Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
This is a most important verse to understand. Notice it tells us that no one shall see the Lord without holiness. Knowing how to be holy is a critical issue for if you fail to follow holiness, you fail to have eternal life with our Lord Jesus Christ in heaven and in His future eternal earthly kingdom.
These important words may sound strange to younger, modern ears. What is meant by holiness? What does it mean to follow or pursue holiness? Just how may this all-important command be obeyed?
I find the answer in a Gospel hymn written well over a hundred years ago titled “Take Time to Be Holy.” The author is William D. Longstaff, who lived from 1822 until 1894. The hymn tune is “Holiness,” composed by George C. Stebbins, who lived from 1846 until 1945. Here are the words to this hymn:
(1) Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord.
We must speak often to the Lord in prayer. There is much in the Bible about this:
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Php 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Pro 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
(2) Abide in Him always
We must abide or remain in Christ. How do we abide in Christ? The Bible once again has much to say about this:
1Jn 2:5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.
1Jn 2:6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.
To abide in Jesus Christ involves our keeping his commandments. It means that we walk, or live in a manner, that reflects how Jesus Himself lived.
1Jn 3:6 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.
1 John 3:6 is a very controversial verse because the truth it teaches does not conform to the theologies most of us have been taught. The plain truth is that a genuine Christian does not practice sin. A true Christian does not live a sinful life style. Whosoever continues remaining in Him does not keep on sinning. It is not morally possible for a person to continue remaining or abiding in Christ and keep on sinning at the same time. It is not possible to mix sin and righteousness in the same life, any more than light and darkness can be mixed in the same space. It is only possible to continue one or the other.
Joh 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
Joh 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
Joh 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
If you are abiding in Christ, you will bear much fruit. If you are not abiding in Christ, your life will not bear fruit for Christ. If your life does not bear fruit for Christ, you will never see heaven.