God’s Word tells us in no uncertain terms, “Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14, NKJV).

Here is the truth, plain and simple. Without the holiness that’s imparted by Christ alone—a precious gift we honor by leading a life devoted to obeying his every word—none of us will see the Lord. This refers not just to heaven but to our present life as well. Without holiness, we won’t see God’s presence in our daily walk, our family, our relationships, our witness or our ministry.

It doesn’t matter how many Christian conferences we attend, how many sermons we listen to, how many Bible studies we are involved in. If we harbor a cancerous sin, if the Lord has a controversy with us over our iniquity, then none of our efforts will produce godly fruit. On the contrary, our sin will only grow more contagious and infect everyone around us.

Of course, this issue goes beyond all lusts of the flesh all the way to a corruption of the spirit as well. Paul describes the same destructive sin in this passage when he says, “Nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10).

Christ has promised to keep you from falling and to give you sin-resisting power if you simply believe what he has said. It is all a matter of faith. Believe him for this godly fear. Pray for it and welcome it. God will keep his word to you. You cannot break free from the death-grip of besetting sin by willpower or by any human effort alone. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).

Dear saint, will you allow the Holy Spirit to deal with all the lusts you may be harboring? Will you instead seek the escape that God has provided for you?

I urge you to cultivate a holy fear and trust in these last days. It will keep you pure, no matter how loudly wickedness rages around you. It will enable you to walk in God’s holiness, which holds the promise of his enduring presence. Amen!