I'll Believe It When I See It
Tim Temple

Introduction

There are people in the world who will not believe it unless they see it. I don't know where the phrase came from, but I used to hear, “I am from Missouri; you will have to show me.” There are many people like that around the world. In fact, the whole scientific principle is supposed to be based upon the fact of being able to demonstrate truth and not accepting something as truth unless it can be empirically verified.

Of course, with the entrance of the theory of evolution into the realm of science, it has discredited a lot of what would have otherwise been legitimate areas of science because what is true of the theory of evolution is what is really true of every area of life; that is, there are some things that we simply accept by faith whether we realize we are doing that or not. What the average evolutionist doesn't realize is that he is accepting the theory of evolution by faith, and yet he decries the teaching of anything in the schools; he decries as unscientific any individual belief in something that requires faith.

That is what we find in John, chapter 20, as we come to verses 24-25. It is a well known and gratifying story of a man who said, “I won't believe it unless I see it,” and God graciously got him past that point.

Review

We have divided this chapter into three parts. First, verses 1-10 talk about the empty tomb, so the time of this chapter is obviously immediately after the Resurrection of Christ. Then in verses 11-18, we have the encounter with the Teacher. In those verses, we studied how Jesus suddenly appeared to the disciples on the evening of the first day of the week—the evening of Resurrection day. I love to point out that it was Sunday evening church service. Believers were gathered together on Sunday night there and suddenly Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in their midst. We talked about those verses in our last lesson and the various implications that go with those. We saw the gathering of the disciples there on that first Sunday night, and then we talked about the gifts that the Savior gave to them—first, the gift of being able to see Him, and then the gift of the Holy Spirit.

Thomas' Absence

Out of that background, we come to a glitch that developed in the system. Things were going so smoothly. In fact, things were going thrillingly, but in verse 24, we read:

John 20

24But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.

Here is the glitch: Everybody was rejoicing. “The Savior is alive. He came and demonstrated Himself to us.” The beginning of the glitch is in verse 24, that Thomas was not with them when Jesus came. He was one of the twelve, a part of the group, one who had been with them the whole time. He had seen everything that Jesus did; he had heard everything that Jesus said. With the exception of a couple of times when Jesus took Peter, James and John apart, Thomas had been in on all of it. Yet, for the first time in three years or so, he was not with them on that night.

For a long time, I have halfway jokingly pointed out the importance of going to church on Sunday night, as this is an example of what can happen there. It is not just a joke that Thomas wasn't there that night. It really was true that he wasn't there that night, but there is another way other than that humorous way to look at it, and that is the fact that this demonstrates Thomas' disappointment in all that he had seen and heard in those previous three years. All of the disciples were disappointed, but apparently, Thomas was more so than the others because he was the only one who didn't gather with them that night. Judas had by this time committed suicide and was not with them, obviously. But among the others, only Thomas didn't come.

These men had been literally closer than brothers during those three years. You remember that it was John to whom Jesus committed the care of His own mother at the time of His death. That shows the kind of relationship that Jesus had with John, as well as with the other disciples. Surely the relationship that they had between themselves must have been a very tight bond. Think about what it would have been like to go through with eleven other men all that they went through together—the thrill and the excitement of all that Jesus was doing, getting to be His assistants, getting to travel around with Him and elbow their way through the crowds and all of those things that they got to do. To share that kind of experience with a small group of other men would have been a wonderful experience in and of itself.

Some of us have had those kinds of experiences where we have been in a group together. Maybe we have been on a trip together; maybe we have been in the same platoon in the military; maybe we have been to some spiritual retreat together, but these kinds of things draw us together. It must have been tremendously significant that Thomas was not there that night. Thomas had apparently decided that there was nothing to it. He didn't believe any more. It might have been fun while it lasted, but it wasn't all that he had hoped it would be. So we don't know what he was doing that night, but he wasn't there, and that is a sad thing to see. It was sad for Thomas and probably sad for the others.

We saw something of Thomas' temperament back in chapter 11. We won't take the time to go back over that chapter, but you may remember that Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem, and one of the few times that we have anything recorded about Thomas speaking, he said to Him, “Lord, your enemies are there. If You go to Jerusalem, You will be killed.” But Jesus insisted that He was going to go to Jerusalem. Thomas turned to the others and said, “Let us go with Him that we may die with Him.” He was so convinced that Jesus was going to die, but he was willing to go, even though he fully believed that he and the other disciples would be killed. So Thomas was not a person of weak faith. He was not a person of low commitment to Jesus. He believed that Jesus was the Messiah. He obviously didn't understand the Resurrection yet, but his absence that night was not because of a lack of commitment on his part or a lack of faith on his part. It was simply that he did not understand what had happened.

Somewhere along the line in the next few days—we don't know whether the disciples went out to look for him and found him or if they just ran into him on the street or down at the dock—the other disciples spoke to Thomas in verse 25, saying, “We have seen the Lord,” and he said to them, “Yeah, right. Sure you have. You're dreaming. You're overcome with emotion,” and all those other things that liberals say. They probably originated with Thomas, and probably between the lines of verse 25, there was a lot of back and forth and a lot of give and take. I think that Thomas at that point said, “ I won't believe it unless I see it. Not only do I have to see Jesus, but I have to see the print of the nails in His hands, and not only that but I must put my finger in the print of the nails and my hand into His side.”

When you think about it, that was really kind of a gory wish, wasn't it? But, that was how unbelieving Thomas was: “You are not going to be able to fool me. You are not going to be able to bring some impostor in here and make me think that it is Jesus.”

Let me digress from the immediate story for a moment and ask you to think about how typical that probably would have been in Jesus' day. There would have been a great many people who, if an impostor came along, would have demanded to see the prints of the nails and the wound in His side. Yet, it was commonly told that the disciples had stolen the body and had made an impostor come along. The disciples were not dummies. They weren't educated men, but they weren't stupid. They would have realized that there would be other people like Thomas.

If they were pretending, as the Jewish leaders were spreading the word that Jesus had risen from the dead, they would have met this kind of resistance again and again, and the reason that they didn't meet that kind of resistance was that other people saw what the disciples saw. They saw a living Jesus Christ, and Paul said that there were more than five hundred witnesses. In I Corinthians, chapter 15, he lists the various people who saw the Lord Jesus after the Resurrection, and there were a number of individuals whom he mentions, but then he says, “More than five hundred saw Him at one time.”

Those kinds of people are the kinds of people who, if they had not seen Him alive and real, and very possibly saw the wounds in His hands and His side, it would not have been possible to pass off as an impostor for any length of time because there were people like Thomas around who would have said, “I won't believe it until I see it; and not only that, I won't believe it until I feel it with my hands.” That is how insistent he was.

The real problem with Thomas was pride. Remember, these were his friends. These were men whom he trusted. These were men whom he had thought he might die with when Jesus went to Jerusalem in chapter 11, but even that friendship and those shared experiences didn't convince Thomas of what they were saying.

What would it take to be in that kind of position? “I know better than all of you. I will not believe what you my friends are reporting to me unless I see it for myself.” The only explanation for that kind of thing is pride. Thomas was saying, “Your report is not good enough for me. I have to see it for myself.”

God's Grace Demonstrated In His Appearance

In verses 26-31, we see the grace of God demonstrated—the solution to this glitch. The solution, we are going to see, was very similar to Peter's. Remember, we talked earlier, just before the crucifixion of Christ, about Peter's denial of Christ. Peter was the one who had said, “Even if every one else forsakes you, I will never forsake you.” God cannot work with pride. God cannot take pride into account in what He wants to do. James was later to write, “Those who walk in pride, He is able to abase. God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.” Before God could use Peter, He had to humiliate him; but after He humiliated him, He then gave grace to him, and Peter became the leader, from a human standpoint, of the early church.

Thomas has the same problem Peter had. Jesus said, “All of you are going to forsake Me before you die,” and Peter said, “Not I, Lord. I know more about this than You do, Lord, and I am not going to desert You. Even though everyone else deserts You, I will never desert You.” Peter would never have been the great instrument in God's hands that he turned out to be in the early church if God had not humbled him and taken away that spirit of pride.

Thomas became one of the leaders of the early church, but it was only because God had to humiliate him because of his pride. We don't know very much about Thomas and in fact, the New Testament doesn't record anything about him other than this. We assume that he was with those groups of apostles that gathered as Paul came and reported his ministry to the apostles in Jerusalem and as others did along the way. When Peter went to the Gentiles, there were various places where the apostles gathered, and we assume that Thomas was among them.

The Bible doesn't mention Thomas, but secular history and church tradition tells us that Thomas became a great defender of the faith. His weakest point became his strongest point if history can be believed that he became one of the great apologists of the first century. With people who had a doubt or with people who tried to sow doubt, Thomas was the great defender of the truth of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. But what we have here are the steps between that. The solution to this glitch in the entrance of the Savior after His Resurrection is the grace of God. The grace of God is demonstrated first in His simply appearing again. Look at verse 25:

John 20

25The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the LORD. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.
26And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.

The first part of God's grace is that Jesus simply appeared to them again. Aren't you glad that Jesus wasn't and isn't like us? If I had been Jesus, I would have said, “Forget him. If he doesn't believe after all he has seen, then he is not worthy anyway. I certainly am not going to make another trip up to the upper room two Sundays in a row just to show Myself to this one guy who doesn't believe any more. I have ten. Ten out of twelve isn't too bad. I will be able to use them. I have already given them a down payment on the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit will be here in forty days to indwell them. We will just go along without Thomas.” Most of us would have reacted that way, wouldn't we? Thomas resisted the teaching that he had had. He resisted the witness of his friends. Why bother with him? But Jesus is so gracious. In verse 26, the disciples were inside and Thomas was with them and Jesus appeared.

That he was there shows something about Thomas' loyalty and at least some faith. We don't have the details recorded, but somehow between verses 25 and 26, they convinced Thomas to come to the upper room that second Sunday night, and sure enough, Jesus showed up again. This is one of the many illustrations of Jesus' grace and God the Father's grace. Verse 27 shows His grace, not only in appearing, but in approaching Thomas. He said, in verse 26, “Peace to you,” the greeting that He gave to everybody, and then He said to Thomas:

John 20

27… Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.

I said a moment ago that the grace of Jesus is demonstrated in His even showing up again, but it goes beyond that. Not only did He show up, not only did He speak to the disciples again, but then He singled out Thomas. Aren't you glad for the personal grace of Jesus Christ? It is a wonderful thing to know about the grace of God that is ours in Jesus Christ. It is a wonderful thing to know that Christ died to pay for the sins of unbelieving sinners and that He died for us while we were yet enemies.

Let me say that if there is someone today who has not come to that place in your life, then the invitation to you is to believe that Jesus Christ died for you , not that He died for the sins of the world, but that He died for your sins. That is where salvation comes. Even if there is nobody here who needs to hear that message, I want to specify that in case somebody who may hear this on a tape or read in the printed page that salvation comes not just from believing that Jesus Christ died on the Cross to save the lost, but that Jesus Christ died to save me . Until you come to the place where you can say that, then you don't have salvation. You see, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ is gracious enough for the whole world, but the most important aspect of it is that it is grace to you and grace to me and grace to Thomas.

He came back to the room and that was gracious, but then He turned to Thomas. Notice what He said to him. He quotes Thomas from verse 25 almost word-for-word. It must have sounded very shallow and superficial now as Thomas heard Jesus saying, “Look here at My hands and reach your hand here and put it into My side.”

It also shows the omniscience of Jesus because Thomas had said this after Jesus had already left and in fact after the meeting was already over. Jesus wasn't physically present when Thomas had made this demand, but now Jesus answers him as though He had been.

Jesus' Purpose to Bring Thomas to Belief

Jesus' purpose in quoting Thomas so specifically in making the offer that was exactly what Thomas said he had to have, was very gracious, but it was very harsh also. You see, the purpose of this quotation was to bring Thomas to belief. Look at the last line of verse 27:

John 20

27… and be not faithless, but believing.

In the tense in which this phrase is written, the verb unbelieving could be translated, “Stop your unbelief and begin believing.” Thomas was in a state of unbelief and Jesus said, “Stop your unbelief and start believing.”

That is an example of the meaning of the word repentance. We think of the word repentance in English as being someone who falls on their knees and cries, “Father, forgive me,” and then maybe lists their sins or something like that, but really the word repent means “to turn around.” What Jesus really said to Thomas was, “Thomas, repent. Stop being unbelieving and start believing.”

That is what Peter meant when he preached on the day of Pentecost and said, “Repent.” Other places in the Scripture tell us that repentance is necessary for salvation, not an open confession of sin, not a begging of God to forgive our sin, not a promising not to do it ever again. Those things may all result from repentance, but true repentance is to stop being unbelieving and start believing. Every person who has ever lived has had to in one way or another come to that place in his life where he does what Jesus said to Thomas: “Stop unbelieving and become believing.”

As I say, that must have been humiliating to Thomas as proud as he was. He was so sure that he knew more than the other disciples and that they were ridiculous in assuming that it was really Jesus they had seen. Surely it had been something else that they saw. He knew better. Jesus graciously but devastatingly puts him in his place.

The grace of God is a beautiful thing, and it is a precious thing, but if we put God in a position to be so, it can also be a devastating thing. The grace of God brings us to repentance, but sometimes to come to that place of repentance costs us embarrassment, costs us even humiliation as it must have with Thomas in this particular instance, but here is another example of God's reaching out to man. Paul writes in Romans, “There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that seeketh after God.” There is none that come to God in their own strength.

Let me tell you, if you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, it is not because you set out to find Jesus; it is because He set out to find you. We see people and we hear testimonies from people who say, “I had this longing in my heart for God, and I set out on a search for God. I wanted to find Him.” Even in those kinds of testimonies, I say that God had begun to work in that person's heart before they manifested those symptoms. We seek God when He begins to manifest Himself to us, but anybody who seeks God is really seeking in response to God's initiating that response.

The first example of that is in the Garden of Eden. After Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord appeared to them in the Garden just as He had before their sin. Wouldn't it have been easy for God to say, “Those two blew it. I made them, and I can make some more,” and to just snuff out their lives and start over again? But God did not do that. He appeared to them again the very next day, the day of their sin, just as He had the day before their sin.

Moses took matters into his own hands to deliver the people of Israel from their slavery in Egypt and went out one day when he decided it was time to and killed an Egyptian. The next day he went out and saw two Israelites arguing among themselves. He went over and told them to stop arguing and they said to him, “Are you going to kill us like you did the Egyptian?” They apparently would have assumed that Moses was going to deliver Israel from their bondage in Egypt by killing people one at a time—just eventually kill every Egyptian, getting the Israelites out of there and killing any Israelite who didn't go along with the way Moses wanted to do it. It says, “The thing was known, and Moses fled for his life.” Again, you would think that God would say, “Moses blew it. I thought I could use him. I provided him a place in the palace of Pharaoh and all of the learning of the Egyptians, all of that good background that I could use him to deliver the Israelites, but look at this. He didn't understand. He blew it and took matters into his own hands and got himself in trouble and ran for his life. I will find somebody else.” That is what we would do, isn't it?

God went to Moses. It took some time, and He had to teach him some lessons. He had to humble him and get rid of that pride, but the next time we see Moses talking to God, it is because God came to Moses. Moses was walking in the desert and saw a bush burning. He stopped to see why that bramble bush didn't burn up of its own material like other bushes that he had seen in the desert. It was a common sight in the desert to see spontaneous combustion of tumbleweeds, but this one didn't burn out. God got Moses' attention.

Jonah ran from God, and God got his attention, but he had to put him ten fathoms under the water to do it inside a fish. God initiated all of that. It would have been easy when they threw Jonah overboard for God to say, “Too bad about that. He is gone now, so I will find someone else to go to Nineveh.” You see, God, in His faithfulness, comes to us; and every one of us, in one way or the other, has our own Adam, Moses, or Jonah story. Some of those stories are more glaring than others. Some are more dramatic than others, but every one of us who knows the Lord knows Him; and if we are walking with Him in fellowship, we're walking with Him in fellowship because He approaches us just exactly as He did Thomas when He didn't need to, when it would have been simpler to do away with us and find somebody else. In His grace, He keeps coming back. Thomas is a beautiful example of that.

God's Grace Shown In Thomas' Appreciation

The grace of God was demonstrated in Christ's appearing to them, and then in approaching Thomas, but verses 28-29 show the grace of God in Thomas' appreciation of the situation. Notice verse 28:

John 20

28And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.

Thomas goes in one step from the depths of disappointed disbelief to the highest expression of belief by any of the disciples, on a par with Peter's exclamation in Matthew, chapter 16, verse 17: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He used language reserved for God Himself, never having spoken these words to any other human being: “My Lord and my God.”

It is not recorded, but Jesus may have said what He said to Peter: “Peter, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you. My Father who is in Heaven has revealed this to you.” You see, the Father participated in this also. Here is an example of the Trinity working together. Thomas realized who Jesus was and made this expression of belief: “My Lord and my God.” That is always what happens when God pursues a person and shows Himself in such a gracious way. We realize who the Lord is.

One of the major lessons that we ought to learn from the faithfulness of God is the importance of our faithfulness to those with whom we have to do. In Ephesians, chapter 5, God says, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it.”

A few weeks ago, I was meditating on that passage in preparation for a talk that I am going to give in a few weeks, and it just came through my mind like a laser: Where would I be and where would any of us men be if God loved us the way we love our wives? You can extrapolate that a little farther—where would any of us be if God loved us the way we love other people? If we turn that around, “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church,” where would we be if Christ loved the Church the way we love our wives or if Christ loved us in the way we love other people? We would be in trouble, wouldn't we?

I have counseled with men with marriage problems who say, “She doesn't respond to me. She doesn't appreciate me. She doesn't treat me like she is supposed to. I have thought and sometimes I have had the nerve to say, “Where would you be if Christ only responded when you treat Him the right way?” The grace of God is that He responds to us and comes to us regardless of how we are treating Him. Even when we are unfaithful to Him, He comes back and draws us to Himself and shows Himself to us. He takes different periods of time to do that, and He does it in various ways and by various means, but God is faithful. He will not deny Himself. He always keeps coming back to us. He did that with Thomas, and Thomas responded with this great expression of love.

Jesus Rebukes Thomas

Even at that, Jesus gives him a loving rebuke in verse 29:

John 20

29Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

In a way, Jesus compliments Thomas. It is good that Thomas believed when he saw, but He said the bigger blessing is for those who have not seen and yet have believed. Do you know who He was talking about there? He was talking about you and me. Isn't that a wonderful thing that Jesus Christ knew that there would be those of us who were willing, by God's grace, to believe, who responded to the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and believed without having to see the prints of the nails in His hands and the scar in His side. God said, “Blessed are those.”

Many times we think it would have been wonderful to be one of the disciples or even to have been alive when Jesus was on earth and to get to see Him doing those miracles. It would have been. But do you see what Jesus is saying here? He is saying that those of us who did not get to be alive at that time are more blessed than those who did. God blesses us more. We are worthy of more approval in God's sight than those who saw Jesus in the flesh. That is a precious thought; that is a precious promise. God has blessings for us that even the disciples did not get to have because, by His grace, we have been able to believe without seeing.

God's Grace Expressed In the Accumulation of Evidence

We are talking about how God expressed His grace in this whole passage, but remember the bigger context is how He expressed His grace by even appearing to the disciples in general. In verses 19-29, we have talked about His appearing to the disciples, first to the group and then to Thomas. That was a gracious thing to do and His grace is expressed in that way, but a final way that God's grace is expressed is in a different way in verses 30-31, the accumulation of evidence. Notice in verse 30:

John 20

30And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:
31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

If you turn across the page to chapter 21 and look at verse 25, John elaborates on that again. He says:

John 21

25And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

Let's think about this for a minute. God did not set out to write a history of the world when He wrote the Bible. God did not even set out to write a detailed biography of Jesus Christ when He wrote the Bible. Even though He had four men write about it, He did not write nearly all of the things that He could have written about. That is because God's purpose was not to tell us everything there is to know about Himself and everything there is to know about the world and everything there is to know about history. What was His purpose? Look at verse 31:

John 20

31But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.

Here is the purpose of the Gospel of John. This is why the whole thing was written: “That you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God.” Notice it is not that you might believe that a man named Jesus lived in Israel 2,000 years ago, but believe that this Man, Jesus of Nazareth, is the Christ, the Son of God, and believing that brings life in His name. That is the purpose of the Gospel of John.

Have you ever stopped to think how gracious God was to appoint these men in the New Testament and those men in the Old Testament to write all of this down? What if we had to base everything that we believe and everything that we witness on people saying that Jesus did this or Jesus did that. You see, God was so gracious in accumulating the evidence for us.

We do not have everything written down. Critics of the Bible say, “There are so many historical figures that aren't even mentioned in the Bible. How can you say that it is God's Word? Well, it is because God's purpose wasn't to write a detailed biography of everybody in the world. As John says, “All the books in the world couldn't contain something like that.” The preacher would have to announce which volume of the one thousand five hundred volume set of the Bible you would have to bring with you to church next Sunday. Or maybe if we are like some preachers, we might have to bring a whole wheelbarrow full of books to be able to find our way around in the Bible. God wrote everything we need to know about how to be saved.

Then there is something else that is interesting, too, when we think about the Bible as a whole. Turn to II Peter, chapter 1. Peter, at the close of his life as he was writing his last letter to his disciples, said, beginning with verse 2:

II Peter 1

2Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
3According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Notice that phrase in verse 4, “exceeding great and precious promises.” He is referring there to the Word of God. In the Word of God, we have all that we need to know to pursue life and godliness. So John tells us that God hasn't told us everything, but He has told us everything that we need to know about how to be saved. Peter goes on to say that He has told us everything that we need to know that we might live a life of godliness.

Really, what more do we need to know? I am coming to believe that in Christians, there is a sense in which we know too much. In this information age, one of the things that God has been doing in my life the last couple of years has been to give me the strength to not bother to learn some things. I have canceled subscriptions to a couple of magazines because I want to concentrate as much as I can on knowing the Lord and knowing the things of God. I discovered the more the Lord moved me in that direction, the less time I had to read Time magazine and Texas Monthly . Those are the two that I used to subscribe to for years and didn't have time to read those any more, because as I began to focus on trying to know the Lord better, I realized that I don't need to know all this stuff. It is interesting, even interesting enough to sometimes draw me away from what the Lord wants me to know. I don't need to know that.

God has given me everything that I need to know in His Word. I began to have the grace and strength to turn the television set off. For years I enjoyed watching television because for the most part I read and study the big part of nearly every day. It was relaxing for me to come home and sit down in front of the television and relax because I didn't have to think to watch television. God has given me the grace to turn that television off. I hardly ever watch it any more.

I don't say this to draw attention to myself. My point is that we have more knowledge that is available to us than we really need to know anyway. What we really need to know is how to have a life of godliness, how to be saved and how to live a godly life. God, in His Word, has given us that information. God, in our generation, has amplified that tremendously with wholesome, sound Christian books and periodicals and magazines. I think God would have us pay attention to how much information we are getting and what kind of information it is and to try to focus as much as possible on that kind of information that goes along with these great and precious promises that have to do with a life of godliness.

That is a decision that you have to make for yourself. That is not an edict for Abilene Bible Church, and we are not going to have a rule that you cannot subscribe to Texas Monthly , or Time magazine any more because that is how God has led me, but I do ask you to think about it. We have a lot more information coming in than we really need. God has given us the things that we really need in His Word, and how gracious He is to have done that.

Conclusion

Here we have a chapter that focuses on the precious grace of God in raising Christ from the dead and then having Him appear to us, and in that, we should be able to see how He has pursued us just as He did Adam and Eve to restore that fellowship we have messed up, which He wants to enjoy with us again.


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