Summary: Kill the lion of doubt keeping you from God's ideal for your life.

Title: Killing Lions-Doubt

Date: 7/19/15

Place: BLCC

Text: John 20.24-29; James 1.6-8

CT: Kill the Lion of Doubt keeping you from God’s ideal.

[Screen 1]

FAS: I need a volunteer today. This person needs to know me and have faith in my honesty. Come on up. Now, you ready. I have a $20 dollar bill in my hand right now. Do you believe me? Are there any doubts? (Show the bill to the person).

Explain how the person now had knowledge of what I had in my hand. Before it required faith to believe I had the bill in my hand. Why did you believe me?

Hopefully you had faith in me enough to know I would not lie to you. But this faith was only needed when you did not know for sure. There may have been doubts in your mind. I could have been trying trick you, right.

Sometimes a person is tempted to think, I can't become a Christian because I still have doubts. I'm still not sure. But as long as doubts exist, as long as the person is still uncertain, that is the only time faith is needed. When the doubts are gone, the person doesn't need faith anymore. Knowledge has come.

We need faith. This is exactly the point Paul was making in his first letter to the church at Corinth: [Screen 2] "Now we see [that a 'knowing' word] but a poor reflection [now we have confusion, misunderstanding, doubts, and questions] … then we shall see face to face [we don't see face-to-face yet]. Now I know in part [with questions and doubts]; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known"

(1 Corinthians 13:12).

LS: All of us, if we are honest have doubts in our life that can challenge our faith. We must be clear and firm in where our faith is placed.

[Screen 3]

I. We are in our second week of the sermon series “Killing Lions”. Last week we killed the lion of despair. [Screen 4] We learned that Satan is the Lion King of his pride of lions trying to devour us as Christians and tear us away from God’s ideal for us. We also made it clear that as Christians we must stick together to drive the lions away from our community of believers, our church. [Screen 5] We want the lions to look like this fellow running from the buffalo.

This week we are going to slay the lion of doubt. [Screen 6] This lion does its best to diminish our faith.

So what do we do with our doubts? Do we ignore them? No. God welcomes our questions. God wants us to believe in him and trust him by our own free will. We talked about free will last week.

Most of us hit a point of crisis at some point in our lives. It may be at a time of personal tragedy or maybe because our higher learning seemed to try and undermine the intellectual foundation of our faith. There is not much promotion of Christian faith at our schools of higher learning today. Just watch the movie Gods Not Dead. Though it may be true that as Christians there is a degree of mystery in our belief, there are answers to be found, not just wishes. This Bible is not a book of wishes.

Lets look at the most famous doubter in the Bible. This would be Thomas of course. Thomas had not been with the disciples when Jesus appeared the first time, after his resurrection, to the disciples. [Screen 7] We read his story in John 20. 24-29,

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Then he said to Thomas, [Screen 8] “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, [Screen 9] “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”

Blessed are those who believe and have not yet seen. That’s us. Thomas had heard rumors of a risen Christ but needed something more to go on. Jesus then addressed Thomas’ doubt directly and told him to stop doubting and believe.

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