How to Study the Bible -
When I was a child we used to play a game called “believe it or bologna!” The rules were simple. You would say something, it could be true or it could be a lie. Your friends then would have to say whether they believed you or not. When you call something bologna it means you don’t believe it.
I thought I might try this with you today. Are you ready?
A man by the name of James Cook once had a chicken that laid a perfectly square egg. Now, I’ve seen white eggs, brown eggs, even spotted eggs, but I have never seen a square egg. Have you? Is this a believe it a bunch of bologna? Just say, “Believe it” or say, “Bologna.” I think I'd have to see it to believe it but according to a very interesting book called "Believe It or Not"by Robert Ripley this is true!
Here’s another one, ready? There once was a 15-year-old girl from California who could could twirl 68 hula-hoops on her body at one time! That’s a lot of hula-hoops. I can’t even do one hula-hoop! Can you believe that? Just say, “Believe it” or say, “Bologna.” Did you all get a chance to answer. Well, according to a Mr. Ripley, Joann Barnes holds the record for this feat. This is one is also true!
How about one more? Here’s one I'll bet you don’t know. The world’s largest hot dog weenie was 3,000 feet long, weighed 885 pounds. Now I can eat a big old hot dog… with mustards, onions, and saurkraut… but I don’t think I could eat that one! Do you believe that? Just say, “Believe it” or say, “Bologna.” Did you all get a chance to answer. Well, according to a Mr. Ripley this giant hot dog took 103 butchers to carry it! Now that's a lot of baloney! But it’s true and If it's true, it's true--whether you believe it or not!
Alright. I have one more for you that comes from the Bible. Jesus is alive. He rose from the grave and he stands victorious over death and sin. Do you believe that or is it just bologna. I hope you said you believe it because it is very much true.
In John 20:19-31, The disciples tried to tell their friend Thomas that Jesus was alive and that they saw him. Now Thomas had seen Jesus die on the cross. He knew that when someone went through Roman crucifixion and underwent that kind of treatment they were really dead. There is no coming back from that one. Thomas call bologna! He did not believe it. Let’s read this story together.
READ JOHN 20:19-31
Thomas said, "I won't believe it until I see it with my own eyes. I want to put my finger in the nail-prints in His hands—and place my hand where the spear was thrust into His side.” A week later, Jesus appeared to Thomas and invited him to touch His hands where the nails had been. He told Thomas to put his hand in the wound in His side. All of Thomas’ doubt was gone. He didn’t need to touch him… He knew then that it was true.
The part I like is the end where Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” Jesus was talking about us. We are blessed when we believe in Jesus.
The writer, John, goes on to say. “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
A lot of people today won't believe that Jesus really rose from the grave because they haven't seen Him with their own two eyes. Do you know what? It is true whether they believe it or not! You and I have never seen Jesus, but we believe. We accept Him by faith. We don’t have to see it to believe it!
I hope you will join us tomorrow night at 6pm. God bless you and have a great night.