The warning of Thomas' failure in faith to those who would welcome the Lord’s return in the last days
The Bible records that Thomas did not have faith until he saw the Lord, and he was thus reprimanded by the Lord Jesus: "Because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). What is the warning in these words from the Lord Jesus to those who would welcome the Lord in the last days? Many people cling to the prophecy that the Lord will come upon a cloud, while ignoring the prophecies of the Lord coming in secret. They refuse to believe any testimonies that the Lord has already returned in the flesh, and insist on only believing He has returned when they see Him come upon a cloud. Does this not make them prone to repeating the mistake of Thomas?
Bible Verses for Reference
"The other disciples therefore said to him, We have seen the LORD. But he said to them, Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the middle, and said, Peace be to you. Then said He to Thomas, Reach here your finger, and behold My hands; and reach here your hand, and thrust it into My side: and be not faithless, but believing" (John 20:25–27).
"Jesus said to him, Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29). "Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen" (Revelation 1:7).
Relevant Words of God
You bear witness that God has become flesh as the Son of man to do the work of judgment in the last days, and yet the majority of religious pastors and elders maintain that the Lord will return coming with clouds. They base this primarily on the Bible verses: "This same Jesus … shall so come in like manner as you have seen Him go into heaven" (Act 1:11). "Behold, He comes with clouds; and every eye shall see Him" (Rev 1:7). And furthermore, the religious pastors and elders also teach us that any Lord Jesus who does not come with clouds is false and must be rejected. So, we’re not sure whether or not this view is in line with the Bible; is this kind of understanding correct or not?
You bear witness that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. This is impossible! "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" (Mat 24:29-30). If the Lord really had returned, He should have done so with great glory while descending upon a cloud. Moreover, heaven and earth would have quaked, and the sun and moon would have stopped shining. So far such sights have not manifested, so how can they say the Lord has already returned? Just what exactly is all this about?
When it comes to the matter of welcoming the Lord, we should learn the lesson of Thomas' failure. We cannot just wait to see Him riding upon a cloud before we believe. So then, how can we welcome the Lord? The Lord Jesus told us very clearly: "And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him" (Matthew 25:6). The Book of Revelation predicts, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20). We can see here that the key to welcoming the Lord is listening for God's voice—this is the only way to welcome Him. When we hear someone bear witness that the Lord has returned, we have to seek and investigate, and the moment we recognize God's voice we must accept and submit. Is that not welcoming the Lord?
Bible Verses for Reference
"Because you have seen Me, you have believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed" (John 20:29).
"Therefore be you also ready: for in such an hour as you think not the Son of man comes" (Matthew 24:44).
"Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame" (Revelation 16:15).
"I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth" (John 16:12–13).
"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me" (Revelation 3:20).
"And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him" (Matthew 25:6).
"And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10).
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me" (John 10:27).
"He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches" (Revelation 2:7).
Relevant Words of God
You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so why haven’t we seen Him? Seeing is believing and hearsay is undependable. If we haven’t seen Him, that must mean He hasn’t returned yet; I will believe it when I see Him. You say that the Lord Jesus has returned, so where is He now? What work is He doing? What words has the Lord spoken? I will believe it after you are able to clarify these things through testimony.