See But Not Believing
We’ve all heard that old saying, “Seeing is believing”. Most of us put that into practice daily in our lives. Though we have faith, in many circumstances we seem to need a picture painted or have sight of something for us to truly believe it.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “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.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
But then there are those who see with their eyes and still don’t believe.
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
This morning I preached on Hell’s Fury and the warnings Christ gave about hell. Yet there are multitudes who have heard and seen in the scriptures the horror of hell, yet they still don’t believe. Let me show you a few more scriptures about hell then we will get to tonights text.
22 “For as the new heavens and the new earth Which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the Lord, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. 23 And it shall come to pass That from one New Moon to another, And from one Sabbath to another, All flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the Lord. 24 “And they shall go forth and look Upon the corpses of the men Who have transgressed against Me. For their worm does not die, And their fire is not quenched. They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh.”
This is the time of the Millennium [1000 yrs] reign of Jesus Christ on earth with a peace similar to what Adam and Eve experienced in the garden before the fall. At this time Satan is bound in the bottomless pit so he has no influence upon man to tempt him to sin.
1 Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; 3 and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while.
7 Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle, whose number is as the sand of the sea. 9 They went up on the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the saints and the beloved city. And fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.
This scripture is set in the same time frame spoken of in [Isa.66]. How in the world could multitudes of people see the atrocities of hell for a 1000 years and still follow Satan to this terrible end?
If people have the ability to see hell literally, and people have figurative picture of hell today in the scriptures, then what in the world can we do to make them believe?
Text; Psalm 126.5-6
5 Those who sow in tears Shall reap in joy. 6 He who continually goes forth weeping, Bearing seed for sowing, Shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, Bringing his sheaves with him.
1. Sow in Tears; 5
1. Sow in Tears; 5
Have you ever wanted something so much that you just wouldn’t be satisfied until you get it? That’s what “Sowing in Tears” means.
The Jews had been sowing tears for 70 years in captivity in Babylon praying and hoping for this very day.
That’s the way sinners are won to Christ by sowing tears in passionate prayer for their souls!
35 Jesus wept.
Jesus wept because of how death affects a family. Though Lazarus was fine, many families struggle when they lose a loved one because they are not sure of their eternal destiny.
41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it,
Jesus stood on a hill outside the city and wept for Jerusalem because the nation had rejected Him. He wept because He saw their bleak future because they rejected their Messiah
43 Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him. 44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.
Jesus wept and agonized over a lost world in Gethsemane
If Jesus was so moved about the souls of men to weep, pray and agonize over them to be spared of Hell’s Fury, shouldn’t we do the same?
2. Continually Going Forth; 6a
2. Continually Going Forth; 6a
Continually going forth- “habit forming”; Praying for the lost and continually going forth sowing seeds of the Gospel must become habits in our lives.
Paul had a habit of praying and continually going after his countrymen and those where he planted churches.
1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh,
31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.
Jeremiah had a burden for Israel and those that were slain in captivity
1 Oh, that my head were waters, And my eyes a fountain of tears, That I might weep day and night For the slain of the daughter of my people!
Jude the half brother of Jesus had a burden for the lost
23 but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Jesus interrupted His sleep one night to win Nicodemus; He went without food at the well of Sychar to win a woman of Samaria; and He even took time during His excruciating, agonizing death on the cross to snatch a thief from the flames of hell!
So the question we must ask ourselves is, “What are we doing to make soul winning a habit forming priority in our lives?”
3. Rejoicing and Reaping; 6b
3. Rejoicing and Reaping; 6b
Probably the greatest rejoicing in heaven and on earth is when a sinner comes to faith in Christ.
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The only treasure we can lay up in heaven from this earth is the souls of men!
Bringing In the Sheaves, Knowles Shaw 1874
Sowing in the morning, sowing seeds of kindness, Sowing in the noontide and the dewy eve; Waiting for the harvest, and the time of reaping, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Refrain: Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves; Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Sowing in the sunshine, sowing in the shadows, Fearing neither clouds nor winter’s chilling breeze; By and by the harvest, and the labor ended, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
Going forth with weeping, sowing for the Master, Though the loss sustained our spirit often grieves; When our weeping’s over, He will bid us welcome, We shall come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves.
My hope is that we can all sing that song with gladness because it is true about us of what it says!