Summary: I used this sermon for our Friend Day, when we expected to have many visitors. I want to express my appreciation to Alan Smith a Sermon Central contributor. I relied heavily on his sermon "Faith That Doesn’t Have to Touch."
A. Don’t you just love the innocence of children?
1. Art Linkletter had a popular TV show for more than 20 years. One favorite feature of his show was a segment called “Kids Say the Darndest Things” in which he interviewed children.
2. Children often say the darndest things – sometimes they are just funny and at other times they are very insightful.
B. Here’s a few interesting things that kids have said about God.
1. Mary Farwell of Green Castle Missouri was listening one day to her 5 year old son, Matthew, as he played with his Speak and Spell™ computer.
a. Little Matthew was concentrating intensely, typing in words for the computer to say back to him.
b. Matthew typed in the word “God.”
c. To his surprise, the computer said, “Word not found.”
d. He tried again with the same reply.
e. Staring at the computer in disgust he declared: “Jesus is not going to like this!” (No, Jesus won’t be happy about that!)
2. One Sunday morning, while sitting next to her first grade daughter in church, Susan Wright noticed the little one looking at the open Bible in her lap.
a. In a low whisper, the little girl asked her mom, “Did God really write that?”
b. Susan quietly whispered back, “Yes He did.”
c. Looking down at her mother’s Bible again, the little girl said in amazement, “Wow! He really has neat handwriting!” (And that’s not even God’s best attribute!)
3. One day the young son of some atheists went to his parents and asked, “Do you think God knows that we don’t believe in Him?” (Yes, God certainly knows!)
C. Today I would like us to spend a little time talking about believing in God.
1. The critical question that I want to try to answer is this: Can reasonable people believe the things that are crucial to the Christian faith?
D. I want us to begin by looking at something that happened to a man named Thomas.
1. Thomas was one of the 12 apostles who was hand-picked to follow Jesus during His three year ministry.
2. Judas is the only other apostle who has been subjected to more criticism and unkind judgments than Thomas – and for obvious reasons, right?.
3. Though Thomas’ nickname was “Didymus,” which means “the twin,” many people know him as “Doubting Thomas.”
4. That name has stuck with him over the years because of his reaction to the first reports brought to him about Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.
5. Thomas insisted that he would have to have hard proof before he would believe in Jesus’ resurrection.
6. Thomas said to the other apostles, “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.”
7. Because of that statement, Thomas has been criticized across the centuries and labeled “Doubting Thomas.”
E. I want to speak up on Thomas’ behalf, because I believe that in Thomas’ demand for proof, he is to be admired rather than ridiculed.
1. In fact, Jesus himself said in Matthew 24:26: “If they say to you, ‘There he is!’, don’t believe it.”
2. Was Jesus offended by Thomas’ reaction? Or was Jesus disappointed in Thomas? Not at all.
3. The Bible tells us: 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, “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, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (Jn. 20:24-29)
F. Unfortunately far too many people believe too much on the basis of too little.
1. People put their trust in horoscopes, and Tarot cards, and they call 900 numbers to learn their futures.
2. Some have put their trust in the likes of David Koresh, self-proclaimed messiah from Waco, T.X. or Marshall Applewhite, who was the leader of the Heaven’s Gate religious group. He also was a self-proclaimed prophet and messiah, who led 38 people to commit suicide with him so they could hop a ride to paradise on a UFO in 1997.