Summary: *4 key questions to help you be sure you are saved.

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Be Sure You Are Saved

Luke 23:33-46

Sermon by Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church - May 20, 2007

*I recently ran across some alarming statements from several well-known pastors and evangelists.

-Billy Graham once said that 75-85% of church members are lost.

-Vance Havner estimated that over 65% of church members are lost.

-R.A. Torrey estimated that "only about 10% of church members are saved."

*Bill Bright founded Campus Crusade and was vital in spreading the Jesus Movie. In 1984, Bill Bright said, "Over 50% of the 85 million people in church this morning have never been born again."

*And Dr. J. Harold Smith said, "75% of people that attend church won’t make it to heaven. I won’t be afraid to say 80% won’t make it." (1)

*No one but God really knows how many church members are lost, but these men, much better men than me, were greatly concerned.

*In 2 Corin 13:5 Paul told us to examine ourselves as to whether we are in the faith. “Prove yourselves,” Paul said. In other words: Be sure you are saved.

*The thief on the Cross can help us, because we know for sure that he was saved, and God wants us to be sure.

1. But have you come under conviction for your sins?

*Only one of the thieves crucified with Jesus came under conviction for his sins.

-We see the evidence in vs. 39-41:

39. Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, "If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.’’

40. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?

41. "And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.’’

*The thief who was saved saw his sinfulness. There on the cross, he had a total transformation of his heart, and seeing his sinfulness was a big part of the process.

*He wasn’t always this way. A little while before, his heart was just as hard as the thief who railed on Jesus in vs. 39. Matthew 27 tells us that both of the thieves started out with that kind of venom.

*David Jeremiah described the scene in part this way.

-“Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.”

(Matt 27:44)

*[Crucified], dying, muscles quivering, lungs gasping, arms being pulled from sockets, memories seared, minds clouded by pain, these two embittered thieves squandered their last moments by joining their executioners in reviling the only Perfect Man who ever lived.

-Then at noon one thief had a change of heart.

*One thief cursed Him: “Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!”

*But the other thief said: “Have you no fear of God? You’re getting the same as him. We deserve this, but not him. He did nothing to deserve this”

*Cursing God, cursing the Romans, cursing the Jews, one of the thieves cursed his way into a Christless eternity. What a glimpse of the depravity of man!

*But [the other] thief had an 11th-hour change of heart.

-[He admitted] his guilt as he hung there next to the Savior. (2)

*Have you come under conviction for your sins? Have you faced your guilt?

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