You Don't Know til You Go

“You don’t know till you go.”

For years, I have heard this statement used to describe fishing and quail hunting trips. It is impossible to know ahead of time whether the fish will be biting or the quail will be available. Only by going to the lake or the creek or the field will any                   outdoorsman ever be able to experience a successful adventure. Many fish have remained uncaught by the would-be fisherman who opted to sit on the couch instead of wetting a hook. The same is true for quail hunters who talk themselves out of walking                without even booting their dogs.

“You don’t know till you go.”

I don’t know where Thomas was when Jesus appeared in his resurrected body behind a locked door to the 10 remaining apostles. In the midst of their despair Jesus showed up and radically changed everything! He showed them the scars on His hands and in His side. He encouraged them to believe – and believe, they did! What a moment in the history of the universe! The resurrection of Jesus changed everything forever, and all the apostles, except Judas and Thomas were there to see Jesus. Judas had hung himself. Thomas was…well, we don’t really know. Maybe he slept in or needed time to think. Maybe he was attending a sporting event or playing on his tablet. He missed out.

So did everyone who was absent from First Baptist Church on April 22. At the conclusion of the 9:00 a.m. worship service an older gentleman came forward to have me announce that he had been saved and would like to be baptized. He brought several   older men with him who are members of the Life Group he participates in. He spoke briefly to the congregation. I saw few dry eyes. At the conclusion of the 10:30 a.m. worship service, a young woman came forward with her future mother-in-law. “I need God in my life,” she said with tearful joy. She prayed to receive Christ. I had preached on Naomi and her daughter-in-law Ruth, and Ruth embracing the same faith as Naomi. Everyone broke out in spontaneous applause when she was introduced.

“You don’t know till you go.” 

What is true of hunting and fishing and was true of Thomas is also true of church attendance every week. You cannot enjoy what God does if you are not present where God does it.

I love you,

Earl