Our children like cookies, candy, and gum. Not only do they like these things but they seem to desire them above anything else. As a result of their fondness for these items we often hear “Wanna cookie Mom,” “Got some candy for us Dad?”, “Gimme some gum,” and other similar expressions. The problem comes, however, when it happens, as it frequently does, that none of these commodities are available at home. Patiently they are told that there are no more cookies left, or the candy or gum is all gone. Their immediate reply is one of unbelief:“Wanna see, Mom!” They want to look in the cookie jar or in the candy bowl or on the window sill where the gum is usually kept.
At such an early age (they are only three and two) they already reveal that they are advocates of the, idea “seeing is believing.” Since this is a trait typical of all human nature I fear it is one that they shall never outgrow.
It is a trait or characteristic of human nature that is as old as the world itself. God had commanded our first parents, Adam and Eve, not to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil on pain of death. In their carnal pride they did not believe that they would surely die as God had warned. They had to see for themselves to their own spiritual death.
The wicked world before the flood heard Noah, the preacher of righteousness, warn of the destruction of the world but they scorned his preaching and refused to believe without seeing. They were all destroyed and utterly cut off from the land of the living and the heritage of the Lord.
Mother of nations, Sarah, commended by God’s Holy Word because she called her husband “lord,” laughed within herself when the angel messengers told of the birth of Isaac, the promised seed. She was severely rebuked for her unbelief.
The wicked Jews mocked Christ as he suffered the bitter and shameful death of the cross and asserted that they would believe in him if only he would come down
from the accursed tree. Christ yielded not to temptation and ignored their cruel mocking.
Think of Lot moving to Sodom and Gomorrah; of Jacob and his crafty trickery to gain for himself a promised birthright and blessing that were already his; of Moses and his desire for signs which provoked the Holy One to wrath; of Barak, Gideon, Manoah, Zacharias, Thomas and many others.
For all it was essential that they see before they believe. Now we are no different nor better than these. How often do we need to see in order to believe?
How often haven’t you as young people been told of the evil, the depravity, and the corruption of the movie theater? Constantly your parents and church leaders warn you of the wickedness that abounds here and of the immorality and filth that insidiously effects your own moral sensitivity. Constantly they admonish you to be on your guard against falling into the temptation of being drawn into these dens of iniquity. And yet, what good does it all do? Many of you frequently attend in disobedience to your parents. Perhaps you experience the Lord’s blessing as you watch the lust of the world fulfilled in its lovemaking on the screen. Is it necessary that you have to see the wickedness in order to believe it? If this is so save yourself the trip and look at the amusement section of your daily newspaper.
Repeatedly you have also been exposed to the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Not only your parents and church leaders warn of the danger but also consider the front pages of your newspapers and the feature articles that often appear in Readers- Digest, Time, Newsweek, and other magazines that write concerning these growing problems in our country. Scripture also guides the child of God in its condemnation of drunkenness. (Confer Proverbs 20:1, 23:20-21, Is. 5:22.) And yet again many of you just for a lark, just to see for yourselves, indulge in drinking parties thinking that no harm will come of it.
In many other ways this can also be applied. In your dating and socializing together. This is proper and good but do not lead each other into temptation. In driving your automobiles and obeying the traffic laws it can also be applied. Laws are not made to be broken (a common misconception of young people) but for the welfare and safety of yourself and your neighbor. Does it have to take a ticket or a serious accident to make you believe that these laws are and ought to be enforced?
Finally, you, as young people, live at a time in history when Satan has selected from his arsenal of weapons the one called “doubt.” He has even gained the so-called Christian colleges to help him use this weapon. These colleges encourage you to
question fundamental doctrines of the church of all ages. They lead you to doubt the truth of the Word of God by extolling the virtues of the corrupt pseudo versions of the Bible. They lead you astray in the manner of prayer and personal devotions. They hold high the banner “Doubt that which cannot be seen” and prostrate themselves before their goddess “Dubious.” Young people be on your guard. Many snares and pitfalls are cast in your way.
Be not mislead by the crafty wiles of the devil and his cohorts who constantly attempt to persuade you that “seeing is believing,” but rather remember the words of our Lord spoken to Thomas “blessed are they that have not seen and yet have believed.”