Jesus, Doubting Thomas, and You, Part 1 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 348)

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TEXT: John 20:24-29:

24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.

25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

26 And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

———-

Today, I am continuing the daily Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign sermon series, which is aimed at sharing the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ with unbelievers and reminding Christians, in this important election year, to keep the main thing the main thing — and that is reaching unbelievers with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and praying for their salvation, for the problem in America is not only disobedient presidents, politicians, and people, but disobedient pastors, preachers, and parishioners who have refused to obey the Lord’s Great Commission which is to, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” and who have refused to obey God’s repeated commands to “pray without ceasing” for unbelievers, believers, and political leaders. Yes, you should pray for the right candidate to win; yes, you should vote for the candidate that the Lord gives you peace about voting for. But, don’t get caught up in it like the world does. Nothing much is going to change until people get saved and get their hearts right with the Lord.

This campaign is inspired by the following three verses: 1 Corinthians 2:2 which says, “For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.” Acts 5:42 which says, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” And 2 Timothy 2:4 which says, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

This series is not for Christians necessarily. However, I do hope you are one of those saints who still loves to hear the “Old, old story of Jesus and His love” — As another hymn says, “For those who know it best Seem hungering and thirsting to hear it like the rest.” This series is primarily for unbelievers, so they can hear and understand the Gospel and be saved from sin and the punishment of sin which is hell. This is message number 348.

Ray Stedman said, “We ought to be grateful to Thomas for his doubting, because he voiced the doubts we all feel at times about the stories of the resurrection. Thomas only wanted to be sure that the Jesus of history and the risen Jesus were the same person. When he was convinced he also became a convincing element to all who would later doubt.”

When Jesus appeared to His followers on Resurrection Sunday, Thomas, one of the twelve disciples, was not present. We do not know where he was. Perhaps, he was off hiding alone, or perhaps, he simply had not caught up with the other disciples after fleeing when Jesus was arrested. Whatever the reason for His absence, imagine his shock when they told him that they had been visited by the risen Lord. One would think that with ten or more people telling him that they were all in the same room and saw and heard the same things at the same time, Thomas would have had enough eyewitness testimony to believe that what they were saying was true. But that is not the case.

We call Thomas, in a slightly condescending way, “doubting Thomas.” But, Thomas’ reaction is not simply one of doubt. His reaction is that of firm unbelief. He has sufficient evidence to believe, but he willfully chooses not to believe that Jesus has risen from the dead. In fact, he establishes his own standard of evidence. He says, “Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” The testimony of his fellow disciples is not good enough for him. He has to see and touch Jesus for himself.

Henry Morris said, “Normally, Thomas’ statement is taken to indicate that he was of a more skeptical turn of mind than the others, and, of course, he may have been. But another possibility should not be overlooked, namely that he was so shocked by the tragedy of the crucifixion that he did not find it easy to think of its consequences as being annulled.”

Thomas knew what happened when someone was flogged by the Romans. He knew what happened when someone was crucified. He knew what happened when someone died and was put in a tomb. He knew that people who died, stayed dead. Lazarus and the widow’s son whom Jesus raised from the dead were the exceptions, not the rule. If Jesus were dead, logic told Thomas that Jesus could not raise Himself from the dead. So, Thomas refused to believe.

There are many people like Thomas in our world today, and statistics show that their numbers are growing (or at least they are becoming more vocal about expressing their unbelief). They refuse to believe in God or Jesus despite the testimony of millions of people who say they have had a relationship with Him over thousands of years. They, like Thomas, say that they will not believe. They ask for evidence that no human being can provide. They want to see God. They want to see Jesus. They want to be convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt.

But God for ages has demanded that people believe in Him by faith alone. God expects you to believe in Him whom you have not seen with your eyes, heard with your ears, or touched with your hands. That is what makes faith so powerful — believing in something that, technically-speaking, you have no hard, reproducible evidence for. As some have said, you can’t put God in a test tube. You can’t go back in time and install a video camera in Jesus’ tomb. So, many people refuse to believe. They, like Thomas, say, ‘Unless these standards for evidence are met, I will not believe.’

We, obviously, are going to go into this account in more detail in our next message, but what is Jesus’ message to those who maintain willful unbelief. What does God say to the Thomases of today? His message might surprise some. It is, “Peace be unto you.” Jesus knew Thomas had refused to believe, but when He showed up the next week, the first thing He said was, “Peace be unto you.” God does not view the unbeliever wholly as His enemy. He views that person as a potential family member, a child of His who has gone astray. And that is why He sent Jesus — to every atheist, to every agnostic, to every unbeliever, to every intellectual or scientist who demands irrefutable evidence — He offers them peace with Himself. Peace with God, peace in your soul does not demand physical evidence. Peace in your heart is its own evidence that God is real and that He is living inside of you. And that is what Jesus wants to provide to every unbeliever no matter how willful he is in his unbelief. Peace.

Haldor Lillenas wrote:

Like the sunshine after rain,
Like a rest that follows pain,
Like a hope returned again,
Is the peace that Jesus gives.

Like the soft, refreshing dew,
Like a rosy daybreak new,
Like a friendship tender, true,
Is the peace that Jesus gives.

Oh, the peace that Jesus gives
Never dies; it always lives.
Like the music of a psalm,
Like a glad, eternal calm,
Is the peace that Jesus gives.

You can have peace in your heart, mind, and soul today if you accept the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross as the payment for your sins. Will you give your life to Jesus Christ today and experience the forgiveness that only comes from God? Here is how you can place your faith and trust in Him today.

First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at dw3@gospellightsociety.com and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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