Summary: This message is about the two thieves and the choices that each made at the Crucifixion.
Luke 23:32-33 KJV And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.  And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
l. INTRODUCTION -- CHOICES
-Life is full of choices.
-We choose our cars, our homes, our jobs, our classes. We choose to be good employees or poor employees. We choose to be good parents or bad parents. We choose to pay our bills or to allow the collector to come for them. Life is made up of choices.
-Some are not aware of it, but we choose the attitudes that dictate our lives. Our attitudes are not so much based upon our circumstances as they are our choice to either be positive or negative in those circumstances. Success has never been part of the life that is constantly negative.
-The choice of attitude serves up several lessons for us:
• Our attitude determines our approach to life.
• Our attitude determines our relationships with people.
• Our attitude is the only difference between success and failure.
• Our attitude at the beginning of a task will affect the outcome more than anything else.
• Our attitude can turn our problems into blessings.
• Our attitude can give us an uncommonly positive perspective.
• Our attitude is not is not automatically good just because we are filled with the Spirit.
George Moore -- “The difficulty in life is the choice.”
-God chooses what we go through we choose how we go through it.
ll. TWO BROTHERS. . . TWO CHOICES (PP-2)
It very well could have been yesterday that this incident occurred. It was at least 10 years ago, probably 12 or 13 years ago. I walked into Bro. Patterson’s office and found a little box full of books. It was before the office had been remodeled, there were no paneled walls, only cinder block. There were no nice bookshelves that lined the walls as they do now. But in that little box full of books were two books that I can still remember. One was by Alan Redpath entitled The Making of a Man of God, a devotional commentary on the life of David. That is the one that I left in the box because I had a copy of it already. The other was a little book that was a collection of very famous stories. There was dust and cobwebs on it but I dusted it off and I have read through it over the years and these stories always tell far more than what meets the eye. It’s cover is orange and it is written by Paul Aurandt. Just yesterday (8/20/05), I ran across this story again that I am about to relate to you.
The story is told of two brothers. One of them would carry a letter to the grave that could have set the record straight, but I will tell you about that later.
There was a man whose name was Edwin Thomas, a master of the stage (PP-3). During the latter half of the 1800’s, this small man with a huge voice had few rivals. Debuting in Richard lll at the age of fifteen, he found unrivalled success with his abilities to act out the great dramas of Shakespeare. In New York City, for one hundred consecutive nights he performed Hamlet and even in London where the tough British critics lived he one favor in their hearts with his acting skills.
When it came to difficulties in life, Edwin Thomas was quite acquainted with those also. Edwin Thomas was not alone for he had two brothers, John and Junius. They too, were actors, although they were not nearly as gifted as was Edwin. In 1863, the three brothers performed together in Julius Caesar (PP-4). The fact that Edwin’s brother took the role of Brutus was almost an eerie foreboding of what was to occur in just in the brother’s lives in just two years. One little decision would not only affect the brothers but an entire nation.
This same John who played the assassin in Julius Caesar is the same John who would play the role of assassin in Ford’s Theatre. On a dark April night in 1865 with the Civil War pulling at the heart and soldiers of a divided nation, John walked into the theater and fired a bullet at the head of Abraham Lincoln. . . . See, the last name of the brothers was Booth—Edwin Thomas Booth and John Wilkes Booth. (PP-5)
That night would mark Edwin forever. He would never be the same again. The shame from his brother’s crime drove him into retirement. He might have never returned to the stage had it not been for a twist of fate at a New Jersey train station. Edwin was awaiting his coach when a well-dressed young man, pressed by the crowd, lost his footing and fell between the platform and the moving train. Without hesitation, Edwin locked a leg around the railing, grabbed the man, and pulled him to safety. After the sighs of relief, the young man recognized the famous Edwin Booth.