Jesus was crucified between two thieves
- We don’t know their names, just their crimes.
They heard Jesus respond to the soldiers who were crucifying Him: “Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)
The Roman Centurion who witnessed the crucifixion said, “Surely He was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:54)
These two criminals show the great contrast: (Lk. 23:32-43)
- One bitter, resentful, blaming God, unrepentant
- One fearing God, humble, defending Christ
There are 6 truths about gaining eternal life:
1. There are no second chances after death
to accept Christ:
There comes a point when it is too late to repent:
- Death -“It is appointed for men to die once, and after this comes judgment.” (Heb 9:27 NASB)
- Hardened Heart (Ex. 9:34-10:1)
2. There is no such place as Purgatory
Purgatory (Cleansing Place) was thought to be a place where souls go after death to be cleansed of small sins that prevent them from immediate entrance into heaven
- The concept of purgatory is not from the Bible,
it is from a non-biblical book - 2 Maccabees.
- The prayers or indulgences for loved ones who have died = 0 merit from God’s perspective
- Christ’s atoning sacrifice was for the whole world for all time (past, present and future) (1 John 2:2)
3. Being a good person has no value in salvation
- The man on the cross was a robber.
- He had no ability to pay back his debt.
- The thief had no time to do good works or to be a good person – he was dying with in hours.
- Being baptized does not count toward salvation.
“All our good works are as filthy rags.” (Isaiah 64:6)
4. Humility before a holy God is important
Notice how respectful one robber is toward Christ. (Lk. 23:40)
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (Jam 4:6)
5. Acknowledgement of your personal sin is critical
Personal ownership for your behavior/choices (Lk. 23:41)
“Each of us will give an account of himself to God.”
Q) Who killed Jesus?
___Roman soldiers, ___Jews, ___You, ___Me
6. Acting in faith in Christ …… salvation:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works, do that no one can boast.” (Eph. 2:8-9)
“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” (Rom. 10:9 -10)
Jesus said to the robber with faith, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
Christ granted salvation due to his faith, not his good deeds
“Be with Me in paradise” (The dwelling place of God)
Q) If you died today, would you go to be with God?
Q) On what basis?