Inter-Community Church of God
June 5, 2022 Service
      • Psalm 104:24–35CSB

  • How do You Know What to Believe?

    This is an important question, that applies to all areas of our lives.
    It can be rather personal, such as believing in ourselves and what our strengths and weaknesses are.
    It can be related to work. Maybe something that needs to be taken care of is a little too big or too small for you to handle. Do you believe you can do it? On what basis?
    Maybe you have the wrong size tool for the job. Try to use what is too small, and you either won’t get anywhere or you wont’ get a good result. Try to use a tool that is too big can result in more damage than results. Do you believe you can make it fit anyway? On what basis? Is it the ‘Bigger hammer” approach? You know, “If it doesn’t fit, then get a bigger hammer.”
    It can have something to do with health, maybe about the Coronavirus. After all, we have some experts say wearing masks all the time when you are with people is still essential, to keep from being infected from the virus in the air near someone who has Covid.
    Maybe you have an issue with who to believe about getting the vaccines. Is it safe? Does it work? Will it hurt? Will it make me sick? Will it really keep me from getting Covid?
    How do you know what to believe with all the information and misinformation that is out there?
    Our big problem is that as humans living together in most any society, is that

    We would rather believe a lie than believe the truth.

    So, How do you know what to believe?

    It depends on the information you are willing to trust.
    And we are so prone to wanting to believe a rumor that we often overlook what is true.
    We would rather ignore science and go with a gut feeling that what we feel is true is the real truth.
    Some people don’t believe that the US ever sent an astronaut to the moon; somehow it was all faked, and everyone involved in the media show was in on the conspiracy.
    But the men who actually went, and the support staff that worked on the Apollo missions are eye-witnesses that were actually there.
    Will you believe the truth, or will you believe a conspiracy against the truth?
    In reality, conspiracy theories are created by people who want you to believe what they say, and distrust the establishment, distrust science, to distrust eye-witness testimony, distrust the way things are done.
    Conspiracy theories are really about one man saying you can only trust them, and everything else is fake news.
    Think about it: is it better to trust only one voice who tells you everyone else is wrong, or is it better to trust that those whose life has been devoted to finding truth that benefits others, not themselves.
    Those who are scientists, those who are bureaucrats, judges, teachers, military, police, politicians and pastors.
    All it takes to believe the lie is to have someone tell you, with some layer of evidence that has a touch of truth but a whole lot of innuendo. If it is an idea we are afraid of, like the FCC making religious broadcasting illegal (they won’t), or that you can’t flash your headlights at someone who is driving in the dark, because that is a gang member who will shoot you because of that. Never heard of it actually happening in the news, have you?
    Or that there is a file for a program that you already have on your computer that you better delete right now because it will kill your hard drive. That’s possible, but most email fear-mongering is nothing more that a prank to see how many people will end up messing up their computer by deleting that file that your computer needs to work right.
    We need to know who to trust, and why we trust them.

    In Court, Witnesses Are Under Oath

    They are usually called to testify, but some have volunteered to tell what they saw, and everyone is put under oath to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
    Because of that oath, the jury is obliged to believe what they say, unless the lawyers can blow holes in their testimony.
    Because so many tell so many lies to protect themselves, protect their position, and protect place of power, we need some way to establish truth.
    That brings us now to

    John’s Testimony of Truth

    Which we will find can be trusted. Because he is an eye-witness. Because he walked with Jesus. Because he learned from Jesus, because he was there at Jesus’ arrest and trial and crucifixion, because he peeked into the empty tomb and he believed the testimony of Mary Magdalene, he was there when Jesus showed up again after he rose from the dead.
    We are all a little

    Slow to Believe

    Which can actually be a good thing, if it helps us find out what is really trustworthy.
    Here’s part of the crucifixion story about the death of Jesus, that because it just doesn’t sound right to most of us, needs to be checked out:
    Jesus Has Finished the First Part of Saving Us:
    John 19:30 CSB
    30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished.” Then bowing his head, he gave up his spirit.
    When we read a little farther in the chapter, we find out that Jesus gave his life, but others were still trying to take it from him. Since the Sabbath was on the horizon, some Jewish leaders petitioned Pilate to clear the crosses.
    So, one way to be sure the convicts would not survive was to take a heavy iron rod, and get one of your strong men to smash the leg bones so they couldn’t push up to allow some brath.
    When they got to Jesus, well, he was dead, so now what?
    Here’s how some enterprizing soldier took care of this change of plan:
    John 19:34 CSB
    34 But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.
    Water and blood came out. Shouldn’t it be just blood? Why blood and water? Why should we believe that?

    John Puts Himself Under Oath

    John 19:35 CSB
    35 He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows he is telling the truth.
    John saw with his own eyes. A witness.
    John is telling us with a purpose in mind for our good, not his: That you also may believe.
    John Assures us He is Telling the Truth.
    And one more thing: this is a fulfilment of prophecy:
    John 19:36–37 CSB
    36 For these things happened so that the Scripture would be fulfilled: Not one of his bones will be broken. 37 Also, another Scripture says: They will look at the one they pierced.

    Strong Evidence of Truth

    So John testifies that he saw Jesus’ side pierced with the spear, that water and blood poured out, and that because his legs were not broken but his side was stabbed, it is a fulfillment of prophecy.

    John’s Own Eyes Saw It

    John 20:2 CSB
    2 So she went running to Simon Peter and to the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said to them, “They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!”
    John 20:3-7 “3 At that, Peter and the other disciple went out, heading for the tomb. 4 The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and got to the tomb first. 5 Stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. 6 Then, following him, Simon Peter also came. He entered the tomb and saw the linen cloths lying there. 7 The wrapping that had been on his head was not lying with the linen cloths but was folded up in a separate place by itself.”

    The Empty Tomb Peter and John Saw

    John 20:8 CSB
    8 The other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, then also went in, saw, and believed.

    Honestly, they wondered what this meant

    John 20:9 CSB
    9 For they did not yet understand the Scripture that he must rise from the dead.

    John Heard Mary Tell She Saw Jesus

    John 20:18 CSB
    18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them what he had said to her.

    John Was There When Jesus Appeared

    In the Upper Room
    John 20:19–20 CSB
    19 When it was evening on that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because they feared the Jews. Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 Having said this, he showed them his hands and his side. So the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.

    Thomas Had Trouble Believing His Friends

    John 20:24–25 CSB
    24 But Thomas (called “Twin”), one of the Twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 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.”

    Jesus Came Again to Thomas

    John 20:26–27 CSB
    26 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.” 27 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 Was Sure of Jesus His Lord

    John 20:28 CSB
    28 Thomas responded to him, “My Lord and my God!”

    Jesus Blessed Us Right Then

    John 20:29 CSB
    29 Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”

    John Is Sure We Can Believe Him

    John 20:31 CSB
    31 But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

    John Debunks A Misunderstanding

    John 21:21–22 CSB
    21 When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about him?” 22 “If I want him to remain until I come,” Jesus answered, “what is that to you? As for you, follow me.”

    John Tells What Jesus Really Said

    Not what rumors were made from it
    John 21:23 CSB
    23 So this rumor spread to the brothers and sisters that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not tell him that he would not die, but, “If I want him to remain until I come, what is that to you?”

    John’s Testimony of Truth

    John 21:24 CSB
    24 This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true.

    John was a witness

    John wrote this down

    But he had to limit his testimony to the most important truths, for, he says,
    John 21:25 “25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which, if every one of them were written down, I suppose not even the world itself could contain the books that would be written.”

    And John’s friends believe him.

    What This All Means

    Is found in his first epistle to the churches he led:
    1 John 1:1–2 CSB
    1 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have observed and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—2 that life was revealed, and we have seen it and we testify and declare to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us—

    The Eternal Christ

    The one we heard

    The one we saw

    The one we watched

    The one we really touched, in the flesh

    The Eternal Life

    Revealed to us

    Seen by us

    Declared as truth to you

    Christ Is the Eternal Life

    Invited Into Fellowship

    1 John 1:3 CSB
    3 what we have seen and heard we also declare to you, so that you may also have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
    Here is

    The Beginning of Eternal Life

    Comes through confession
    1 John 1:9 CSB
    9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Confession brings Forgiveness

    Denial of Sin is Stupid

    1 John 1:10 CSB
    10 If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    Here is God’s Blessing

    1 John 2:1 CSB
    1 My little children, I am writing you these things so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ the righteous one.

    All Because of Jesus

    1 John 2:2 CSB
    2 He himself is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours, but also for those of the whole world.
    Jesus is Our Atoning Sacrifice
    His atonement is for all
    All have reason to believe
    Because John’s testimony, or

    John’s Gospel is True.

    How will you believe it?
    How will you receive it?

    Come and get your eternal life now.

      • John 19:30GNB

      • John 19:34GNB

      • John 19:35GNB

      • John 19:36–37GNB

      • John 20:2GNB

      • John 20:3–7CSB

      • John 20:8GNB

      • John 20:9GNB

      • John 20:18GNB

      • John 20:19–20GNB

      • John 20:24–25GNB

      • John 20:26–27GNB

      • John 20:28GNB

      • John 20:29GNB

      • John 20:31GNB

      • John 21:21–22GNB

      • John 21:23GNB

      • John 21:24GNB

      • 1 John 1:1–2GNB

      • 1 John 1:3GNB

      • 1 John 1:9GNB

      • 1 John 1:10GNB

      • 1 John 2:1GNB

      • 1 John 2:2GNB

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