Seeing for yourself

I have the same name as the most famous “doubter” in the Bible, Thomas.

Does God cross you off his list if you have doubts?

There’s an old hymn, “To God Be the Glory,” with a verse that says redemption comes to anyone who “truly believes.”

Is that right?

Does salvation depend on the intensity of one’s faith?

Long ago, when the risen Jesus first appeared to the disciples in the upper room, Thomas wasn’t there. As excited as the others were, Thomas still wanted to see for himself. A week later, Thomas got his wish, and Jesus said, “Blessed are those who haven’t seen me and believed.”

The truth is, we all would love to see for ourselves.

Jesus wasn’t so much criticizing Thomas for doubting as he was pronouncing a blessing on all of us doubters who will believe without getting to see Jesus in the flesh. 

D.A. Carson has a famous sermon illustration in which he imagines two Hebrew slaves in Egypt the night before the angel of death was to pass over. Both men had put the blood of the lamb over their doors as Moses had ordered. One man doubted, scared to death that he might still lose his firstborn. The other man was supremely confident, saying “Bring it on.”

Carson said, “That night the angel of death swept through the land. Which one lost his son?

“The answer, of course, is neither.

“Death doesn’t pass over them on the ground of the intensity or the clarity of the faith exercised, but on the ground of the blood of the lamb.’

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