Summary: From Doubting Thomas to Apostle of Faith
Intro: we live in a society that likes to label people. If someone makes a certain mistake in their lifetime, some will label them for the rest of their lives, even though the person is much different than one event years ago. Labels are unfair because people grow, people change, people become something great even if they had a flawed past. Of all people who have ever had a bad label, it is Thomas. He isn’t even called Thomas by most who refer to him, He is called Doubting Thomas for the event we will study today. But the sad thing about this label, is Thomas became a dynamite Christian, Missionary and Martyr for Jesus. He evangelized the area that is called India today, he lived on the top of a mountain praying over the cities, and one morning a group grabbed him and threw him to his death. So the label doubting Thomas just doesn’t fit anymore. This is an encouragement to anyone here today who has ever worn a label. You can become something no matter what label someone tries to make you wear. Our Message for Resurrection Sunday—is this:
I Will Never Doubt Jesus Again
John 20: 24-31
Background: here is a simple recap on Thomas. Jesus showed up, Thomas wasn’t there, Jesus showed up and Thomas was there. Finally, Wherever Jesus ever showed up again, Thomas was surely there. This is the story of many of our lives. Jesus was showing up, but we weren’t there. Then one day, Jesus showed up, and we were there, praise God. And now every time Jesus shows up, we show up too. We are those blessed people, who will never doubt Jesus again. Today, Resurrection Service, is the story of one man who had a radical change because of resurrection. Today, I hope many others will have radical change because of resurrection.
Our Outline is as follows:
Stop Doubting and Stop Retreating—v.24-25
Stop Doubting and Start Believing—v. 26-28
Stop Doubting and Start Receiving---v. 29-31
I. Stop Doubting and Stop Retreating—v. 24-25
The bible really doesn’t explain to us where Thomas was, but it explains where he wasn’t. We see Jesus revealing Himself to the disciples, and Thomas is off doing his own thing, absent. Most of us have had a period in our life where we were missing in action, and absentee of Jesus.
· The first message we have today is stop doubting and retreating. Don’t give up every time something doesn’t go the way you wanted it to go, or the way you had it planned. Today it is easy to retreat, many times we feel depressed, overwhelmed, and the first thought we have
· is retreat, but Jesus says, stop being faithless, stop letting your mind and emotions dictate what direction you run.
· Thomas had a problem we all have, if we didn’t experience it, if we can’t explain it, then we don’t believe it. Most of us have to admit we are so rational, so intellectual, that faith is a foreign word in our lives. Thomas said, I will not believe your experience unless it becomes my experience.
· The problem with retreating is we miss out on some of the best things God has for us. When we don’t gather with other believers, when we try to do things our own way, we miss what God has planned for us. Whenever we become isolated, when we go the way of independence, we end up on the island of doubt, and despair.
II. Stop Doubting and Start Believing—v.26-28 The next time Jesus shows up, Thomas is present. This is how many of us come in to relationship with Christ, we don’t believe all the reports, but we cannot deny the zeal and joy from those who the report has been given. That is why Christians should always be joyous and zealous about the Resurrected Jesus. The message may be rejected and scorned, but if we keep giving the good news, people will begin to show up just in case Jesus shows up.
· In reading this story, the most amazing revelation Thomas received was probably not the touching of Jesus, but the telling of Jesus. You see, Jesus wasn’t present in physical form when Thomas made his statements of doubt, but as soon as Jesus shows up, He reveals to Thomas, I know what you have been saying. Jesus is in our lives even when we are living lives of doubt, fear and unbelief. Some people say that God doesn’t hear a sinner’s prayer, but in all truth, He has to hear a sinner’s prayer or none of us would be saved. Thomas, after today, don’t ever doubt Jesus again.
· Thomas, be changed, live a new life from here on. I am sure the millions who have come to know Christ through the region of India, are glad that the doubter became a believer. I am sure that Thomas was no longer the last to show up, but probably him and Peter were there first to show up. You see that is the miracle of a new birth, your old labels are removed, you get a white robe, a new name and a new life in Christ. Today the greatest thing that can happen is for you to get a new life, because a life of doubt, fear and unbelief is a life of misery, a life of pain, a life of disappointments.