…but some doubted. Three little words that stand out to me like a piece of pepper stuck in someone’s tooth. The phrase is in Matthew 28:17, When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Let’s put this in context. It is the last chapter of Matthew after the disciples had witnessed Jesus’ life, miracles, ministry, death, and resurrection. There, a resurrected Jesus stands before them and when the SAW him they worshiped him, but some still doubted.
What does that passage tell us about human nature? It tells us many things, mainly that in spite of seeing all of the great events in Jesus’ life, the disciples still doubted. Why do you think that is? I think it is because they did not at that time have the Holy Spirit within them.
Now it would be easy to stand in judgment of the disciples at this point. After all, they were THERE. They saw him, they touched him, they ate with him and saw him die and rise again. Surely, had we been in their shoes we would not have doubted. I would not be so certain myself.
How many people do you know of that have had awesome miracles in their lives that they KNEW were from God, only to claim after the excitement wears off that it was just fate or circumstance or the wisdom of the doctors that saved them? How many times in your own life has the Lord delivered you and afterward you doubted that it was His divine intervention?
The Holy Spirit is what divides the New Testament Christians from the Old Testament Jews and further the Tribulation and Millenial believers. Through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we are able to have the Spirit of God inside us at all times. During the Old Testament times, the Spirit of the Lord would come upon people for a period, but that was temporary and He did not indwell the believer. That is the only thing that sets us apart. That is why those who profess faith in Christ but have never asked Him into their lives struggle. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is one of the most under-appreciated movements in our modern day churches.
Without the Holy Spirit, we do not even have faith in the things we can see and touch. That is why people can go to church their whole lives and know in their mind who Jesus is but never make the commitment to let Him into their hearts. I think that is why so many professing Christians do not bear any fruit.
Who are they? Are you one? Is the person sitting next to you in church one? They are Christians in name only. They come as far as they can in the Christian walk without asking the Holy Spirit to come into their lives. They have accepted the kernel of doubt in their own hearts as part of everyone’s faith. They do not believe when others profess to not have any doubts about their faith, because they themselves do not know the truth.
You can go to many churches and never hear a word about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit within us is the perfecter of our faith. He convicts our conscience. He is the guiding force that keeps all of us in line and living for God and not ourselves.
Only through the Holy Spirit are we able to have communion with God and worship Jesus our Savior. This Age of Grace ends with the Rapture of the Church, those left behind will never have the opportunity to receive this blessing. There will be many Left Behind, that never truly became Christians but this post is to encourage you today, we are believers. We are Watchers. We are Saved.
(Note – this post was originally written in 2003, but the Helper prompted me to publish this old work again today. I have never heard preaching on it. It remains one of my favorite pieces and one I shared with my beloved Bible Teacher Father on his deathbed. I will never forget the look of pride he had in his eyes as I showed him the Scripture and opened his heart to the revelation the Lord had given me. Peace and Love, my Friends.)