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April 10, 2019 3:00 am
Through the years I have been fascinated by the various stories about Emperor Bonaparte through the years I've kind of collected stories about human. One story that will illustrated what I am about to bring you in this message took place while the Emperor was reviewing his troops in the middle of his review. His horse bolted and literally were threatening to herald him to the ground and immediately a private in the French army jumped out of his troops out of his ranks and calm the animal down, and thus saving literally the Emperor from embarrassment to end the when that happened, the Emperor looked at the private then he said to him, he said thank you Capt. and the man smiled and looked at him and he said of what regiments or is it of my garden. Of course, as he dashed down the line. The private now turn Capt. immediately assumed his rank among the officers, he left his troops in the winter with the offices and when the officer saw him there were so appalled that he would dare to look like them and be part of them would be among them. And one of them asked, what is this insulin private doing here and the newly promoted private said I am the captain of the guard, and the officer said you rascal you just a private who makes you think that your Capt. The young man pointed to Bonaparte probably and said he said it he said it, upon which the officer apologized and is it a bigger pardon, sir.
I was not aware of your promotion. Now this private most likely did not feel like a captain certainly was not wearing a captain's uniform insignia did not say he was a captain. All he was going by, is the word of the Emperor and that was enough. I remember one time I got into a deep debate for over two hours with a clergyman from the mainline denominations and he is one of those people who have believed and taught that it is absolute arrogance to say that to be sure that the moment you close your eyes and death that you will be in heaven. There are so many churchgoers today who think that it is prideful that it is arrogant to be sure that when you die you don't have and they think you think that you're good enough for God so many churchgoers today. If you asked them if you died today. Would you be absolutely sure that you will go to heaven there will say I hope so there will say I am trying hard there was say I am working hard. I am doing my best under all social charitable work. I am hoping that all of my good work will overwhelm my bad deeds and I am just putting hope against hope that I'll make it there addition. Sadly that is not Christianity. It's neopaganism invaded the church. The only reason a believer is assured that he or she will go to heaven. The moment they close their eyes, and death is because Jesus said it, that is really the title of my message it is because God promised heaven to all confessing repentant people. It is because God's grace is given freely to everyone who would come to him in humility and in faith believing in him obeying him. We do good work, but not so that we may be accepted by God our good work is I in gratitude and thanksgiving that he had accepted us. That's what the good work of believers all about. He said that's enough. Our Emperor said it Lord said, our Savior set up our commander-in-chief center and because he said it, that's enough. One of the clearest evidence of what I'm talking about here is found in Jesus's second statement from the cross.
In the last message we examine the first statement from the cross as Jesus was suspended between heaven and earth was a cry to the father. Father forgive them for they know not what they're doing. That first statement that Jesus made in the midst of his indescribable agony was a prayer from God the son God the father, and here the second statement from the cross is a prayer from a repentant sinner, God the son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This criminal who hung on the cross next to Jesus said to him, Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom except simple turn with me to Luke chapter 23.
Please as we look at that passage together a very short passage, Luke 23 beginning of verse 39, one of the criminals who hung there heralded insults at him, aren't you the Christ, save yourself and us. But the other criminal rebuked him, don't you feel God, he said, since you are under the same sentence we are punished justly, for we are getting what deeds deserve. But this man he had done nothing wrong and then he said Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom and Jesus answered him, I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise. Father in the name of Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit, open spiritual eyes and ears today so that your name be glorified, for it is in that name of Jesus I pray, amen. This is the last conversation, possibly the briefest conversation that our Lord had before he died was somebody we know he had long conversations with Nicodemus have long conversations with the Samaritan woman had long conversations with others, but this is the briefest of them all, and was the last one before he died. In fact, all four Gospels record the fact that Jesus was crucified between two criminals. Some have said that this was the Romans way of marking Jesus, who claimed to be the king as if to tell him here's your court. Jesus two criminals but really the reason for that goes much deeper.
It is in fulfillment of what the Old Testament said about the Messiah for the book of Isaiah 53 tells us that when Isaiah was prophesying of the coming of the Messiah. He said that he will be numbered with his transgressors and yet ultimately this scenario here at the cross. This incident revealed to us the entire Christian faith in a capsule.
It is the entire gospel in a miniature form is or how come being crucified between criminals who had two different reactions to him represents two ways that men and women have reacted to Jesus for 2000 years below the limit tell you something. The ACLU is not the first group of people who wanted to stamp out the name of Jesus from public life. The ACLU is not the first group of people who wanted to move the crosses from public I these types of folks have been in existence for 2000 years beginning on the cross of Jesus. There were two men to reactions and responses include different internal destinations. This is what the cross is all about. The cross divides. I know there are some people out there anxious to give Jesus a good marketing format they want to make him palatable. We want to make him acceptable.
They want to make him respectable, but the reality is the cross of Christ divides those who accept and those who reject both of these men represent all of humanity.
Both are equally near Christ, both saw and heard what had taken place in the last six hours that they both were dying men.
They both were suffering acute physical pain.
Both were sinners in need of forgiveness. Yet one died in his sin and ended up in eternal judgment and the other one died forgive and justified before God the father and with the paradise. The word criminal here in the Greek is really in some of your translations is fee for robber but really does not do… Does not mean that the word actually means a criminal. In fact, it means that there were zealots there were revolutionaries that these two men were plotting to overthrow the Roman authority. Obviously, because Romans did not crucify petty thieves or criminals or muggers that the only crucified those who were accused of being disloyal to Caesar. Both men knew who Jesus was, but the unrepentant one said you are the Christ, don't you literally hear the cries don't you wanted to save yourself and save us almost in those words you feel the depth of bitterness in this man's voice eat. You can since his hit it's it's it's the words of a rejected lover. It's a word of a disappointed and angry person whose hopes and been dashed in dreams been destroyed like Judas Iscariot. They probably were revolutionaries that were zealots and therefore the Jesus is going to fulfill their political ambitions. They hope that Jesus was going to help their career ambitions that Jesus would fulfill their national dream that Jesus would fulfill the hope of being liberated from Rome that Jesus would do that but now as I see him on the cross those hopes and dreams have been shattered. In no the people who are the most bitter toward God. The people who really have an intense hatred and anger with God are the very people who have asked God to do something for them.
And when God did not deliver exactly what they wanted when they wanted, they become toward God. So they spend their life on the one hand, they deny his existence. On the other hand, fighting him often wonder how the atheist can really live with themselves and the cosmos fighting somebody they say doesn't exist. Bless our hearts for doesn't exist while you're fighting. Listen to me.
He's the thing that breaks one's heart, because he sees that he never saw God or experienced him as a loving father who cares for his children. They never understood they never experienced him as a loving father who cares for every single detail in the life of the children they know him as the man upstairs who company when they need something and when they don't get it.
They get angry with him a beloved.
Don't forget that while the first man was reviling.
Jesus saw was the second man they both were reviling Jesus. According to Matthew and Mark. They both reviled here. But something happened to that second man, something happened that changes lives. Something happened to change his heart. Obviously he heard the first statement the Jesus may when he said father forgive them for they know not what they're doing and he never heard this before.
For those who are being crucified often curse their Christian fires not for Dave and that's something new to him and he transformed his life. Those words transformed him from being reviled toilet printer from being a data to a believer from being a bitter skeptic to a follower of Christ, someone might ask what are the evidence that this man was really repentant plenty plenty of evidence. Let me give you at least five first he was deeply concerned about his comrade's compatriots. His blasphemy against God, and he began to rebuke him. Secondly he acknowledged his own sin. And thirdly, he confessed Christ's innocence that he was a righteous man.
Fourthly, he stepped out in faith and acknowledged Jesus's power to save him. Even though Christ was hanging helplessly on the cross next to him and fifthly he acknowledges that Jesus is the only way to heaven, he said to his comrade in arms, he said man you're about to face God and you're going to end your life with blasphemy and bonus toward God. These two comrades east to fellow zealots there. There were bodies, there were no drinking buddies that were golfing buddies that were there were bodies that that that an apostle reviling Jesus until one turns his life over to Jesus and become saved my beloved people today say the name of Jesus is controversial and I agree, of course, is controversial because he see the name of Jesus is rebuke in his attribute for everyone who thinks that he don't need a Savior in his attribute for everyone who thinks that they can save themselves. It is up rebuke, for everyone who lives our lives in a foggy ambiguity is rebuke, for everyone who lives our lives in relativism and existentialism it's rebuke, for everyone who claims that their life of sin is noble and an alternate lifestyle. It is a review for everyone who is filled with pride of self so rebuke.
That's why it's controversial and veritably I get invited to pray at one of those public events and I say no you know that the I only pray in the name of Jesus. For without praying in the name of Jesus, a prayer is not worth half a hallelujah who Dr. Yusuf you know that's a very controversial name. Don't you know that all yes I do but I don't find somebody else because I'm going to do it. Jesus said whatever you asked the father in my name's in the name of Jesus. See our world, just like that scenario at Golgotha. It really is, is made up of two kinds of people, those who revile Jesus and use his name as a swearword and a curse word and those who love him. Those who reject him and those who welcome him, those who crowded him out of the life and have no time for him and those who trust them for everything in the life those who are empty and they come to him empty so that they may be filled and those who feel they don't need him. It is those who want to be saved by him and cry out in size, save me and those who tried to save themselves. Two types of people you find them everywhere you go. This man said remember me remember me, as I said remember me ask you this. Did he say remember my good works that is a Jesus.
I remember my good intentions. Did he say remember my sincerity did he say remember my political activities.
I remember my family heritage knothole on the said remember me in your kingdom. I know that you are kidding.
Even though you're hanging next to me helplessly on that cross because you carry my sins. I know that you the King of glory, even though you are paying for the penalty of my sins. I know that you are the king of kings and Lord of lords. Even though you're carrying my sins on the cross. In other words you say have mercy on me, have mercy on me limited. Some thinks if anyone would come to Jesus and say Lord Jesus, have mercy on me. I can tell you he never, never, never, never, never, never, never, Hammond and Evers of Acer. Never, never, never, never reject you. He will always give mercy possesses promise. He keeps his word, the famous astronomer Copernicus. His last prayer was as follows. I don't ask for the grace you gave some Paul nor can I dare ask for the grace you granted some. But the mercy you did shorten the dying rubber that mercy showed to me. This man did not asked Jesus to save him from the cross. Like the other one did all but he prayed for something far greater. This man understood that life on earth with a be 50 years or 100 years is going to end, but the life that really counts is a life that is going to be live forever and ever and ever and ever. Beyond the grave and that is why you sit there and remember me when you come into your kingdom.
This man understood that that's really the life that really counts in on the day of crucifixion. Don't ever forget that all of Jesus's disciples fled except for John that the government prosecuted and rejected Jesus, that the organized religion repudiated Jesus, that the crowd than the mob that revile Jesus but this man said, have mercy on me, Jesus, remember me in your kingdom.
My beloved friend. This is the only way that you can get into Jesus is heaven and don't ever forget that the reason heaven is heaven is because Jesus is there is only reason why is called heaven. It is Jesus is heaven, he presides over his heaven. He's in charge of his heaven. He is the King of heaven and you see what happens.
The movies Hollywood and the media and the culture and even some preachers and some churches have sold us a bill of goods they have given us a lot of deception that told people that everyone when they die they go to heaven.
That is alive from the pit of hell that is false is untrue is a deception. I want you to think with me whether you agree with me and I just wanted to think okay. Just think with.
Imagine somebody live the life here rejecting Jesus one nothing to do with him.
But then the so when the guys going to go to heaven.
How if he didn't couldn't stand Jesus here on earth as you live his life for eternity. Bowing to Jesus loving Jesus, worshiping Jesus, singing the praises of him that's what heaven is all about. You know what to them. Heaven would be hell because it rejected him while on this earth.
That is why weep tears because I don't want anybody at the sound of my voice would end up in that place. What about those channels will come on television until the bereaved family since all the loved ones in a wonderful place of all the all in the places for they are deceivers and demon possessed in both because that is just not true. Those who have rejected Christ that far from being a wonderful place there in a miserable place, a place that was described by Jesus himself who created all the world who created heaven and earth, who created all of the galaxies. He said that place. When he told us the story of the rich man and Lazarus is. It is so place of torment or place of pain and I don't say that with any joy in my heart. Trust me. The man couldn't even stand up for a few seconds and wanted to get out when you couldn't get out as it will please send Lazarus back from the dead because my brothers I don't want to come here please him arrived. Jesus came from heaven, so that he may save everyone who would believe in him.
Everyone who trust him for salvation and he assures us this repentant criminal. He assures him.
He said today you shall be with me in paradise. What is that paradise wrote the words that used to mean a garden, a beautiful garden factors used, to describe the garden of Eden, and it is a place that the Bible said where all the Old Testament saints. The Old Testament believers. Abraham, Jacob, and I all those who put trusted by faith in the coming of the Messiah. There were there in that place in paradise. And that's were Lazarus and the story of Lazarus and the rich man went and was a place of waiting there waiting for Jesus to come and redeem them and dial the cross and rise again, and that is why when Jesus died, he went to Paradise and there he declared his Lordship that he declared his power over death and he took all of the Old Testament saints, and he took them all to heaven with him and then he came and rose again on the third day so that he might tell the New Testament believers that he lives that he lives that he lives that he lives forever and everyone who believe in him is going to live with him. A man. This man didn't get to be baptized didn't get a chance to be baptized in your chest for communion. All these wonderful things that we do in order that we might be reminded of what Jesus did on the cross, a covenant of baptism which we entered into today. The communion which we celebrate on a regular basis. These are things for us to remember. But this man didn't have to go through a lot of hoops. He made it straight into heaven by the grace of Jesus.
And that's the only way you and I can ever make it to heaven is by the grace of Jesus.
Have you experience a grace.
Have you ever come to him and say father forgive me, remember me, and then began to walk with him in obedience. The only way we're gonna make it to heaven is because he said it so only way that we can make it to have. Not because we're good enough for God, and no one is good enough for God except Jesus is the only perfect one is by the grace of God will make it to heaven by order and the promise of King Jesus because Jesus said it. Jesus did not say to this man today you going to be with me in an intermediary place or today. Are you going to be with me in a halfway house where you gonna be paying dues then you get yourself out of their and if your family work hard them out when I get you out of the night and said there's no waiting place. There's no waiting places it today. Go be with me in paradise. Today you going to be what I today today this moment Paul said when I close my eyes and death in the presence of Jesus. And that is why we don't agree. Even we don't whale we don't sorta like those who have no hope.
Why, because we know that the moment they close their eyes and death. They are immediately in the presence of Jesus because he said it.
We conclude this today by sharing something with you that I read many years ago on the reader to I send and straightaway posthaste. Satan flew before the presence of the most high God in mid air railing accusations.
There, he said this soul, this thing of clay and sod has sinned to strew that he has named the name but I demand his death, for thou hast said the soul that sins, it shall die, shall not die sentence be fulfilled is justice dead sin.
Now this Richard sinner to his doom. What other thing: righteous ruler to and thus he did accuse me day or night and every word he spoke of God was true then quickly one rose up from God's right hand, before whose glory Angels veil derives he spoke each jot and tittle of the law must be fulfilled and guilty sinners dies. But wait, supposes guilt were all transformed to me and I paid this penalty behold my hands my side of my feet. One day I was made sin for him, and died that he might be presented faultless at thy throne, and Satan fled away full well he knew that he could not prevail against such love for every word, my dear Lord spoke was true.
Now, my beloved friends how to know where you are only you do can you ask yourself this question. If I close my eyes, and death. Today would be in heaven say no I'm not really sure you can be today. You can be today is what the Christian faith is all about. If you say well I sometimes I feel I am sometimes I don't ask you this. You love Jesus belonging your heart to obey him. Do you want to spend time with him and his word disease of the human indicators for you so I'm not sure what is how you can be sure that if you have never come to him and cried from us. This is a place to do this is the time to do it. Thanks for listening to this message from Dr. Michael. You sat recently featured on leading the way.
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