"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved." John 10:9 NIV
The Bible is filled with passages which speak about "whoever" or "anyone who." In the KJV we read "whosoever." The most well-known being John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes ..." It is an all-inclusive invitation. There are still people who believe that while Christianity works for others, it won't work for them.
Perhaps this was the problem Thomas had in John 20. The other disciples told him that they had seen Jesus alive, but Thomas replied "Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe." (v. 25b). Thomas chose not to believe Jesus was alive. So many today choose not to believe. They naively say, "I'm glad it works for you." However, truth is not relative, or dependent on how we feel, but on Jesus, who is the truth (John 14:6).
God has given the opportunity to "whoever" is willing to take the step of faith and believe. Those who are prepared to go against the thinking of the world, the pressure of unbelieving friends, and the lies of the devil. Thomas came to faith, despite his doubts, because of his openness and honesty. The second time Jesus appeared to the disciples, he was there. He chose to put himself in the place where God could meet him. Likewise, everyone has the choice of putting themselves in a place where they are open to the possibility of faith.
God's all-encompassing invitation is still available to "whoever" believes.
Do you believe him?
--- Susan Barnes is an Australian pastor's wife who regularly writes devotional thoughts on Bible passages, book reviews and inspirational articles.