Summary: The purpose of this sermon is to encourage believers to affirm to others to TRUST GOD.

U.S. Army Chaplain (MAJ) Ken Harris, Jr.

Fort Ord Chapel

Seaside, CA

18 May 2008

Big Idea: Believers are sometimes guilty of having a “defective faith” – a faith that believes, but can not bring itself to “always TRUST GOD”.

Scriptural References: EAI (Expository; Application; Illustration) Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV); John 20:19-31 (NIV) – Jesus Appears to His Disciples; and Jesus Appears to Thomas; Hebrews 11:6 (KJV) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him; Mark 9:14-29 (The Epileptic Boy); John 20:24-25 NIV (Now Thomas (called 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 it."); Jude 1:21-23 (RSV) keep yourselves in the love of God; wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And convince some, who doubt; save some, by snatching them out of the fire; on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment spotted by the flesh; Luke 2:52 (NIV) And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.


II. READ THE PERICOPE: Matthew 28:16-20 NIV

III. READ THE TEXT: Matthew 28:17 NIV (When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted).

IV. PURPOSE: To encourage believers to affirm to others to TRUST GOD.

V. SERMONIC THEME: DOUBTING, But Still Worshipping

VI. Introduction:

Have you ever wondered, why God allowed the story of Doubting Thomas to even be in the Bible (John 20:19-31)? And why do we call the brother Doubting Thomas as if we’ve never doubted the Lord? Personally, I can best empathize with Thomas. Because with him, I find a disciple of Jesus that I can best relate to. Sure, some of you in here this morning feel like you can best relate to Abraham the Father Patriarch of Faith. But I can’t relate to Abraham. For the Bible says, in Romans 4, that Abraham stumble not at the promises of God.

He was one hundred years of age; and his wife (Sarah) was ninety – and far pass menopause. Yet, he had enough faith to NOT ONLY believe God, but to also TRUST him at his promised word. He had “NO DOUBT”. Quite frankly, I sometimes have doubt; so I don’t close to relating to Abraham. For, you see, my brothers and sisters, DOUBTING raises questions about facts, alleged or otherwise.

Doubting refuses to walk blindly because of its need for self preservation. Doubting says, my current circumstances AND MY PREVIOUS EXPERIENCES prevent me from being fully convinced.

Doubting says, I’m here to consider the EVIDENCE.

****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 1: The fact of the matter is, Jesus never rebuked anyone for doubting, ONLY FOR REFUSING TO CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE.

a. In our Scripture Reading, today, we find Matthew’s account of our Savior’s Final Appearance to The Eleven Disciples.

b. For Matthews tells us (in Matthew 28) that at the end of the Sabbath, or if you will – Early Easter Sunday Morning - Mary Magdalene, Mary the Mother of James, and Salome went to the tomb of Jesus.

c. They were not expecting God’s Miracle of Resurrection Grace – they were simply reflecting upon happier times with Jesus, as we do when we eulogize our love ones.

d. And all of sudden, a “great” earthquake occurs. I’m not sure of its measure on the Rector Scale, but if the Bible calls it a “great earthquake”, it was a great earthquake.

e. Afterwards, appeared the Angel of The Resurrection uttering the words, “Do not be afraid, I know that you’re looking for Jesus, but He’s not here; for he has risen”.

****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 2: Then the ladies were instructed (in verse 7) to go quickly and tell Jesus’ Disciples that he is risen from the dead and has gone to Galilee where he will meet them.

a. As instructed, the ladies quickly left the sepulture – running to tell the disciples what they’ve been told, when Jesus met them, saying, “HAIL” or “Peace Be With You,”

b. The Bible says the ladies touched his feet and worshipped him. Afterwards, Jesus told them to Go and tell his brethren to go to Galilee and they will see him”.

c. Then verse 16 says the “Eleven Disciples went away into Galilee

d. …where Jesus had directed them.

e. And when they saw him they worshiped him; but some doubted.

f. In other words, in the midst of worshipping the risen Savior – some of his disciples had doubts.

****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 3: I submit to you this morning, that some of the disciples had doubts because of questions (in their minds) that had not been answered.

a. For you see, my brothers and sisters, without Doubt, there would be no progress in knowledge ….

b. … and understanding in any field of study, including religion.

c. Because it would be taboo to ask questions.



f. Doubt says God is big enough to handle our QUESTIONS.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 4: Who can ever forget the Story of the Epileptic Boy in Mark 9:14-29, where we find our Savior responding once again to human need.

a. For don’t you remember, what Jesus said to the boy’s father, “If you can, all things are possible to him who believes”.

b. Immediately the father of the boy cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief”.

c. In other words, the Epileptic Boy’s Father believed Jesus could heal his son;

d. He just had problems TRUSTING that JESUS would do it for him. For he said, “I believe; help my unbelief”.

****** TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 5: Likewise, I have a confession to make.

a. Sometimes, I too have difficulties believing that Jesus will DO IT FOR ME.

b. In other words, I have been guilty of having a “Defective Faith” - a faith that believes, but (because of questions) CAN NOT bring itself to ALWAYS TRUST GOD.

c. Sometimes I have worshipped with DOUBTS engulfing and overwhelming my mind, heart and spirit.

d. If you had been sitting next to me; you may not have noticed, because I was doing my best to Worship God in Spirit and in Truth.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS ******

MOVE 6: Don’t misunderstand me.

a. I believe that God is able to do all that His Word says …

b. I believe in speaking in tongues …

c. I believe in divine healing and the works of God;

d. I believe that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent.

e. But the question that I sometimes have is – Will God Do It For Me This Time?

f. Can I Trust Him To Do It For Me Now?

g. Or is this another opportunity for me to grow in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man (Luke 2:52 NIV)?

******* TAKE 5 BEAT ******

MOVE 7: Some of you may know, but most of you may not. Last year, after 16 years of dedicated service to God and Man …

a. … When it came time for promotion of Chaplain Majors to Lieutenant Colonels, I was passed-over.

b. I was excluded. In layman terms – I wasn’t selected.

c. To those looking on the outside, it may NOT seem like I was hurt; but I was devastated.

d. For the Bible says, in Psalms 75:6-7 KJV: For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

e. Now, my brothers and my sisters, like a good Christian should, I used my theological and pastoral training to spiritually rationalize my circumstance.

f. I could often be heard (by my family, close friends, and associates) saying, “God never ever makes a decision that isn’t in my favor”;

h. … and though this has caught me by surprise – it didn’t catch God by surprise. He knew it all along. And somehow, He’s going to work this situation OUT in my favor.

****** TAKE 5 BEATS *****

MOVE 8: Now, a year later, it’s finally that time again.

a. A lot of things have happened.

b. I think I have grown in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man. And I’m doing all I can to TRUST God for “promotion” this year.

c. In fact, I should find out soon, in the coming days, if I was selected THIS TIME for promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. I believe GOD, but because of my previous experience (and questions still unanswered) I’m having problems – TRUSTING GOD.

d. Yea, I know this isn’t something that you often hear from a pastor.

e. So, perhaps I’m an anomaly.

f. Or perhaps there are others, in here this morning, like me.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS ******

Move 9: Can I get a witness in the sanctuary? There is something that you have been trying to TRUST GOD for too;

a. A job, home or business; I don’t know - maybe it’s your marriage;

b. maybe it’s a promise that you believe God made to you;

c. maybe it has something to do with your children or the lack thereof;

d. and at times you do well, while at other times you find yourself BELIEVING … BUT HAVING PROBLEMS TRUSTING.

******* TAKE 5 BEATS *******


The New Testament does not COMMEND or speak well of DOUBTING.

In fact, Doubt in the New Testament is a technical religious term that looks specifically at relationship with God and His Word.

The word – DOUBT – in our text today is pronounced “distazo” in Greek.

It means to “waver uncertainly”. In other words, it means to “Nervously be indecisive”.

So what is the antidote to our DOUBT?

We must “PUSH” pass our questions and circumstances to TRUSTING GOD.

PUSH means to Pray Until Something Happen (PUSH) regarding our questions, circumstances and TRUSTING GOD.

But, Don’t Stop Worshipping!