Summary: No Matter where you have been or what you’ve done in life, God still allow U-Turns in our lives if we desire it.
Sermon: “If You’re Headed In The Wrong Direction, God Does
Tonight is New Year’s Eve. This is a night that a lot of the world is celebrating the going out of the old year and the coming in of the New Year. There are mass parties and festivities put in place to help achieve this happy event.
Going back down memory lane I even remember I too was in the celebration of watching the New Year come in.
Let’s keep this thing real. We all weren’t in church on New Year’s Eve. I was at the Haven with my party hat on having a ball. Little did I realize how far in the wrong direction I was.
Now bringing this home to the church, we’re not at the bar, club, or party, but some of us are headed in the wrong direction. Well preacher what are you saying? Well I’m glad that you asked because that brings me to my very first and only point.
Point #1: Instructions on Getting Back To The Right Direction
I want you to go back in your minds to the crucifixion. Preacher, how can you give us some encouragement from the crucifixion? Just give me a minute because I’m going somewhere with this.
On Calvary there were three persons hanging on a cross. There was a thief on the left and one on the right, and Jesus the Christ was hanging in the middle. Now keep in mind that both thieves heard the crowd mocking Jesus about being the Messiah, the Savior of the world.
The thief on the left was unrepentative. His spirit was hard even unto death. He did not believe that Jesus was who he said he was. He was hard and his heart was hard. He insulted Christ with his own words and did not believe he was the man. Luke 23:39 says, One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"
Now he should have been searching to see if Jesus the Christ was who He said He was so that there might be chance of getting saved. His own unbelief caused his heart to be hard. The thief on the left showed enormous hardness of his heart. He even mocked the very thought that Jesus was the Christ.
John 3:16-18 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God”
The thief on the left was already condemned because of his unbelief. He mocked Jesus just like the rest of the crowd.
The thief on the right had sense. He had sense. He was willing to repent. He gives us a picture of true repentance. He demonstrated the steps to salvation and true repentance.
First of all he feared God. Luke 23:40 clearly says, But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don’t you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence?
Secondly He declared that Jesus was righteous. Luke 23:41 says, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.” This was his confession of sins.