Summary: This introductory sermon to my Got Questions Series answers the question: "How did Jesus respond to those who had doubts?"
A. Allow me to welcome everyone to Friend Day, we are delighted that you are here today.
1. If you are visiting with us, we hope you enjoy yourself and leave here filled with joy and hope.
2. And we hope that you will come back again real soon…how about next Sunday?
B. I like the story told of a father and son who went fishing one summer day.
1. While they were out in the boat, the boy became curious about the world around him and began asking questions.
2. “Dad,” the boy asked, “how does this boat float?” His father replied, “Don’t rightly know son.”
3. A little later the boy asked, “Dad, how do fish breath underwater?” “Don’t rightly know, son.”
4. A few minutes passed and the boy asked, “Dad, why is the sky blue?” Again his father replied, “Don’t rightly know, son.”
5. Finally, the boy asked his father, “Dad, do you mind me asking you all these questions?”
6. “Of course not, son,” his father said with a smile, “If you don’t ask questions, you never learn nothin’.”
C. Children certainly have a lot of questions, and they are not afraid to ask them.
1. Here are some questions that children have asked God.
2. Dear God, Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don’t you just keep the ones you got now? Jane.
3. Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed right in church, is that ok? Neil.
4. Dear God, In bible times, did they really talk that fancy? Jennifer.
5. Dear God, I am American, what are you? Robert.
6. Dear God, Did you mean for giraffes to look like that or was it an accident? Norma
7. Dear God, Are you really invisible, or is that just a trick? Lucy.
D. But in all honesty, children are not the only people who have questions for God.
1. All people have questions they would like to have answered about spiritual things.
2. That is true for people who have a lot of faith and for those who have very little faith.
3. Doubt is something that every person has to wrestle with.
4. As a matter of fact, we could divide the people in this auditorium into three groups.
a. The first group would be those who have doubted.
b. The second group would be those who haven’t doubted yet, but who will.
c. And the third group is those who are brain dead.
5. What I’m trying to say is that if you are a thinking person at all then you are going to wrestle with some questions, some issues, some uncertainties and some doubts about faith.
6. This is a universal human experience.
7. Both people who believe in God and people who don’t have doubts about their position from time to time.
E. I really like what Timothy Keller wrote about doubt in his book, The Reason For God.
1. He wrote: “I recommend that each side (believers and unbelievers) look at doubt in a radically new way.”
2. To believers, he wrote: “A faith without doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it. People who blithely go through life too busy or too indifferent to ask hard questions about why they believe as they do will find themselves defenseless against either the experience of tragedy or the probing questions of a smart skeptic…Believers should acknowledge and wrestle with doubts – not only their own but their friends’ and neighbors’. It is no longer sufficient to hold beliefs just because you inherited them. Only if you struggle long and hard with objections to your faith will you be able to provide grounds for your beliefs to skeptics, including yourself, that are plausible rather than ridiculous or offensive.” (pg. 21)
3. To skeptics, Keller wrote: “But even as believers should learn to look for reasons behind their faith, skeptics must learn to look for a type of faith hidden within their reasoning. All doubts, however skeptical and cynical they may seem, are really a set of alternate beliefs. You cannot doubt Belief A except from a position of faith in Belief B. For example, if you doubt Christianity because ‘there can’t be just one true religioin,’ you must recognize that this statement is itself an act of faith. No one can prove it empirically, and it is not a universal truth that everyone accepts…The reason you doubt Christianity’s Belief A is because you hold unprovable Belief B. Every doubt, therefore, is based on a leap of faith.” (pg. 22)
4. Keller continues: “Some will respond to all this, ‘My doubts are not based on a leap of faith. I have no beliefs about God one way or another. I simple feel no need for God and I am not interested in thinking about it.’ But hidden beneath this feeling is the very modern American belief that the existence of God is a matter of indifference unless it intersects with my emotional needs. The speaker is betting his or her life that no God exists who would hold you accountable for your beliefs and behavior if you didn’t feel the need for him. That may be true or it may not be true, but, again, it is quite a leap of faith.” (pg. 23)