What Can A Person Confidently Go By to Get To Heaven?
I. Introduction -
A. 2 Cor 5:7 There’s something incredible about the Christian life - the challenge is walk by faith instead of sight! Try it! Trusting God’s perfect word
B. Heb 11:1 There is substance and evidence to the Christian’s faith - If God is there, then FAITH in Him must have a reality! And it doesn’t stop there!
C. 1 Peter 1:8 There is something so real to the child of God’s faith, that it produces an indescribable joy in the heart of the Christian! Even though they never have met or seen Jesus Christ! How is this possible? That’s what we are going to talk about today!
D. John 20:19,20 Here we pick up our account this morning of the first appearance of Jesus to His disciples after resurrection. He enters right through closed, locked doors. He shows all that it really is Him, and they are so glad! But someone is missing - His name? Thomas. Doubting Thomas!
E. God wants to show us how Doubting Thomas was transformed! So many today need the same transformation!
II. Message - The Skeptic’s Ruin (John 20:24-31)
A. His Rejection (20:24,25) - “I will not believe...”
1. He rejected 3 1/3 years of living and learning from Christ! He had heard Jesus tell how that He would rise from the grave - but he chose not to believe it to be possible – same with us!
2. He rejected the importance of being in consistent fellowship with those who were trusting Christ. God had seemed to have let him down, and left him confused, so why put your whole heart into it anymore? Yet, because of this Thomas missed meeting Jesus Christ in the flesh!
3. He rejected the testimony of ten men who had been just as skeptical as himself, but now were different - were excited - were full of joy about their LIVING Saviour!
B. His Reasoning (20:24,25) - “Except I see... thrust my hand...” Seeing is believing is Tom’s motto!
1. Not interested in believing men’s words. They will let you down. They turn into Traditions, and folklore, and religions!
2. Not interested in trusting other people’s experiences. They are subject to change! One minute FEEL great, next minute AWFUL!
3. Only interested in what he could see, feel, and validate! Proud, stubborn, and unreasonable. He became the DECIDING factor!
C. His Uncertainty (20:26) - “...and Thomas with them...”
1. Thomas hadn’t given-up completely on Christ. He checks in on church there - “just-in-case” they end-up being right!
a. No evolutionist is 100% certain that he or she is right and that there is no God!
b. No physicist can explain HOW this universe got here, and believe it himself 100%!
c. No idolater has just ONE idol - because they are afraid there might be another god out there they may need to worship!
2. That’s why people who claim to not even believe in God go to church - because they want to “cover all their bases.” They want to take care of all the possibilities! They want fire insurance!
3. Haven’t you noticed - that basically EVERYONE is religious! Because EVERYONE is afraid that they might just be wrong (about being sinners), and might need to do some paying for their sins - so they figure on starting now.
4. Thomas accepts that he might just be wrong! But he is still proud!
(20:26,27) - “Then came Jesus...” Amen!
1. Thomas got what he wanted! A second chance! But at what price?
2. Thomas got what he really needed:
a. It humiliated him - made Thomas nothing, but Christ back again as everything!
b. It broke his pride and self-will!
c. It made Thomas useable by Christ
3. It is unfortunate that Thomas had not come to this place in his life before this! But it usually takes a disaster, or something big for God to get through to us that He is really there, and that we should be saved! But don’t wait on some vision of Jesus, or Mary! You’ll end up in hell!
E. His Reaction (20:28) - “My Lord and my God...”
1. He accepts Christ as ALIVE and well! Jesus really can be trusted! You really can trust Him with EVERYTHING - even your soul!
2. He accepts Christ as his personal LORD! Thomas from here on out lives only for Christ, and serves Him! He is Lord/Master!
3. He accepts Christ as his personal GOD! Not just some impersonal God that has no connection to this life!
F. His Rebuke (20:29-31)
1. Seeing faith is shallow! “Seeing may be believing” - But what about FAITH!? “I’m leaving soon. How can you expect anyone else to believe if they ALL have to see me, and feel me, and handle me?” That kind of faith is not what God wants!
2. Seeing faith is mis-directed! There is something greater to go by than my very physical presence - The Book! Test it! Check it out! Learn to trust it
3. Even miracle-based faith is wrong (20:30)- miracles just aren’t important
4. It is ONLY Bible believing faith that saves (20:31; John 5:39)!
a. A Bible believer accepts God’s word over men’s word!
b. A Bible believer accepts God’s word over human reasoning!
c. A Bible believer trusts Christ confidently!
III. Conclusion - So, If You Are A Skeptic...
A. Realize What You Are Rejecting - “I will not believe...”
B. Evaluate Your Reasoning - “Except I see... thrust my hand...”
1. Not asking you to trust men and their words. They will let you down. They turn into Traditions, and folklore, and religions!
2. Not asking you to trust other people’s experiences. They are subject to change! One minute FEEL great, next minute AWFUL!
3. But see if there is any room for God in your heart!
C. Accept Your Uncertainty - “...and Thomas with them...”
1. Don’t give-up completely on Christ.
2. Accept that you might just be wrong!
D. Confront Christ Yourself in the pages of this Book
1. Be ready to be humiliated
2. Be ready to loose your self-righteous pride and self-will!
3. Be ready to become useable by Christ
E. Watch Your Reaction - “My Lord and my God...” And it wont be cursing!
1. You’ll find Christ is ALIVE and well! He really can be trusted! You really can trust Him with EVERYTHING - even your soul!
2. You’ll find Christ will become very personal!
a. Lord/Master! From now on, live only for, and serve Him
3. Personal GOD! Living in your heart!
F. His Rebuke - It is ONLY Bible believing faith that saves
a. Trust it over men’s word! (Rom 10:13; Eph 2:8,9)
b. Accept it over human reasoning!
c. Rest Confidently in it for the rest of your life