Preaching from Alan Cole with the virtual service led by Nathan Gordon.
The Bible contains only one example of a deathbed conversion that no one may lose hope, but only one so that no one may presume they can delay a decision. Some think they are too bad to be saved, others believe they are good enough for heaven as they are. But in His conversations with the dying thieves on the cross, Jesus lays out the way to redemption.
(I) Repentance. We are punished justly for our sins (v41) The first step is to acknowledge our guilt through the prompting of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and to realise that we need a Saviour. See John 16:8, Romans 3:10&23; Luke 18:13.
(2) Recognition. This man has done nothing wrong (v42) The thief recognised Jesus as the sinless Son of God and the only one through whom he could find eternal life in heaven – Jesus’ kingdom. See Acts 4:12; John 14:6.
(3) Redemption. Lord remember me when you come into your kingdom (v42) As soon as the thief put his trust in Jesus his sins were forgiven and his place in heaven was assured. See 1 John 1:9; Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13
(4) Reformation. The dying thief did not have the opportunity to live a changed life, but faith in Jesus can give us joy and peace, a desire to pray and study the scripture and to do good to others. See Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:22-23.
(5) Reward. Today you will be with me in paradise (v43). This verse teaches us that the Christian will go to heaven immediately on death. Heaven will be a wonderful place, and Jesus offers us a free ticket. See John 14:6; Revelation 22:1&2.
- What do you consider are the most significant events in your Christian life?
- What do you understand by the word “repentance” in the Bible? Why do people find repentance so difficult? See John 8:11; Galatians 5:16-26.
- Consider the other people present at the cross. What were their different reactions to Jesus? See Luke 23:32-51.
- To redeem means to buy back. What does redemption mean for the Christian? See Colossians 1:19-23.
- Christianity has sometimes been accused of being “pie in the sky when you die” What are the main rewards of being a Christian in this life?
Sermon Title: When are we beyond redemption?
Bible Reading: Luke 23:32-43
Preacher: Alan Cole
Worship Leader: Nathan Gordon