Read: I Peter 1:13-16
Be ye holy; for I am holy (I Peter 1:16).
I Must Obey God
The obligations which grow out of church membership, and my responsibilities to fellow Christians, are very real and important. But they cannot compare with the responsibility that I owe to God, who says to me, “Be ye holy; for I am holy.” We are obliged to be sanctified wholly because it is God’s requirement for entrance into His presence. We are exhorted to “follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
I do not like the expression “holiness or hell.” Holiness is too glorious a reality, and hell too terrible a fact, to be glibly rolled off the tongue in a neat phrase. I do not like the expression, but I must use it because it describes a stark reality of the spiritual life.
With whom is it second-blessing holiness or hell? And why does God confront a man with this kind of alternatives? The Psalmist asks, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?” The inspired answer comes back: “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart” (Psalms 24:3-4). Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God” (Matthew 5:8). If it is only the pure in heart who shall see God, then men must find heart purity or forfeit God. To be shut out of God’s presence is to be eternally lost. It is holiness or hell.
“For if we persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins remains: only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fierce fire which will consume God’s enemies” (Hebrews 10:26-27, N.E.B.).