Re: The Lord’s comments to Thomas in the Upper Room. Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” You have said that Jesus was talking about the Church. Does this mean that Thomas (and any others) who actually saw him physically after his resurrection, before believing in his resurrection, are grouped with Old Testament believers and are not considered a part of the church?
No I don’t think Thomas or anyone else was kept out of the Church for not believing before they had evidence. Of all those around Jesus, I don’t think anyone truly believed before actually seeing (Luke 24:1-12). I think Jesus was making a general statement that the Church, who would for the most part be called upon to believe by faith alone would be the most blessed of any group of believers. According to my understanding of the Church’s destiny, that certainly will turn out to be the case.