OH! I WANT TO SEE HIM!
© Dr. Mark E. Hardgrove
Texts: 1 John 3:2-3, Job 19:25-27
Texts: 1 John 3:2-3, Job 19:25-27
1 John 3:2-3
2Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. NKJV
25For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me. KJV
Is there someone in your life that you would really like to see again? Is there an old high school buddy, a relative, or friend that youíd love to see again? Perhaps youíve lost a loved-one and youíd give everything you own just to see him or her one more time.
To be honest with you, Iíve never lost a close loved-one to death. My older brother died as an infant, but I never knew him. My grandfathers had already passed on before I was born, so I never got to know them. All my cousins, my aunts and uncles are still alive. Even my grandmother, Naomi Icephene Swiger, is still alive at 96 years old. So I donít really know what it is like to wake up and not be able to be with or see someone Iíve loved and known for a number of years.
My father was in the Air Force and served in Vietnam and in Europe while we stayed behind in West Virginia, so I never really got to know him very well when I was growing up, and then when he retired from the military he deserted our family and I havenít seen him for almost 25 years. To be honest, I could probably pass him on the street and neither of us would recognize the other. I would like to see him one last time before he dies if only to try to lead him to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
But there is someone that I love, and Who has loved me, that I want to see somedayóHis name is Jesus. We used to sing that song from the red-back hymnal, ďOh I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing forever of Godís amazing grace. On the streets of glory, let me lift my voice. Cares all past, home at last. Ever to rejoice.Ē I remember the passion with which we would sing that song in our little church on the dirt road of Elk Lick, West Virginia. ďOh! I want to see Him! To look upon His face!Ē That is my desire and that is my destiny. I want to see Jesus!
Our two texts give us the promise that we shall indeed see Jesus! John said, ďWe shall see him as he is!Ē Job said, ďmine own eyes shall behold Him, and not another.Ē Those are two promises that every child of God can stand on. Your mother or father in the flesh may have deserted you and maybe we will never see them again. But we shall see Jesus. People we have loved and treasured in this lifetime may have died lost in their sins and the truth is that we may never see them again, but we shall see Jesus. You may never get to see a famous movie star or sports hero in the flesh, but you shall see Jesus. And I donít know about you, but Oh! I want to see Him!
I) THIS IS THE HOPE THAT TAKES US THROUGH THE TRIALS
I want you to look first at the text in the book of Job, and then we will come back to Johnís Epistle. Consider for a moment the context of Jobís statement. Here was a man who had seen Godís blessings in his life. He was, by all accounts, a very wealthy man. He had a good family and influence in the community. He was a man that others looked up to and came to for advice. Job had seen a lot of good things in his life. But then disaster fell.
In a conversation with Satan, God declared that Job was a righteous man, a man who hated evil and pursued righteousness. Satan challenged God. He said that Job was only serving God because of all the good things he had seen in his life. And it is true that some people will only seek God as long as He is handing out fishes and loaves, as long as their lives are filled with ďgood-n-plenty.Ē But Job was not one of those men.
God allowed Satan to test Jobís commitment. Job literally lost everything in his life that his heart once held dear. All the things that the world would look at and say, ďGod sure is blessing him,Ē were taken away. His wealth, his children, his possessions, and even his health. His own wife advised him to simply curse God and die, get it over with, give up, give in, surrender to the circumstances and let your life come to an end.
Job complained about his circumstances. He cursed the day he was born. He wondered aloud why he was going through these things. As far as he could tell, he had not sinned against or charged God foolishly. Nothing that was going on in his life at this time made any sense to Job.
Have you ever been there? Have gone through a series of setbacks that you could not explain: You paid you tithes faithfully, but you lost your job? You did good for others, but when you were in need, others deserted you? You prayed for the sick and they were healed, but now you are sick? Have you ever been where Job was? If you havenít, chances are that at least once in your lifetime you will come to a time and place where nothing makes sense and the mystery of what God is allowing to happen in your life will challenge your faith.
How do you maintain your faith in those times? What do you do? How do you maintain your integrity, as Job did? How do you keep from simply throwing in the towel and calling it quits? I believe our text from Job gives us an answer. Job knew something. He didnít know why he was going through these things. He didnít know how long these things would last and he didnít know how they would end. But something that Job did know kept him from blaspheming God. What was it that Job knew?
ď25For I know that my redeemer [Heb. Go-el, kinsman-redeemer, vindicator] liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
26And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
27Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
A) First, Job knew that despite all the death, loss and sickness that he had experienced, Job knew that his redeemer was alive.
Regardless of what you are going through, God is still on the throne and as long as He is on His throne, He will make all things work together for good to them that love the Lord and are the called according to His purpose. The world may talk about you and accuse your of sin and superstition, but keep looking for your Redeemer, for you will be vindicated before the those who have accused you. If your faith is in God and not in yourself, your possessions, or your affiliations, then regardless of what happens around you your faith can stay alive and powerful because God is an eternal, all-powerful, and all consuming fire with whom there is no variableness neither shadow of turning.
B) Second, Job knew that His redeemer was coming to the earth to claim what was His.
The Psalmist said, ďThe earth is the Lordís and the fullness thereof.Ē He's coming back! We donít know that day or the hour, but we know that our God is coming back to claim His Body of Believers, His Bride, His Children. It doesnít matter who the president of the United States is, or the Prime Minister of the most powerful countries. It doesnít matter who is king in any of the country with kings. One day our Redeemer is coming back to claim what is His and to establish His reign and rule upon the earth, and Job knew this.
C) Third, Job knew that death is not final.
In other words, if the worst enemy we have to face on earth is death, then we donít have to live in fear. Jobís body was diseased and he was the picture of death. He was covered with boils and the maggots were crawling through his flesh, but Job knows that death is not final. He said, ďI may die. I may pass from this life and the worms may consume my body. But thatís still not the end of the story. Iím going to get up! My flesh shall arise! In my flesh shall I see God.Ē
D) Finally, Job knew that he would see God with his very own eyes.
Iíve seen paintings of Jesus. Iíve seen statues and carvings, but Job declared that he would behold the face of God with his very own eyes. He wouldnít have to hear someone else describe God. He wouldnít have to depend on someone elseís depiction or description, Job said, ďI shall see Him for myself, mine own eyes shall behold Him and not another.Ē
Job had gone through some stuff and yet he maintained his integrity and faith in God because Job had this hope, ďI shall behold Him.Ē
This is the promise that should burn in our soul and keep our feet on the path despite the trials and storms of life. Iíve seen good and Iíve seen bad. Iíve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend. Iíve been sick and Iíve been well. Iíve been blessed by God and cursed by my neighbors, but one thing keeps me pressing on, ďYet in my flesh shall I see God, mine own eyes shall behold Him and not another.Ē Oh! I want to see Him, look upon His face, there to sing forever of His amazing grace.Ē Even if we go by way of the grave, even in the face of death itself, we can triumphantly declare, ďyet in my flesh shall I see Him.Ē This is the hope that takes us through the trials with our faith intact and:
II) THIS IS THE HOPE THAT KEEPS US TRUE TO OUR TRUST
John says, ďwe shall see Him as He is.Ē We will not see a baby in a cradle, nor will we see a suffering servant in a cross. When we see our Savior again weíre going to see a King in all of His glory. [Song: ďWe Shall Behold HimĒ] When we see Jesus we will see the one who died for us, but has risen and is alive forevermore. Oh! I want to see Him!
We may have cried a million tears. We may have experienced joy and sorrow, good and bad, life and death, but with one look in Jesusí face all the tears and the fears, all the pain and the sorrow, all loss and sacrifice will be swallowed up. One look in Jesusí face and the last tear that Iíll ever shed will be wiped away. Years of disappointment, suffering and shame, will be erased and expunged from the record of our lives. And, then, weíll hear Him say, ďWell done, thy good and faithful servant,Ē and that will be all that my ears will need to hear. Oh! I want to see Him!
Iíve seen some things in my life. Iíve seen the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Iíve seen the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Lakes, and the Great Plains. Iíve seen some people. I met Jimmy Carter a few days ago. Iíve seen some movie and television stars in person. Iíve been to New York, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Phoenix, Dallas and Los Angeles. I've been on four continents in seven countries. Iíve been to Disney World and Disney Land. Iíve seen some great buildings and the works of manís hands. But nothing can compare, nothing can stand beside, nothing can match the matchless glory of God, the majesty and might of Jesus. He is the high and holy One who inhabits eternity and beside Him there is no other God. Neither is there any other Rock like our God. Lead me to that Rock, that is higher than I. Oh! I want to see Him!
John tells us that the very anticipation of seeing Jesus is enough to give us hope and to affect the very way that we walk before God. The very anticipation will keep us true to our trust and pure in our pursuits. We who have the hope of seeing our Savior face to face, ďpurify ourselves even as He is pure,Ē in anticipation of our meeting Jesus.
III) WHO WILL WE SEE?
The truth, according to Revelation 1:7, is that everyone ever born will see Jesus. The Word says that ďevery eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him,Ē even those who rejected Him, even those who tried to live a lie but who secretly lived in sin. Every eyes shall see Him, the question is who will we see. If we are walking by faith in grace, if we are striving to live according to Godís will and Word, then we will see our Savior and the rewarder of our souls. We will see the Bridegroom welcoming His bride, the Shepherd gathering His sheep.
But if we have not lived in grace by faith, if we have lived in sin, if we have pursued the pleasures of sin for a season and have not walked uprightly before our Lord, then we will not see a Savior, we will see a Judge, we will see Him upon a great white throne judging the nations. We will see eyes of fire and His tongue like a sword as He says, ďDepart! I never knew you!Ē
Who will you see on that day? A Judge or a Gentle Savior? What will you hear Him say? ďWill Jesus say well done, or go away. ĎMy home is for the pure, the vile can never stay.í We shall see the King when He comes.Ē
I donít know what youíre looking for in life. I donít know what your personal vision for your life is. But I know this, I want to see Jesus, for Heís the One, who died for all. Trials and troubles will come and go, but Oh! I want to see Jesus! There will be times when the enemy will try to distract, discourage and disillusion, but Oh! I want to see Jesus! There will be some who will take hold of the plow, only to look back, but Iíve made up my mind, Iím not looking back, Iím looking forward. Iím looking unto the Author and Finisher of my faith, Iím looking for two nail-scarred hands stretched out to welcome me home. Iím looking for the Alpha and Omega, the Lamb as it had been slain, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Iím looking for Jesus! Iím looking for the blessed hope, Iím longing for the healing balm, Iím believing for the coming Bridegroom, and waiting for Him who has arisen with healing in His wings. Oh! I want to see Jesus! Are you ready today?
I Bowed on My Knees and Cried Holy
I dreamed of a city called glory,
So bright and so fair.
When I entered the gate I cried Holy,
The angels all met with me there:
They showed me from mansion to mansion,
And O the sights I saw,
But I said, I want to see Jesus,
The One Who died for all.
I thought, when I entered that city
My friends knew me so well
They showed me all through Heaven
The scenes are too numírous to tell
They showed me Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,
Mark, Luke, and Timothy
But I said, I want to give praise
To the One who died for me.
I thought, when I saw my Savior,
O glory to God!
I just fell right down before Him,
Singing Praise to the name of the Lord
I bowed down and worshipped Jehovah,
My Friend of Calvary,
For I wanted to give praise to Jesus,
For saving a sinner like me.
Then I bowed on my knees and cried
Holy, Holy, Holy
I clapped my hands and sang Glory,
Glory to the Son of God!