Temple Baptist Church - 11-16-2008
A. Over the past few weeks, I have been looking at the salvation experiences of some well known Bible characters. These are different people with different backgrounds. These were different circumstances and yet their salvation experiences were all the same. One Saviour and one way to heaven!
B. A lot of people profess salvation today whose professions do not line up with the Scripture. The “god of this world” has certainly blinded the minds of those who believe not!
C. This morning I want to look at one of the most notable conversions found in the New Testament: that of a nameless, condemned thief. Here we find a true death bed profession. Most people who are dying are just too busy dying to trust Christ
D. I believe that some do truly get saved just before they die but, as a general rule, how you lived is how you die!
E. Here we find two thieves who were to die with Christ.
1. One Mocked Christ – vs. 39 He asked Christ to save them and still died lost. A prayer will not save the sinner. Salvation is a heart condition! This thief died unrepentant and lost. His prayer was to save “us.”
2. One Recognized Christ – vs. 40 This thief recognized who Christ was; recognized what he was; and asked for salvation. Vs. 41-42
F. What a bold request! “Lord, remember me!” He was a convicted thief with nothing to offer. He was condemned to death with no reprieve. Helpless, hopeless, he was now to die. He had lived his life for self and now requested salvation?
G. What a glorious reply! “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise!” Our Lord answered his request in the affirmative. I am so glad that we serve a merciful God who does not give us what we deserve. What a wonderful Lord and Saviour is Jesus Christ.
H. Notice that the grace of God extended was singular in number. “Thou.” Why did God save this particular thief?
1. He Saved Him Because He Loved Him! It matters not who you are or what you have done, God loves you. He is truly a Friend of publicans and sinners. He loves me, He loves, He loves me this I know! The Bible tells me so.
John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Titus 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
1 John 4:9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
2. He Saved Him Because He Was Dying For Him! I believe that we are too easy on the damnable doctrine of Calvinism. It is an affront to God Almighty! This doctrine makes God a selfish, unloving, respecter of persons! He is none of these. He is giving, loving, compassionate, and kind to all!
1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for [the sins of] the whole world.
1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
3. He Saved Him To Show The Way Of Salvation!
a. Salvation is not by works - Ephesians 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
b. Salvation is through Christ alone - John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
c. Salvation is a free gift - Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
d. Salvation is for the asking - Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
4. He Saved Him That Men Might Not Despair! Some might say, “It is too late for me.” It was not too late for the thief. Some might say, “I have done too much wrong to be saved.” There is hope in Jesus Christ for even the vilest sinner on his way to his death.
5. He Saved Him That Men Might Not Presume!
a. The Presumption of Salvation - Christ only saved one of the thieves! They presume that they will “slip into heaven” at the last moment.
b. The Presumption of Judgment. That God will not put you in Hell. Most people do not think that they will perish I hell. Bad things always happen to other people.
One thief railed on Christ. “If thou be Christ.”
One Thief wailed to Christ. “Lord, remember me.”
One was nailed for their sin. He was nailed for my sin. He was nailed for yours!