What Stands Between You and Belief? (2)

Let’s move a little further into the discussion of things which may keep us from belief. Confusion has already been mentioned. Another reason we sometimes have difficulty with belief is that we sometimes choose to reject proof.

As we continue in Luke 24 we see that the disciples, three times, were offered evidence and each time they dismissed it as “idle tales,” then as “astonishingly unbelievable,” then, ultimately, they experienced personal, face-to-face, frightening evidence which convinced them once and for all. It took pursuation and more than one proof.

John 20:29 says, “Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’”

Jesus sent proof to His followers of His resurrection. The disciple Thomas said, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe” John 24:25.

Here is the crux of the matter. Thomas needed proof. Proof was given. Then Thomas came to believe immediately. I am convinced that if you need proof He will provide proof in a way that is uniquely meaningful to you. Thomas got proof. We can get proof too based upon His willingness for us to know Him. However, when proof is given belief must follow. To,reject the truth is eternally devastating.

John 20:31 provides evidence that God wants us to have proof of His Son, Jesus… “But 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.” Furthermore, He could provide an endless library of proof as seen in John 21:25, “And 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.”

One more fact about proof from Jesus teaching comes from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus in which two men lived and died. One went to paradise, one to hades. The one in hades asked that a messenger be sent to his family so they could avoid hades. Jesus essentially said, proof has been sent and rejected… additional proof will not help those who are “proof-challenged.” See the details in Luke 16:19-31.

Do not let your own rejection of proof defeat you in your battle for belief.


About tcbo

Tobey Pitman is a retired career missionary. He serves as a Pastor in Greater New Orleans along the northern rim of Lake Pontchartrain. Tobey currently assists churches to understand the needs of their community and to develop ministries that specifically touch local needs. Tobey is a CISM-trained and certified chaplain serving as a volunteer Chaplain for his local police department. He is appointed as the Faith-based Liaison of the St. Tammany Parish Local Emergency Planning Commission (LEPC) and formerly the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). Additionally he serves as a Chaplain for the Coroner's Office in St. Tammany Parish. In these roles, he assists in emergency planning and response implementation by directing faith resources into areas of local need during times of emergency and personal trauma. Tobey also served as a ministry strategist for the Northshore Baptist Association from 2010 to 2016. Prior to his service with NSBA, Tobey served for 32 years with the Home Mission Board/North American Mission Board. He worked in Downtown New Orleans and served the broad range of needs that existed among the homeless and addicted people living on the streets of the French Quarter, the CBD, and Downtown New Orleans. This ministry included directing the largest homeless shelter in Louisiana with a capacity of 250. The Brantley Center also offered many kinds of compassion ministries that touched physical needs and provided an average of 600 meals per day. The ministries of the Center included an intensive, long-term therapeutic community for men and women who desired to break free from addictive and debilitating lifestyles. He also developed a church for homeless people called Second Chance Fellowship. Tobey is a native Texan. He is a graduate of Howard Payne University and has earned masters and doctoral degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Tobey is married to Cathy. They have two sons, two daughters through marriage, and six grandchildren.
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