Archive for April 9th, 2012

April 9, 2012

Seeing is Believing

by pastortimfowler

Shortly after Jesus rose from the grave, He went to see His disciples. One of them, Thomas, who had not seen Him yet, told the others that he would not believe until He saw Jesus for himself. My associate pastor preached our Sonrise service Easter and asked the question, have your seen Jesus. Sadly many do not believe because they have not seen. Jesus was quoted as saying , blessed are those who believe and have not seen. He was talking to Thomas, the doubter, about how he saw the resurrected Jesus and believed but others would have to believe without seeing Him physically.
When we started our church 7 years ago we wanted to name it something that represented what and who the church should be and so we called it, The Body. 1 Corinthians 12:27 You are Christ’s body and each of you is an individual part of it. This is speaking about the group of believers called the church. We are to be the body of Christ to the world who cannot see Jesus as Thomas and the other disciples did.
Our theme song is from a group called Casting Crowns, titled, If We are The Body. It asks the questions that if we are the body, why aren’t His arms reaching, hands healing, words teaching? The point of the song is that unless people see Christ in His church, they are not going to believe that He is alive. If people outside of the church can’t see the love of Christ in us who are the church, then they may never see the love of Christ at all.
My old pastor told me that the church was not a country club for saints, but rather a hospital for sinners. When we act as if we are the privileged few instead of the fortunate forgiven, people can get really turned off by this whole Jesus thing. The church must remember that we are nothing without Christ and with Him and only because of Him are we anything. His death on the cross was to pay the sin penalty for everyone who will believe and His resurrection was to give us a life that we can’t have without Him. But we have a responsibility to share this message with others and do it in a way that people believe. In other words, we must act enough like Jesus for people to see Him before they see us.
Thomas gets a bad rap for his doubt. Every time you hear someone called a doubting Thomas they are referring to the Thomas of the Bible. But Thomas was at least honest enough to say he did not truly believe. Jesus did not condemn him for that. Instead Jesus offered to let Thomas touch His wounds. If you think about it, Jesus could have acted like He had never been hurt and tried to show Thomas how godly He was, but He didn’t. Instead He showed Thomas how much His past hurt Him and how human He was. That is why God became a man. To show us that He understands us. Everyone in the Jewish world knew about the God in Heaven who could not be touched. Jesus was God on earth so that He could be touched.
So the church needs to remember that we are not the God of Heaven who is holier than all, but rather we are the Body of Christ, who is every bit as human as the next guy and every bit loving as the Christ who died on a cross for our sin. We have been hurt and sometimes still hurt. We have fallen down and sometimes still do. But we get back up and not even death can keep us down, because Jesus defeated death and has given us the victory over it. But life must still go on and the world needs to see a church that loves unconditionally and gives unselfishly and never forgets that God wants to use us to represent Jesus to the world. We must never forget that some may still need to see to believe.