24 Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.”
26 Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although 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 see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” 28 Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” - John 20:24-29
We are so much like "doubting" Thomas in this world. Unless we can see something with our own eyes we often refuse to believe it. I have encountered many "Christians" this past year who claim the faith but are hesitant to discuss the topic. Personally, I am so excited about Jesus I could talk about Him all day. Why aren't other believers as excited? I am not judging here. I am simply wondering.
When I came to believe and the scales fell from my eyes I was beyond excited. I think that excitement about one's faith is a spiritual fruit. Just my opinion here. My opinion has no scriptural basis. But if the God of the universe sacrificed Himself for you, wouldn't you be JUST a LITTLE joyous?
Actually, it is quite simple for true believers to recognize their brothers and sisters . . to know. We might as well have a signs stamped on our foreheads. And one day we will. We will be sealed, and therefore protected.
"They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any green plant or any tree, but only those people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads." - Revelation 9:4
But what about now? Are we sealed? How can we KNOW for sure? God's Word tells us.
"In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory." - Ephesians 1:13–14
Knowing that we are saved is a wonderful thing. There have been some people I have been introduced to and have instantly felt a bond with them. I KNOW that our conversations will be all about God. It's awesome! Look at things this way.
When we walk through an orchard and look at all the fruit hanging on the trees it is easy to tell one type of tree from another.
"That's an apple tree! There is a pear tree!" As Jesus said, we can tell the tree by the fruit it bears . . .
"15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them." - Matthew 7:15-20
We Christians are suppose to bear good fruit. Jesus is telling us in this text to examine other people's fruit to see whether or not they are part of His kingdom. But what do we do if we see someone who professes to be a Christian yet they have no fruit?
First, we as believers must be VERY careful about what we say or do. People get very defensive when we tell them they might be doing something wrong. Yet the loving thing to do is to tell them. It's a very tricky situation.
We must assume that, even though we don't see any fruit, we cannot KNOW whether they believe or not. That is something only Jesus knows. We must assume they are Christians if they say so.
The next thing we need to remember is that we are ALL sinners. All of us.There's not one of us who is sinless. That creates credibility issues if we tell someone they aren't bearing any fruit when OUR OWN fruit doesn't smell to good.
What I usually do at this point is pray. There isn't really anything I can do about any given situation but God can if He has a mind to. Knowing that should be very calming.
To know we have been set apart (hadiadzo) by God is a tremendously wonderful thing. It bring new meaning to the phrase, "to know Him is to love Him." Remove any doubts you may have about your salvation by trusting in the Lord. Even if you have surrendered yourself to Him already, do it again. It is a good reminder of who we are and WHOSE we are.
To Know Him Is To Love Him - Amy Winehouse