TREMBLING.”)
We do not try to approach God as they did then and were unable to enter into His presence. We may, however enter into His presence through Christ!
Hebrews 12:22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. 25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven,
We have need of this, because one day we will all enter into His presence for judgment. If we are not in Christ and possessing His righteousness, we will be in big trouble!
Revelation 20:11-15 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Therefore we must make sure that we are in Christ! 2 Corinthians 13:5-6 tells us, “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?–unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified.”
How do you know whether or not you will be able to stand in the presence of the Lord? It is certainly not something that should be taken for granted! Paul says to those in the Corinthian church, that they should take the time to make sure that they are in Christ! Without Him they will be disqualified! This is an interesting concept, The Greek word translated here is adokimoi and according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon, it means; “not standing the test, not approved (properly used of metals and coins).” We could say, a “counterfeit!” We may be in the Church and not in Christ! We need evidence of the reality of our faith.
What is that evidence? For that, I encourage you to listen to the audio from the sermon by clicking on the link below.
Entering God’s Presence – SERMON AUDIO