“Blessed are (happy are) the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” – Matthew 5:8
Purity seems to be a lost cause in our culture today. Who even talks about it anymore? Isn’t this an old school, old fashioned conversation? Is it even possible to walk in purity in a culture that seems obsessed with flaunting impurity everywhere we turn?
We are the “sexually enlightened” generation. We have redefined marriage and today, there are shows on network television that wouldn’t have been allowed on late-night cable ten years ago. Here are a few examples of new cultural ‘norms.’
- Porn: In spite of the research showing how devastating pornography is to relationships and sexual health, porn usage is at an all-time high. Roughly half of all internet searches are porn-related. Smartphones and high-speed internet have only brought porn closer to home, now almost considered normal behavior.
- Living Together: Cohabitation is at an all-time high. A recent article in The Atlantic reports that over the last 50 years, the number of couples living together before marriage has increased by 900%. Today, the majority of couples getting married have already lived together. In 2012 two-thirds of all couples who got married lived together for more than 2 years before tying the knot.
- Unwed Mothers: For the past few years, over 50% of all children born in the US have been born to single-parent families. If a child is growing up in a home where mom and dad are married, they are now in the minority.
This is not about laying on a guilt trip. This is to show a snapshot of how things are changing in our culture as we place very little value on purity. So, why are we even talking about this at all?
Because Jesus did. Jesus spoke very clearly and candidly about the importance of purity. When Jesus addressed purity, He never bashed anyone for their decisions, their history, or their baggage. His message was always delivered with compassion and grace while leading to the all-important question: Do you want to see God?
Do you want to know God’s plan for your life? Do you want to know what God desires for you? Do you want to see God’s best for your life? Then walk in purity. It’s the pure in heart who will see God. Jesus points us to a very important truth: sexual impurity clouds our vision and leads us to doubt God’s best for our lives. Those who walk in purity can see clearly that God’s way is the best way for us to live.
Jesus is inviting us to walk in purity, in a culture that mocks and belittles those who choose to do so. And yet, Jesus says it is purity that leads to clarity. It is purity that invites us to see God at work in our lives. So the question is, do you want to see God?
Adapted from a sermon by Senior Pastor, George Wright, Shandon Baptist Church, Columbia, S.C