Jesus, Doubting Thomas, and You, Part 3 (Just Jesus Evangelistic Campaign, Day 354)
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 354.
John Walvoord said, “Thomas’ response, ‘My Lord and my God,’ is the high point of the Gospel. Here was a skeptical man confronted by the evidence of Jesus’ resurrection and he announced that Jesus, the Man of Galilee, is God manifest in the flesh. The truths of the Gospel were realized personally in this apostle.”
The story of Thomas’ unbelief cannot be divorced from its present-day implications. We live in a day of doubt, unbelief, and open mocking of faith. We find in Thomas’ questioning and in Jesus’ presentation of Himself an answer for all who have trouble believing. When Jesus showed Himself for the second time to a gathering of His followers, He gave Thomas permission to touch His wounds in order to prove to himself that He really had risen from the dead. Presented with undeniable proof, Thomas declared Jesus, “My Lord and my God.”
As we read this story, it is easy to think that Jesus had to provide extra evidence for Thomas in order for him to believe. But the truth is He actually didn’t. The other disciples were no more believing than Thomas was at first. They disbelieved the reports of Mary Magdalene and the women who said they had seen Jesus at the tomb. They, too, had not believed until Jesus personally appeared to them. In their case, Jesus had provided the answer before they had the chance to ask the question. And now He provides to Thomas the same proof that He had provided to the other disciples a week before. That proof was His own presence.
Dr. Jack Crabtree of Gutenberg College writes: “In the unfolding of the historical events, Thomas, and no one else, explicitly articulates what evidence he requires in order to believe. All the other disciples — as we can see by their actions — implicitly act on exactly the same requirements for belief, but Thomas happens to be the one whose circumstances forced him to make them explicit by articulating them. This, in turn, creates the opportunity for Jesus to make this profound and interesting statement: ‘Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.'”
In the age of skepticism and doubt in which we now live, this statement is very important. Millions upon millions of individuals have believed in Jesus without ever seeing Him with their own eyes, much less touching His body. All of these, Jesus says, are the recipients of a special blessing. They have faith without sight, trust without requirement. To believe in such a manner is not as far-fetched as some say. Every time someone gets on a plane, they implicitly trust a pilot whom they have not seen to get them to their destination. In fact, we have more reason to believe that Jesus is who He says He is than we do to trust that any pilot can safely fly a plane.
Still, it takes a leap of faith to believe in Jesus, and that is why He promises a special reward for those who do. The Bible Knowledge Commentary states, “This blessing comes to all who believe on the basis of the proclaimed gospel and the evidences for its validity. Believers living today are not deprived by not seeing Him physically.” In light of that point, Dr. Warren Wiersbe goes on to say, “You and I today cannot see Christ, nor can we see Him perform the miracles that John wrote about in this book. But the record is there, and that is all that we need. Romans 10:17 says, ‘So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ As you read John’s record, you come face to face with Jesus Christ, how He lived, what He said, and what He did. All of the evidence points to the conclusion that He is indeed God come in the flesh, the Saviour of the world.”
The testimony of the Bible is more than enough for anyone to believe in Jesus Christ. The testimony of history — how it has been shaped and influenced by the man named Jesus — is more than enough. The testimony of the myriad of souls who have had real personal experiences with Jesus is more than enough.
As a child and young adult, you learned about events and people in the distant past. The evidence that we have for the lives of the majority of those people is the exact same evidence that we have for the life of Jesus Christ. We have written records; we have their impact on history; and we have the testimony of those who came into contact with them. If we believe what the history books say based on that alone, we need not demand further evidence in order to believe in Jesus.
Today, Christ says to us what He said to Thomas: “Be not faithless, but believing.”
One hymnist wrote:
In doubt and unbelief, I rest in Christ;
My hand in His hand, He carries my life;
My soul with His counsel through life He will guide,
And afterward make me in glory abide.
In glory He only my portion shall be,
On earth for none other I long for but Thee;
My flesh and heart falter, but God is my stay,
The strength of my spirit, my portion this day.
All they that forsake Thee must perish and die,
But near to my Savior most blessed am I;
I make Thee my refuge, my Lord and my God;
Thy grace and Thy glory I publish abroad.
Today, Jesus says to all who have doubts, all who are on the fence, all who are in the valley of decision, “Be not faithless, but believing. Rewards await you.” Not only through the Holy Spirit, but through the Word of God, the record of history, and the testimony of countless millions, He presents the truth of Himself and His sacrifice for you. Will you 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 email@example.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.