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A Prayer and a Promise (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2021 4:00 am

A Prayer and a Promise (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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March 23, 2021 4:00 am

A free gift brings joy to some of us, but not everyone reacts the same way. Our differences become especially clear when it comes to God’s gift of salvation. Learn about two completely different responses to God’s grace on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Not all of us react the same way when someone offers us a gift. And that's particularly evident when it comes to God's gift of salvation today on Truth for Life. Alister big teaches us about two drastically different ways we can respond to God's grace were in Luke chapter 23 focus this morning is on the two words that records flies here as spoken by Jesus from the cross. One is a prayer in verse 34 and the other is a promise that comes in verse 43. First of all, in verse 34 Jesus said, father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.

Presumably that had gone somehow or another on one of these two criminals. The one to whom, in verse 43 the promise is given the promise is given in response to his request. In verse 42 will come to that Focus on this gentleman for a moment if we may what was it that hinges this tenderness in the heart of somebody was clearly fairly hard-bitten criminal what you say.

Must've been healing Jesus prayer. Jesus is just great father forgive them and must obstruct good that's good.

What is he the only one known both of them had so they both hear the same words of Christ and the respond husband and wife attending praising Parkside routinely hearing the same sentence.

Both hearing the same words one walking. I say I don't buy that. A tall, the other walking.

I would say I believe I know not how the spirit moves convincing men and women of said and revealing Jesus through the word, and creating faith in him. I don't know how it happens, the wind blows where it will hear the sound on it. You can't tell where it's coming from. You don't really know what it's going so say Jesus is everyone who is born of the Spirit of God is a ministry and this is not a mechanism is not an evangelical process. This man doesn't fit this man's conversion doesn't fit the standard package doesn't the things you told to do in the way you're supposed to get there and the things you're supposed to understand all the mechanism this fellow does it all wrong. The first criminal regarding the cross is at hundred action. He was with the crowd. If this Messiah was genuine. He would be on the cross. The second criminal so the cross is a confirmation because he's on the cross, he must be the Savior. Remember we said last time that the attitude of the first fellow was essentially in the cage, and many people's response today. It if you get me out of my guy lamb I'll believe in you. You get me off this cross I'll become your follower. I have a problem. I have a guy lamb.

I felt need deal with my felt need and I will follow you save yourself and save us pretty routine is normal was God ever done for me something for me out of the sun overhead.

Why should I believe in him. After all, isn't today Pearl Harbor day. You know that my great uncle died out there. You see the atrocity about how my supposed to believe in a God that allows these kind of things is what we listen to all the time. It's a perfectly understandable question is a very story conclusion. The second man you see, he now realizes that his predicament is different from what the two of them formerly thought it will hang on across, not in sync. General problem can we do but listen to this. We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. He says to his friend, but this man has done nothing wrong. It's remarkable is that how somebody in the final stages of their life should be processing information so well.

I wonder did he mean by this.

You know this is what supposed to happen to you if your arrival and of the state. This is supposed to happen to you if you're a terrorist is that many say you know this man. It doesn't done anything. The charges against him were trumped up charges against eyes were legitimate. Therefore, it is legitimate that we die is illegitimate, that he diving is probably deeper than that. I think it's a push condition came to shop this individual who was an opponent of the state would still do it all over again.

His sense of zealous rebellion against the Roman authorities was so strong I think and I can verify this but I'm going to find them and look for and finally one day in heaven. I'm going to ask him when you said to your friend on the cross we are getting what we deserve.

Where are you referring to the punishment of role or where are you referring to the punishment that your sins does. I think that's what he gets this has done and we deserve to die. Yeah but you see that's where people get off the blast in the conversation he will save me all the time will do we have to go there.

Alister, I mean that's what I dislike about religion.

They tell me I don't like that sort of religious idea of admitting your guilt and being deserving of a punishment.

I don't like that I don't like to think of God like that and that's why I don't like religion Icelandic spiritual but not religious but my dear friends, that is actually not the response on religion. The response of religion is represented in the story to Jesus and told Erling a bike in chapter 18 sets it up by saying to some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else. Jesus told him the story you see religion makes people confident in themselves. Religion makes people stand up on chairs and looked down on everybody else. Religion is epitomized by the response of these religious fantasies, a Pharisee who welcomes Jesus to his all and can't understand why Jesus would deal with the sinful woman wife because religion thinks that God responds positively to people when they do good stuff and this lady had done a lot of bad stuff and if this man was really a Messiah on the site of organized religion. Why would you give any time to this lady, shouldn't he know we shouldn't of heresy understand. So the religious approaches is actually I like to tell you today what I've done.

I'm a member of the Rotary club and I have been given quite consistently to the United Way over the years, I give my children a very good education and none of them have any data tall and frankly have done a wonderful job God is. I'm sure very pleased with me II actually regard the things that I've done of sufficient import to feel that he owes me a few favors ask religion is also epitomized in the other story Jesus told them about the two brothers. One window into a far country, and made a royal hash of thing came back up the road a sorry mess met by his father whole new outfit shower party factor cath intestate dancing, jumping around great hilarity elder brother about hearing the music calls a sermon says once the hullabaloo was as a sermon, I'm glad to be the one to report it to great use. Your brother is back. It was launched is found dead July I remember what it says in the elder brother refused to go in here I been slaving all these years. This fellow goes away, spends all the inheritance blows it out completely in a far country. He comes back and we have a I you all the time I got up I have no time for the God father like that.

No, I want a God who rewards the slaves who rewards the religious I don't want a God who forgives the center see a man or a woman cannot and will not come to Christ until they reckon with this personally. The first criminal essentially makes a demand upon Jesus for what he thinks he deserves the second criminal makes a request to Jesus for what he knows he doesn't. This let me say that to you again because on this hinges the difference between believing faith and religious hopefulness. The first individual makes a demand upon Jesus for what he believes he deserves second individual makes a request of Jesus for what he knows he doesn't Augustus talk lady puts it masterfully doesn't make nothing in my hand I bring in simply to your cross I cling and make it come to you for addressing helpless come to you for rest and either follow one to your fountain fly. I want you to Washington. Jesus or I'll die. As I said you this man's transformation comes in a very special way does not look at his request. Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom calls him by name, Jesus, and you will give him the name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.

Jesus, remember me. I was a man saying well. Presumably he's processing the information. If this man is the Messiah of any skinny fees came.

He's going to have a kingdom, and finally when he gets his kingdom going and perhaps you will remember me at that point Jesus replies wonderful.

I just deal with paradise very quickly. Paradise don't go away home and try and figure out where everything is. Paradise is a garden when Persian kings bestowed on her. They made an individual, a companion of the garden so that for example the agreed hanging Gardens of Babylon, which would be off-limits to the general populace would become accessible to those who are made companions of the garden. Not only can they visit the garden. They could also visit the garden in the company of the King of the King would be the companion all this individual within the garden, I would on time to work this out.

We go back to Genesis 3 and Adam and Eve were safely in the garden they were in the company of God, their Creator sin enters in the world and they are banished from the garden and the cherubim with flaming swords, God the way to the tree of life that is now no longer access to God back down that same road the whole of the Bible then points forward to a day when someone will come as it will reopen entry to the God to read about in the store and correct. Jesus says to this individual. I know that what you're thinking about is some unspecified time in the future, but I'm going to tell you about an immediate reality.

You see, the emphasis here.

I don't think is on the place the emphasis is on the timing. Jesus is in simply affirming the fight in this man and all the others who call on him in faith will go to heaven when they die. That's okay, but is not great, that's kinda good, but is not great. Remember in the death of Lazarus. When Jesus Is Making His Way, Lazarus is now dead. He's in the tomb and his sister comes in Jesus you know if you've shown up in time, we would have to deal with it. And Jesus says you should worry about this because Lazarus will rise from the dead. Remember what she said while I know that Lazarus will rise in the last day, but I still held to me right now. I want my brother back. I know that is very meek, kingdom, and I know you get to be there in the end, but is today.

What about today and see Jesus. Jesus is good on today we can do with this either but you will like to look.

Chapter 4, he read from the prophecy of Isaiah and descended to bring good news to the poor healing of sight to the blind, and so on. And then he did the scroll back to the attendant and he sat down. Remember we said this was pivotal to our understanding of Luke and the eyes of the synagogue fastened on him.

What would he say what was the first word out of his mouth today. That's right. You got it right. Go to the top of the class he says to the day. This Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing, not in some remote future. I'm the king. The kingdoms here. Remember when Zacchaeus up the tree needs Jesus comes down all conversation Jesus comes out on the porch was the first word out of his mouth. Today finally got it this time. Water group tremendous today this Scripture is fulfilled today salvation has come to this house today you will be with me in paradise today. Not in some remote future receipt. This implies the immediate consciousness of the dead following their passage from this life, so my purpose to teach on this this morning and noticed where it sends us. If the dead are unconscious, then the assurance that Jesus gives to this criminal that he would be with Christ, after he dies, is actually empty of any consolation at all. What good is that somehow or another in a remote future in some far-off place after I've been sleeping in the ground for 5000 years. I finally wake up and didn't realize I been asleep for 5000 years and then on here I am in the presence of Jesus.

I cannot like that but I don't like the idea of anesthetic that lasts for hundreds and hundreds of years and then they bring you out in the recovery room.

Jesus doesn't teach that does it remember me, Lord, when you get the kingdom thing going today. This why do you think it is better such an emphasis on today in the why do you think it is the Scripture say today is the day of salvation. Because God views in the immediate he deals in the now and this day this very day is a day of salvation for those who will believe you see John 17 Jesus prays father I I I one of those you have given me to be with. Ephesians 2 Paul says to them, and here's the wonderful things God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with so Jesus says to this matter.

I can do far better than than hook you up in a remote future today. He says you'll be in my company in the place of security and in the place of bliss that in a few sentences. Let me wrap it up the prayer and the promise go together. Forgiveness is possible because Jesus came and took our place. He was on the cross in the place of sinners in order that we might be in his place. He took what we deserve in order that we might get what he describes. He hanged naked in order that we might wear royal robes.

We don't deserve in this righteousness from God comes through faith in Christ Jesus to all who believe. Believe massacres are close do you believe do you believe this righteousness from God in Christ comes to all who believe the faith not of a religious hopeful but the faith of a trusting son PS well I had these feelings long ago in a much younger. In my life. I'm an older chap. Now that I'm an older woman now. I think I've really left it too late while you you're not as late as this category. The other gospel writers tell us that this fellow was actually in cahoots with the first fellow a in the past hour doing tomorrow to get together was coming of Jesus in stereo. The Messiah get is off the cross, who you think you are, you save yourself and see lots three minutes before this fellow is speaking like now he sets Jesus number me. The point words in the mouth of the central character in his poem the character who dies falling headlong from a horse.

The point gives in these words betwixt the spirit and the ground now see I asked never see I found my dear friends, there is nothing like this in all of religion.

It is foolishness to the religious hopeful. It is rubbish to the cynic but to the one who believes in his power of God. CS Lewis said I believe in Christianity in the same way that I believe in the rising of the sun, not simply because I can see it, but because by I can see everything else properly. It's that kind of transformation. What a prayer promise. What an opportunity when we put our trust in Christ.

When we believe the gospel gives us a new perspective on everything from today's message titled a prayer and the promise on Truth for Life with Alister bag. Please keep listening.

Alastair will be back in just a minute to close with prayer. You may recall that Alister ask a very straightforward question today, namely, do you believe that's the most important question any of us will ever answer if you'd like to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to believe the gospel can watch a brief video that's on a website.

It's called the story you can find it when you go to Truth for story and whether you're new to learning about Jesus or you been following Christ for a long time, you will benefit greatly from a book or recommending as a supplement to today's study. The book is called the cross in four words. This book explores all that Jesus accomplished on the cross. It takes us deep into four redemptive themes that are predicted in the Old Testament, and then fulfilled on the cross leave and discover how the Old Testament books all the way back to Exodus and Leviticus foreshadow the provision God made for our salvation through Jesus. The cross in four words is easy to read. It's a relatively brief book which will find that the connections it makes between the old and New Testament are tremendously helpful. You learn more about God's plan for our salvation, from the very beginning. Requester copy of the cross in four words when you give a gift to Truth for Life today you find the book on a mobile app or you can find by visiting Truth for or if you'd prefer, you can call 888-588-7884. Now let's join Alister as he closes today in prayer father come to our hearts this morning, especially those of us who are amongst the group of the religious hopeful's feeling that we haven't really done the homework or put in the time and yet maybe there's just a possibility that will get through because everyone else is in the same boat. The teachers going to graders on the car. I don't know how good we would have to be to be good enough for you and if we could be ever good enough then why would Jesus die thing is Lord into the realm of the trusting sinner into the remember me group into believing faith help us as we gaze afresh upon your cross to be ready to give our life's away. We pray in Christ, then from Bob Lapine. Thanks for listing sure to join us again tomorrow as Alister continues teaching from Luke's gospel will explain how Jesus death is different from any other death in human history, the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by Truth for Life with the learning is for

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