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From Doubt to Faith

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2020 1:00 am

From Doubt to Faith

Beacon Baptist / Gregory N. Barkman

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April 15, 2020 1:00 am

The message from John 20-19-31 from Pastor Greg Barkman -From Doubt to Faith- begins at 22-40. Learn how Jesus brought doubting Thomas from cynicism and despair to certainty and renewed commitment.

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Greetings, welcome to the midweek lifestream service from beacon Baptist Church in Burlington, North Carolina.

Glad you have joined us for this service tonight. Again, our longing would be together together in the assembly of the saints. But God has providentially hindered that so we meet this way were grateful for the opportunity I've had the opportunity to contact to communicate many of you this very day, in one way or another that is been a wonderful delight to be able to do that some of you I've talked to on the telephone others I have actually talked to in person today others by email and others through Facebook and I tell you the longer it goes. Before we can gather together again. The more these outside contacts or whatever you want to call them. These these these alternate ways of contacting and entered interacting become more precious, more meaningful, indeed, was so thankful and talking to one of our men on the telephone today who said when I asked him how I was doing. He said I still have a job.

He said a lot of the people in my company have been furloughed, but he said I have not said, I'm thankful for that and I got to thinking.

I'm not aware of anyone in our congregation who has lost her job and I haven't talked to everyone. I don't know. And if you have let us know we'd like to know that like to to be praying for you and seeing if there other ways that we can be of help to you but as far as I know nobody in our congregation has lost her job. Some I've heard about having cut back some hours and having to reduce their work of these difficult times. But what a blessing.

What a reminder of God's faithfulness to his children how he takes care of his own and we know that he'll do that. He has different ways of doing it.

I'm not promising that nobody's going to lose their job. But I'm saying. God has promised to take care of his children, and if we are trusting him. We can rest on those promises. One of our members came by the church today to drop off is offering and I was the only one here and I was so glad to see him that just without thinking I stuck out my hand to shake he is and he stuck out his hand to shake mine. We shook and then we realized they were not supposed to do that I had done that for a long time, but it sure felt good. But yes, I made my way very quickly afterwards to go wash my hands. That's what we have to do we have to be careful in these days, but one of the light to see one of our members face-to-face. And again thank you all of you who have kept contact with us in one way or another were praying for you and we want to know how you're doing and we want to know if you need help, please let us know. Psalm 20 may the Lord answer you in the day of trouble.

May the name of the God of Jacob defend you. May he send you help from the sanctuary and strengthen you out of Zion may he remember all your offerings and accept your bread offering may he grant you, according to your hearts desire and fulfill all your purpose.

We will rejoice in your salvation, and in the name of our God, he will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petition. Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed, he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving strength of his right hand, some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They have bowed down and fallen but we have risen and stand upright, save Lord made the king answer us when we call shall we call upon him, Almighty God, our heavenly father. We counted the great privilege to be able to call you. Our father or father who is in heaven, your name truly is holy. We long for your kingdom to come.

We long for your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We gratefully receive the daily bread that you provide day by day and we do not take that for granted. We recognize that this is evidence of your faithfulness to your children. We pray Lord that you will guard us from evil, and keep us from temptation to pray Lord that you may give us a forgiving heart toward others as we remember the greatness of your forgiveness to us how you have forgiven us so many said, and in comparison, those who have sinned against us have sinned in such small way so heavenly father we give you thanks as we commit to you our lives, our families are welfare our needs. We commit to you this time together with the people of God around the word of God and we thank you for being our God for making us your children and causing us to know you the one true God is our heavenly father we thank you for these blessings through your son, the Lord Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. We will continue our lifestream services at the normal times of our appointed public meetings so this coming Sunday at 930 becoming to you again from this very same pulpit at this very same location for your listening to the service now are watching the service now and then again Sunday night at 6 o'clock Pastor Michael Carnes will be leading the service at that time and will be opening the word of God again and we invite you to join us for those times and to invite your friends and neighbors to join us as well, particularly those who may not have a church that they can access through lifestream.

In this way. I also want to thank those of you who contributed to the project to offer supplies and and the helpful items to the medical personnel who are working hard during this crisis and those gifts that you brought by the church were packaged up and were delivered I think on yesterday it might've been on Monday, but I think it was on yesterday to Alamance Regional Medical Center. They were so grateful and I think it was a wonderful testimony of God's people's love and concern for those around them. So thank you so much for your participation in that going to update you on some of the prayer requests that we have on our street tonight.

The first of all want to thank the Lord, to Connie Mooney's name is now removed from our prayer list as she's made good progress in healing from her surgery. Though the she still not back 100%. She has come a long ways and we are praising the Lord for that.

As we pray for all of our government officials as Christ has commanded us to do.

We are remembering especially this week, city of member city 11 councilmember Patricia Phillips.

Please remember her in your prayers along with other government officials were praying for dear Guthrie, member of our church who is probably at this time at UNC hospital in Hillsboro.

She's been receiving treatment for cancer. She's having a difficult time swallowing and eating and they are ministering to her at this time she's in some degree of pain as well.

Though her spirits are good. Her attitude is good, but please pray for Drew Guthrie. Also pray for Wayland Loftus, a member of our church who is in the declining condition and pray for his wife Doris.

She cares for him at this time. Some others that we are praying for that are not in our membership that are friends of our members would be first of all, doing bodily BOD Ellie why was having surgery tomorrow for blood clots in his leg. He is a math teacher at Alamance Christian school for continue to pray for Scott glory is been separated from his wife and son preceded him to the Philippine Islands and he was to follow them and then this coronavirus cut off that that possibility.

So they been separated now for I would say it must be going on two months. Please pray for their ability to reconcile were praying for you DOS who is the brother of an neighbor of Joe Moody and I he is under hospice care at home and is in declining condition and are also pray for Chris Shropshire who had a stroke and is in Blakely Hall.

We want to regularly uphold our missionaries in prayer, but especially Stuart Waugh who is in Johannesburg waiting word that he is able to receive a liver transplant, which she needs and were still waiting on that word as they are checking them out carefully to make sure that his heart is strong enough and that his body is strong enough in every way to undergo this serious surgery for expressing our sympathy to the family of Dave Fishel was a brother missionary Kathy pain supported Tony and Kathy for many years in their ministry in South Africa that all read all communication from them in just a moment, please pray for them and please continue to pray for Joan Sansone member of our congregation and Ambrose also member of our congregation who both saw their husbands pass into eternity last week and we are praying for Josh Boyd who has been returned to the hospital.

He's at UNC hospital Hillsboro with acute pancreatitis.

They are thinking they're going to need to do some surgery and remove a portion of his pancreas.

This is the son of Thad and Angela Boyd who are members of our church and please remember Josh in your prayers as well. Moving on to some communications, this one from missionary missionaries I should say Larry and Carol Bunyan minister. The Blackfeet Indians on the reservation in Montana. They write dear friends, it is a privilege to be part of your mission's family. The beacon beam is greatly appreciated. Reminder of God's sovereignty in the latest issue was a great blessing and encouragement during our troubled times. Larry has been giving a Bible message on Facebook live on Sunday morning.

We are thrilled about 250 people have been tuning in.

We are blessed that God is using this venue in our region around the world is Bible believing churches are broadcasting their messages through May God continue to bless and prosper the ministry, the beacon Baptist Church in Christ, Larry and Carol Bunyan and then on short note from Dave and Julie Rudolph also missionaries in South Africa.

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support. All of these years is our privilege to co-labor with you in South Africa with love, Dave and Julie Rudolph that a few emails first one from the good among us who are serving the Lord in Alaska with missionary aviation like all of us there situation has changed drastically with the current pandemic they write and I'm reading just excerpts from their recent letter. Alaska received a shelter in place mandate a week ago on Saturday, March 28, so we are all home together all of the time. For a while, and he is working from home, and like most people trying to honor Alaska's mandate while still accomplishing stuff. Normal routine operations of the Palmer hanger and kingdom air core branch of ceased, so he isn't working on aircraft maintenance unless he figures out a way to bring it home. He makes a quick trip to the Palmer hanger daily to check on the aircraft check the furnace and make sure all is well. Please pray for the inevitable antsy feelings is and he would much rather be working at the hangar. Also pray for continued clarity on what his work days should look like how you can pray for us Harmony at home, inspiration, creativity, and hopefulness. During this time. Final decisions have not been made about how kingdom air core will operate differently this summer. God knows the future. We rest in God's plan. Even though we don't know how things will turn out.

There will be needs in Alaska. We want God to preparing our hearts to follow his direction and the letter goes on, but I will stop at that point, good to hear from Andy and Trish good from the web service in France, Mike and Melanie Webster dear praying friends. We are well into week three of confinement due to the coronavirus here in France. Here are links to two videos.

The first is an update on the ministry and the second is a presentation that we did for our church on Mike's trip to the Dominican rather Democratic Republic of the Congo. Thanks so much for praying for that trip. There's a lot of French in the second video, but we think you'll appreciate it anyway. God bless and comfort you and all these uncertain times where I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, or powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord just seen Hannah Green, who are missionaries that we added to our missions budget a little over a year ago their young missionaries raising their support to go to China that the this will be their first term of service. They thought that they were ready to go.

They purchased tickets and then covert, 19 struck brothers and sisters in Christ. We love you and are praying for you. There is obvious obviously a lot going on in the world right now. That includes your lives in churches.

I understand the church is not meeting physically is a difficult thing and in a way it should be. I'm praying for your encouragement, because we know that for Christians, God works all things for us to be conformed to the image of Jesus. This is always great news. I should first let you know that we have officially postponed our departure, as I'm sure you've heard a few countries of close their borders to help spur curb. Rather, the spread of the virus. China being one of them.

Although we are incredibly excited to be able to move to China. We trust God's control of all things and will will enjoy the extra time given us in the states we've heard from friends in China that they may open their borders again at the end of the summer and were praying. This is the case. Good news is that we were given vouchers for our flights that we can use within the next two years. I feel badly that we will not be able to give you more information but they are a lot of unknowns at this time you are able to have time, please respond to this and let us know how your families and churches are doing at this time God sustain us in Christ, Jesse Greene, and then the Tom and Connie Chapman right from Chile regarding a request that they had asked us to pray for my design.

Appreciate think I mentioned a moment ago, but that's Roberto friend of Tom Chapman in Chile who had a very severe case of Kovic, 19, and Tom and Connie right to say thank you and praying for Roberto Avera and the many who have written to let us know that you are praying. We are grateful for your intercession report on Roberto this week is quite encouraging.

They've turned in faceup now, and his body is beginning to breathe some on its own.

They lowered the sedation twice during the week there was a problem in his lungs with information because some complication but with adequate antibiotics that seems to be better. He continues with the ink intubation, but the doctors are saying that they may be able to remove the breathing ventilator. Before long, thank you for praying Lord is responding wonderfully all right again a few days to bring you up-to-date on his condition. Thanks so much, and Connie Chapman, finally from Tony and Kathy Payne told you I had a communication from them in regard to the death of Kathy's brother and I Tony writes Kathy has written you the news of Dave's path a passing but I want to write to request that you join in asking God to glorify himself enter their days daughter and also along in his abundant grace and care. Pray that we will feel strong arms of unfailing strength and comfort carrying us along just as a parent would carry the child recently during our stringent lockdown in South Africa. I have preached several times via technology on God, our heavenly father. One of our greatest gifts as children is to be able, in all sincerity and certainty to speak of God and address him as heavenly father God is the believers heavenly father, and he hears the prayers and cries of his children is a God of grace and glory's grace sustains us today and he will reward us in his glory. One day in the future when our hearts are broken and grieving and fearful. We must cast off all self-sufficiency and self trust and come to him like a child. He is delighted when we do, we hope to be able to live stream the simple service that will be held for Dave where he will be laid to rest next to his parents in Littleton North Carolina. Kovic 19 is made it necessary to have abbreviated arrangements.

We are disappointed that we cannot be there but know this virus is God's servant, and will accomplish what he has purposed. We are comforted and rest in his plan. Pray for God to continue to comfort us, that we may learn to comfort others as he does us.

Thank you for your prayers over the years for Dave and for us in him. Tony Payne, I'm now opening my Bible to John chapter 20 and I would encourage you to open your copy of God's word.

Follow along tonight as we look at this portion of God's revelation to us from heaven to earth. John chapter 20 is John's account of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, something that we were all focusing on this last Sunday Easter Sunday, the day that we especially celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave here from this pulpit. We examine Matthew's account of the resurrection is last Lord's day. John's account is found in chapter 20, but it is not the account of the resurrection that we are going to be looking at tonight, but the account of Christ's appearance to his disciples on the same day as the resurrection the same day of the resurrection.

Later in the day when he met with them in the upper room at that time. However, one of the apostles was missing to actually Judas was missing, for he had the direct betray Jesus and already had by this time, hanged himself and gone to his own place. The place of tradition, but another one of the apostles was absent on medication and that would be Thomas all the others were there 10 faithfully gathered together and assembled together in the place where they were supposed to be about Thomas was not there. Thomas therefore missed the blessing of that first Christian assembly on the first day of the week. Thomas was not ministered to. On that occasion when all the other 10. Received ministry that was greatly used of God to strengthen their faith and to encourage them. Thomas missed the fellowship of the saints that day because he did not gather with the people of God in Thomas therefore went on beyond that first Sunday still unconvinced about the resurrection of Christ doubting cynical, even hostile and this is the account in John chapter 20 of how God through the person of his son the Lord Jesus Christ restored doubting Thomas to faith. It is interesting to note in the gospel accounts. How all of the followers of Jesus Christ had questions about his resurrection, even though Christ had told them repeatedly that he was going to die and then rise again from the dead. They just seemed not to hear not to comprehend, not to understand himself.

All of them had weakness in their faith and all of them were brought to faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but not all at the same time Thomas was brought to faith in Christ later than the others because of his own absence from the assembly of the saints. Let me read this account to you and John chapter 20 beginning of verse 19 then, the same day and evening. That is the same day that Jesus rose from the dead. Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, peace be with you the doors were shut for fear of the Jews, Jesus came.

No door was open for him to be able to come. Jesus came into that room right through a closed door right through the wall the same way that he went out of a sealed to right through the rock in a physical body that could be felt that had substance to it and it had properties that our bodies do not have this was a glorified body and it could pass through material substance. Peace be with you. He said when he had said that her said this rather he showed them his hands and his side than the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again. Peace to you as a father has sent me, I also send you and what he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the holy spirit.

All of the Gospels have some account of a commissioning of Christ to go into the world. The one we looked at Matthew Took Pl. in Galilee. Upon amount Jesus had appointed there. Jesus said to his disciples go into all the world go to all nations or go into all the world to make and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the sound of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you in law.

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Luke has a an account of the great commission. When I say an account.

I don't mean that all of these are different records of the same occasion of the same account, but most of them are actually the same commission given in different words in different places. Here's the one I just read it to you that we find the gospel of John, verse 21 so Jesus said to them again, please speak to you second time. He said that and them.

This is the father has sent me, I also send you that's the shortest one, but very significant very profound as the father has sent me question. Did the father send the son he certainly did. How did the father send this with all the power necessary to accomplish his mission. What a Jesus say to his disciples as the father sent me, even so send I you.

According to the father's appointment, along with the power which the father supplied to accomplish the purpose that God has given so send I you and what he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, receive the Holy Spirit. That's where the power comes from. Now we take up reading at verse 24 now Thomas called the twin, one of the 12, was not with them when Jesus came the other disciples therefore said to him, we have seen the Lord so he said to them, unless I see his hands the print of the nails and put my fingers into the print of the nails and put my hand into his side. I will not believe, and after eight days.

His disciples were again the inside and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut and stood in the midst, and said, peace to you. Then he said to Thomas, reach your fingers here and look at my hands and reach your hand here, and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing Thomas answered and said to him, my Lord, and by God. Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. It's worked out through this section, I just read verses 24 through 29 and trace this path from doubt to faith and see how the faith of Thomas was restored.

The account begins by introducing to us a retro grade disciples. Now Thomas called the twin, one of the 12 was not there when Jesus came a retro great great disciple. That means one who is in reverse, one who is going to different direction.

That is exactly the case when all the others went one direction gathered in the upper room is apparently they recognized that they were supposed to do. Thomas went in another direction. Thomas went retro grade. Thomas wasn't there a retro grade disciple and who is this retro grade disciple. He is Thomas, the twin he is Thomas the apostle. He is Thomas, the absentee he is. Thomas, the skeptic, Thomas. The twin is what is called now Thomas called the twin, that's what didymus means that's Aramaic for twin. We don't know anything about his other part is his other is twin.

We don't know. Was it a brother or was it a sister.

We don't know anything about the other one, but we do know the Thomas was a twin Thomas was a loyal pessimist and Thomas was a questioning contradictory you has an interesting personality. John chapter 11 that I covered with you a couple weeks ago on Wednesday night when Lazarus died in Jesus delayed going to Mary and Martha for a couple of days so that Lazarus could be buried and could be certified completely dead before Jesus came and then Jesus said all right, now it's time to go.

Jesus said that to them plainly in verse 14 Lazarus is dead and I'm glad for your sakes that I was not there.

You may believe.

Nevertheless let us go to him then Thomas, who is called the twin, said to his fellow disciples, let us also go, that we may die with him. Do I have Ward for calling him the loyal pessimist let us go. Also, that we may die with him. I don't know that anybody else had thought about that, had I don't know that it occurred to anyone else that they might die in going with Jesus but Thomas had a pessimistic side to him, and that's what he thought of.

If we go with him were going to get killed. He's going to get killed or were going to die with you, but let's do it. Let's go with him that we may die with him. He was very loyal though.

What a pessimist but I've also called in the questioning, contradictory, why do I call them that because of what is said in John chapter 14 that wonderful passage in the upper room discourse were Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure when he said let not your heart be troubled you believe in God believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions if you were not so I would've told you.

I go to prepare a place for you and if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know in the way you know Jesus didn't say do you know where I'm going.

Do you know the way I'm going. He said you do know you know the way you know where I'm going. You know the way where I'm out to where I'm going, then verse five Thomas said to him, yes Thomas, the one were talking about. Thomas said to him, Lord, we do not know where you are going and how can we know the way again. Nobody else said that nobody else thought that Jesus said you know where I'm going and you know the way and Thomas said we don't know where you going know the way the questioning contradictory. There was just something about the personality of Thomas that he just had trouble believing what he was told had trouble receiving the word of God.

Yes, even the word of the Lord Jesus Christ know he was a committed follower of Christ and willing to lay down his life for Christ and yet there was this side of him that was pessimistic.

There was the side of him that was contradictory, but he wants a true disciple of Jesus Christ. He was a believer in Christ, a born-again believer.

That should give us comfort because some of us are more like Thomas than we would then we would want to be more like Thomas.

Then we would like to admit that we are yet, in spite of that, there is hope for people like Thomas Thomas, the twin Thomas the apostle we read in verse 24 John 20.

Now Thomas called the twin, one of the 12 was not there when Jesus came more than 12 not talking about one of the hundreds of disciples that Jesus had were talking about one of the 12 apostles of Jesus hand. One of the 12 and that's who he was an apostle, but he was not only Thomas the twin, and Thomas the apostle, he was Thomas, the absentee Thomas called the twin, one of the 12, was not with them when Jesus came, why not were not told, it's possible that he had a serious conflict, but given the flow of the of the narrative and what is said, it seems much more likely that he wasn't there because of this contradictory element in his personality.

He was disillusioned he was doubting he was skeptical he was pessimistic he was unbelieving and he didn't feel like coming to the assembly of the saints. When all the others came in so Thomas missed the fellowship of the believers which was such an encouragement to all of the others. Thomas missed the word of Christ.

It was spoken to them when they gathered together in the name of Christ. Thomas missed the presence of the risen Lord that brought such great strength and certainty and faith and courage to all of the others, but Thomas missed it all because he wasn't Thomas was weaker than the others because he wasn't there when he should have been.

Now he wasn't there when it should've been because he was weaker but if you do I obediently become stronger.

But he missed what he needed the most.

He missed being there with the assembly of the saints that when I was preparing this passage for tonight. I understood the irony of what I'm saying because I'm talking about the importance of the assembly of the saints. Yes, the necessity of the assembly of the saints to people who cannot assemble who have not been able to assemble for some time.

A people who are missing the assembly of the saints. But there is a difference most of you would be here if you could most of you are missing the assembly of the saints greatly and you're not absent because you are disobedient your absent because you are forced to be absent against your desire against your will.

But there are so who wouldn't be here if we could assemble there are some who probably wouldn't be here this coming Sunday.

Even if we could assemble there something in your in your thinking there's something in your life that does not drive you to the assembly of the saints as it should and that is a weakness that is a problem. If you are a true child of God. It is Annette a matter of disobedience, for we are not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, is the manner of some is that very text that tells us that we must be faithful to the assembly of the saints also tells us that there always be a few who will forsake it is the manner of some is.

I hope that is you because it says something is deficient within your soul, and it also says you are not going to receive what you need to to overcome that deficiency to gain the strength that you need and so because Thomas was Thomas, the absentee he was also Thomas the skeptic, the other disciple said, we have seen the Lord to report what a testimony.

Gladness will enjoy what strength, what courage that should have brought to the heart of Thomas but instead what did it bring it brought further doubt and skepticism. He said, in essence, I don't believe it unless I see the print of the nails driven into his hands. Unless I can touch the wound in his side. I will not be late retrograde disciple, but as the passage moves on become secondly to a renewed assembly because the next Lord's day they met again after eight days. His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shot and stood in the midst, and said, peace to you. The appointed time is honored again that we begin to see the pattern emerging Sunday worship first day worship on the first day of the week. The day that Jesus rose from the dead.

The disciples were gathered together in the upper room and Jesus graced that assembly with his present now were told. Eight days later, that takes us to the next Sunday because in that day they counted inclusively so Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday eight the following Sunday they were assembled again in the following Sunday, Jesus graced them with his presence again. Did they gather in that place or any place during any of the intervening days in the week.

We don't know but what we do know is if they did. Jesus didn't meet with them in the way that he met with them here. Christ is stamping his approval upon a new day of meeting not the seventh day, not the Sabbath day.

That's over now. For Christians the first day, Sunday the appointed time is honored and disciples were gathered together again and this time the absentee is present.

Thomas is with them, even though his disposition was contrary, he recognized that he better be there being realized he may have missed something pretty important.

There have been times down through the 47 years that I have pastored what I have run into one of our church members that was absent from a service on on the Lord's day, and I said oh we missed you Sunday and all you missed a good service and I tell them something about what happened in their responses bit always. I know that I was going to happen. I would've been there. Shame on you if you been there, you should have been there. Regardless of what would happen. You never know. Even if there is nothing unusual about the service there's always something that Takes Pl., Christ meets with his people when they assemble in his name were two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst that's the most important thing that takes place so the risen Lord came to them again and appeared in the upper room in a way that was identical to the first meeting on the prior Sunday and so the renewed assembly brings a repeated revelation, Jesus said, peace to you and then he said to Thomas, reach your finger here, and look at my hands and reach your hand here, and put it into my side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing what a gracious revelation to a negligent retrograde disciple, our Lord could have scolded Thomas for being absent, but he doesn't and kindness and tenderness. He reveals himself to Thomas in a special way.

Not now.

To the group as a whole, as he had before now to one particular disciple who needs extra attention in Christ gives it to him and reveals himself to him, shows his hands together and invites him to reach reach up and touch the wound now healed in his side. It's an individual revelation that takes place in a corporate setting.

This revelation, the candidate, Thomas was due to him because he had been there the Sunday before but it's a renewed revelation to the others exactly like they had experienced it before. It's a benefit to everyone, but it is a specially powerful word to one individual on this occasion to Thomas and that's the way it often is the one we meet together as the people of God and when we worship God together when we sing his praises together when we hear his work together often the spirit of God will apply the word of God more powerfully to one part of that occasion than to others, and another time more powerfully to another individual them to the one who felt that special ministry to his soul on the previous occasion.

That's the way God works, and so we see the restored faith of Thomas Christ said Thomas examined my hands Thomas examined my side because what it Thomas what had Thomas said the Sunday before, unless I see the nail prints in his hands.

Unless I can feel the wound in his side. I will not believe how did Jesus know the Thomas had communicated his doubt to the other apostles exactly that way at the other apostles told him that is possible, of course.

And yet we have no reason to believe that Jesus met with them in that intervening time between the first Sunday in the second Sunday if they didn't meet some one or more of them might've told Jesus what Thomas said but more likely they did not meet Christ during that week and then the only explanation is Jesus is God is omniscient. He knows everything he knew exactly what Thomas had said he knew exactly what Thomas was thinking and he tailored his message to Thomas's need at this time, which elicited from Thomas a great confession, the Thomas have to feel the wounds in his hand in his side of Ono.

He said that's what you have to have but he didn't. Thomas answered and said to him, my Lord and my God. That is a short confession for words in the English Bible. One of the most powerful and clear confessions of faith that you find anywhere in Scripture, we do find other great confessions of faith we think of the time when Jesus asked Peter who do men say that I am in Peter told them that he said who do you say that I am in Peter said you are the Christ, the son of the living God and Jesus said blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah flesh and blood did reveal that to you but my father which is in heaven that came by the enabling power of the enabling understanding of the Holy Spirit of God who revealed that truth to your soul. The same is true here. Thomas confesses great faith, my Lord, you are my master, my God, you are God Almighty, the one to be worshiped. Great confession that Wayne leads us finally and fifthly to a revived relationship. Verse 29 Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believe. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have this is an insightful observation seeing is not always believing but in this case, God according to his own purposes allowed Thomas to see what he wanted to see to examine what he wanted to examine from a physical standpoint and then brought him to strong faith believing faith a great confession of faith. As a result of seeing, but is not always that way.

Remember what Jesus said, thinking about the rich man and Lazarus than the rich man went to hell. Lazarus went to heaven to Abraham's bosom and the rich man in the health is crying out for many things, crying out for water truck crying out in torment, but he cries out father Abraham send somebody to tell my brothers so that they will come to this place so they'll believe the answer was they already have Moses and the prophets. They have the Scriptures that time. The Old Testament Scriptures, they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said all know, but if someone rose from the dead letter Lazarus rise from the dead and go to them and then they leave. The answer was very clear and insightful if they will not believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe though one rose from the dead, seeing is not always believing when we think that faith is helped by things that we can see and feel we are badly mistaken of faith that depends upon site is a weaker faith in the faith that believes what is unseen. That is exactly what Jesus said Thomas, because you have seen me, you have believed. Thank God. God has ministered faith to your soul and you believe, but blessed. In other words, more blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed. Blessed are those who believe by what they have heard not because they have seen the risen Lord. We don't need to see the risen Lord to believe that he rose from the dead, his word tells us. Blessed are those who have not seen it on the basis of the revelation of God Almighty. What they have heard they believe they are more blessed we don't need to see miracles we don't need to see signs we don't need to see wanderings, we need to hear the word of the living God and believe it.

Have you believed if you have your most last indeed and this whole account exalts the centrality of God's word, it does highlight the significance of the assembly of the saints.

But beyond that, he tells us that the most important thing that saints can do when they assembled together is to open the word of God, and consider a portion of God's word because it is from the word of the living God, that our faith is fueled that our faith is conceived that our faith is strengthened that our faith becomes real and strong and greater and stronger than it was before. It comes from the word of God what is Faith.

Faith is believing the word of God. That's what it is and blessed are those who do we have not seen yet. Believe I've never seen the risen Christ, but I believe he rose I've never seen the ascended Christ, but I believe he ascended back to heaven. I've never seen the enthroned Christ, but I believe he's on the throne in heaven right now. I haven't seen Christ returning but I believe that one day he will return.

Why do I believe these things because God has spoken those things to us in his word and blessed are those who believe.

I trust you are among now shall we close word of prayer father were grateful for the word that you have given were grateful for the spirit, the Holy Spirit that you have given to quicken us to life and to enable us to hear and respond to the word of truth in faith.

Father, we bless you for that.

We recognize that that does not come from us. Faith did not come out of our natural hearts. Faith came out of the heart that you created by the work of your spear because of that we have seen the truth of your word about Jesus Christ and because of that we have seen the truth in your word about ourselves and our sinfulness and our inability or hopelessness apart from Christ. We have learned these truths in your word because your word reveals them to us in your spirit has taught us your word and we thank you for father I pray that you word will go forth and power to all who are listening to this message today, and especially to invade the heart of those who are yet outside of Christ the Lord because your word, by the power of your spirit to quicken them to life to bring the dental life out of the grave dead souls to life out of their spiritual great. We pray Lord that they will hear the words blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe father please minister to these whose names we called earlier in the service. You who know every need. We commit these needs to you in faith believing that you do hear our prayers and that you will minister to these needs according to your wisdom and gracious power. We ask these things in Jesus name


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