Today’s message summary of April 21, 2019 from Pastor Gus Brown:
Do you believe in the crucifixion?
Do you believe in the resurrection?
Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
In the world today, there is much confusion because of a lot of information that can cause one to question what to believe.
There is doubt because of the many different stories as to what one can do to get to heaven.
All that Jesus calls for is to believe in Him, and you will be saved. There’s no tricks involved. It is that simple, and yet it is that difficult, as well.
It is truth that must be considered. Even the apostles of Jesus lacked confidence in what Jesus had said.
This is our own struggle, as well. Even after reading God’s Word, believing in His Word is to trust in it. It means relying upon someone else besides yourself.
To accept truth is to believe it to be real. It is to have confidence in a statement or a promise of another person (Webster’s Dictionary).
Belief involves trust in what is being communicated. Many people have trouble with trust because they were hurt or damaged in the past by those who have violated their trust.
Many Christians lack confidence in God because they may say they believe but they lack trust in Him. If we have trusted man and yet he fails us, we somehow put God in this same category. God is not like man. His Word even challenges us to trust in no man, but you can trust in Him.
Jesus desires for us to carry out the plan by just trusting in Him. God will honor your trust in Him.
To trust someone with your life is huge.
We have become a people who trust in no one except self. This leads to self-control and the desire to control everything in your life.
To believe is to give control over to another. It is a freedom to give control over to Jesus Christ (John 8:36).
Everyone believes in something, but the question is, “What do they believe?”
2. Their own false beliefs (idols, etc.)
3. In the real Jesus
(A lot of people make up Jesus to be the one we choose to follow with our own way of thinking and not the real one.)
But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples were telling him, “We’ve seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “If I don’t see the mark of the nails in his hands, put my finger into the mark of the nails, and put my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
Thomas was told by his friends that they saw the Lord, but he didn’t believe them. He needed to see for himself.
Many people want to see God working in their own life. What you experience in life is your own. Others may need to see evidence.
Thomas is not the only apostle who did not believe. The other apostles struggled with belief because they did not take the words of Jesus to heart.
As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.”
Why are you doubting the Lord Jesus Christ? Until you can address this, you will have trouble in believing in the true Jesus.
He is real, and He is alive!
When you believe and trust in God, you are willing to take steps to move forward because you are trusting God in ways well beyond what you can see or imagine.
Our rationale will sometimes wrestle with God’s Word. It is something that cannot be reasoned with. You will find that you need to just have faith and trust in Him.
Jesus wants you to experience peace. Doubt creates confusion and takes peace away from you. He wants you to feel His freedom by just believing in Him (John 8:36).
Satan will challenge you with this doubt. Keep him at bay by seeking after Jesus.
Just believe in Him, and experience His freedom.
Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
A lack of faith can only be addressed by believing in what Jesus Christ says.
Later he appeared to the Eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table. He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who saw him after he had risen. Then he said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Some still doubted Him.
The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted.
The disciples were told that He would come forth from the grave in three days. They are the ones that had to accept these words and believe them.
From then on Jesus began to point out to his disciples that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders, chief priests, and scribes, be killed, and be raised the third day.
“They will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised up.” And they were deeply distressed.
“They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked, flogged, and crucified, and on the third day he will be raised.”
If Jesus had not risen as He said He would, He would have been proven to be a liar. If He is a liar here, then everything else that He said would also be lies, as well.
1 Corinthians 15:17-20
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Those, then, who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have put our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. But as it is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Going back to Thomas in John 20:
A week later his disciples were indoors again, and Thomas was with them. Even 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 and look at my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Don’t be faithless, but believe.” Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Stop your unbelief–stop doubting, and just believe in Him.
Believe in Him and see what He does for you.