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II.—ITS NECESSITY

1. It is indispensably necessary to qualify us for heaven.
We cannot get there without it. None ever did, and none ever will.

Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”—Heb. 12:14.

“To see God,” is to be in His presence, to enjoy the bliss He alone can impart. So that, unless he “Follows peace with all men and holiness,” no one, no matter what his church or his creed, can stand before the throne of God.

These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”—Rev. 7:14.

But “white robes” are the emblem of purity (Rev. 19:8).

Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”—Ps. 24:3, 4.

God’s holy place is heaven. But only those who are pure in heart, and clean in life shall dwell there.

2. Holiness is indispensable to present happiness. The unholy person cannot be happy. He may enjoy pleasure; but pleasure is not happiness. People seek after pleasure because the are unhappy. The pleasures of the world are short-lived and unsatisfactory. But he who is holy has a never-failing spring of enjoyment within.

In whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory.”—I Peter 1:8.

The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous.”—Ps. 118:15.

3. Holiness is essential to usefulness. Unholy men may spread Christianity, but they pervert it as they spread. it. Their “riches are corrupted,” and they corrupt Christianity when employed for its support. Perhaps no man ever devoted so much wealth for the spread of the Gospel as Constantine; and no one ever did so much to corrupt it. An impure channel will foul the purest water. Colored glass imparts its own hue to the light that passes through it. A holy soul alone is qualified to lead others into holiness.

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free Spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.”—Ps. 51:10-13.

One may, without a clean heart, or the joy of salvation, convert people to the church, but it is to be feared that few of them will be found to be converted to the Lord.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.”—Acts 2:4, 41.

Holiness is power. He that possesses it can do good.

For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”—I Cor. 4:20.

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