Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This is the 1st sermon in the Easter Series "The Three Crosses."

Sunday Morning April 6, 2003 Bel Aire Baptist Church

Series: The Three Crosses [Easter Series]#1


Luke 23:39-41


1. When we think of Calvary, we only think of the cross of Christ. We must remember there were three crosses at Calvary. There are three great truths about death and sin to be seen here. On each cross was a man who died in a different way toward sin. Two of these crosses represent one of two ways in which you will choose to die in relation to sin. There on Calvary this morning we see a cross representing every person who chooses not to come to Christ.

2. This is the cross of the rejecting thief. He chose to die in his sin. But you say, "How can anyone so close to Christ choose to die in his sin"? With Christ a few feet away and ready to forgive, how could a man die in sin? If you died now without Christ as your Savior you would die as surely in your sin as did this thief. Christ is as available to you and as ready to forgive as He was to this man, and yet like him, you have thus far chosen to die in sin! Why?

3. All people who die in their sins do so for the same reasons.

Death in sin comes...

Because Of Unbelief

Luke 23:39 (The Message)

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: "Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!"

1. This criminal simply did not believe Jesus was who He said He was. If He was He would get them all down from those crosses.

2. Unbelief rejects the saving power of Christ. To this criminal Jesus was just another guy. He might have been a good teacher or a good person, but He was not the Messiah. If He was the Messiah He would save them and Himself. To this thief, Jesus obviously didn’t have the power to save them or He would.

3. Unbelief also questions the claims of Christ. The thief was saying, "If you want me to believe you, you must prove your claims by freeing us from these crosses". The thief wanted Christ to save his life, but he had no concern for his soul or sorrow for his sins. We want Jesus to do something big so that we will believe; while completely overlooking the fact that He cannot improve on what He has done. He died on a cross and arose from the grave all for us. He has paid the price in full! There is nothing left for Him to do to save us. It is done!

Death in sin comes...

Because Of Unconcern

Luke 23:39 (The Message)

One of the criminals hanging alongside cursed him: "Some Messiah you are! Save yourself! Save us!"

1. The thief cursed Christ. God sent His only begotten Son to the cross for us so that we would not have to spend all of eternity in Hell; but many are angered by the claims of Jesus and refuse to surrender to Him.

2. The thief was unconcerned about anything except himself. This thief could care less that Jesus had done nothing wrong, yet was being punished just like he was being punished.

3. Satan is a master at blinding people to the truth. Many people believe that because God is such a loving God that He will just let everybody into Heaven, so why go through all of this stupid junk. Others believe that when we die, that is it. Others believe that they are so bad that it is too late for them anyhow.

Death in sin comes...

Because Of Justice

Luke 23:40-41 (The Message)

But the other one made him shut up: "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."

1. The thieves were receiving what they deserved for their sins. The thieves had no reason to complain. The laws of Justice were in action. They chose to die as thieves. When you choose to live in sin, you choose to die in sin.

2. The just punishment for sin is death.

Romans 6:23 (The Message)

Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.

3. The result of sin will happen.

Galatians 6:7 (The Message)

Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest.


1. If you are here this morning and you have not personally surrendered your life to Jesus Christ you are bound for eternal suffering and separation from God for all of eternity. This is what will happen if you die in your sins.

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