Believing is Seeing
1. Religion Devoid of Belief is Skepticism. (Matthew 21:23, John 20:24-29)
John 20:24-29, 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.” 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.”
2. Rejecting Revelation Is a Poor Reason to Ask for More. (Matthew 21:24-26, Romans 1:18-25)
Romans 1:18-25, For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, that is, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what he has made. As a result, people are without excuse. For though they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or show gratitude. Instead, their thinking became worthless, and their senseless hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles. Therefore God delivered them over in the desires of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served what has been created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.
3. Embrace the Truth and You Shall See! (Matthew 21:27, Luke 8:16-18, 1 Peter 1:8-9)
Luke 8:16-18, No one, after lighting a lamp, covers it with a basket or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a lampstand so that those who come in may see its light. For nothing is concealed that won’t be revealed, and nothing hidden that won’t be made known and brought to light. Therefore take care how you listen. For whoever has, more will be given to him; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him.
1 Peter 1:8-9, Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Santa Clause sermon illustration: https://youtu.be/Cit-vvTkJy0
Camp video: https://youtu.be/MytTm3zxasc