I will Not Believe Unless:
To his certain regret, the apostle Thomas once placed conditions on his faith in the resurrection of Christ, saying, “Unless I see… I will not believe”, but the Lord “blessed… those who have not seen and yet have believed”. Still, though, people make their faith conditional.
I. I SEE A SIGN
A. Matthew 12:38-40 In His time on earth, when He was regularly casting out demons, restoring sight to the blind and hearing to the deaf, raising the dead, walking on water, changing water to wine, and healing the lame, Jesus – even then – had to contend with that element that insisted on personally witnessing miracles, but that is exactly whom He withheld miracles from!
B. 1 Corinthians 1:18-24 Paul, who also performed wondrous works, noted that “Jews request a sign”, as if the many works of the Holy Spirit in him were not enough!
C. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 Miraculous abilities are gone from human hands, so no one today should be demanding them.
II. YOU GIVE ME MORE THAN
A. Luke 16:19-31 The rich man who was being tormented in Hades wanted to spare his surviving brothers their destiny in hell, so he begged for Lazarus to be brought back from the dead to warn them. Abraham told him, however, that “they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them”. The dead man thought that was inadequate and insisted on the miracle, but Abraham was unyielding: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead”.
B. John 20:30-31 It is entirely possible to gain saving faith just by reading the miracles Jesus did as written in John’s book, though they aren’t even all the ones He performed.
C. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Scripture is profitable for all things and totally sufficient to equip its readers. Nothing more is needed.
III. YOU IMPRESS ME WHEN
A. 2 Corinthians 10:10-11; 11:6 Paul made no attempt to impress his Corinthian audience with oratory. They rather disliked the way he spoke, in fact. Yet, it is likely the quality of his speaking was well within his control, for he threatened to come on much stronger in his next visit.
B. Acts 14:11-18 Paul was no poor speaker; he was once mistaken for the Greek god Hermes, the messenger god. Clearly, he did not want to be exalted for his quality speeches when the emphasis should be the content of those speeches, namely: the gospel.
IV. EVERYONE ELSE FEELS
THE SAME WAY
A. Matthew 7:13-14 Doing what everyone else is doing will get you damned, period.
B. 1 Peter 3:20 Of all the world’s population, only eight souls, “a few”, were saved in Noah’s flood.
C. Galatians 6:5 Getting lost in the crowd is not a legitimate option. Each soul is individually accountable.
V. IT’S CONVENIENT
A. Acts 24:25 Felix wished to delay his education in God’s word until it was “convenient”, but eternity doesn’t get penciled in when it works for our schedules.
B. 1 Kings 12:28-30 Jeroboam led his people into idolatry on the basis that correct worship was “too far for you”.
C. Matthew 16:24-26 Serving the Lord is hard, even to the point of death.
D. Proverbs 23:23 God’s way is an investment. There is real cost involved.
VI. IT’S WHAT I WANT
A. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
People find the teachers who will tell them what they want to hear because
they are unwilling to “endure sound doctrine”.
B. 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 To be saved, though, requires love of truth. God lets us believe the lies
we want to believe, but we must answer for it.
C. Romans 3:4 God is always true, regardless of the lies we prefer to believe.
By Bryan Matthew Dockens
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