Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Turning Point...Such Small Faith Such Big Results

Turning Point...Such Small Faith Such Big Results
by David Brenneman 

Turning point...What was it for the thief on the cross beside Jesus?

Pastor Alistair Begg has a sermon that he explored this. "All I know is the man on the middle cross said I can come."   

"No one comes to the Father but through Me" is what Jesus said. 

Jesus promised this man that he would be with Him in Paradise that very day.  

Scripture records that at first, when the 3 were being crucified, that both criminals weren't respectful or mindful of Jesus and who He was.  
What changed for the one? What was the turning point? Was it when the sign was put up? Was it in seeing how He was on His own cross?

For our part we may never know. Alistair made up his own dialog of the conversations but the final thing said was probably the most important. "All I know is that the man on the middle cross said that I can come."

So many people trip over what isn't there. They trip over what they see as a complicated path to Heaven. 

The way isn't complex at all. Jesus said He is the Way, the Truth, and the one comes to the Father but through Him. 

Jesus had told His Disciples about having faith as small as a mustard seed. Could this be what the thief had? I think so.  

This thief had not been baptized. 
This thief hadn't been versed in the Bible as it was known. 
This thief hadn't been to the Synagogue or a Temple for teaching in the doctrines of Scripture. 
This thief was a thief. He admitted they were on crosses to pay for what they did. 
This thief hadn't any spiritual education at all save knowing who it was being crucified with them. 

It's quite possible that the turning point was when Pilate had the sign put up and he saw how people were weeping for Jesus. It's possible that before getting caught he had heard Jesus speak. 

What will it take to find your turning point?  

What are you stumbling over that's keeping you from coming to Christ for salvation? 

"But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13.

Jesus said that those who come should come as a child. How do children's beliefs work? Do they overthink anything? Not for long nor very often. 

‭"And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.” The soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine, and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Luke 23:35-43
What went through the mind of the other thief? We don't see anything written in the Bible. We don't know the impact of the rebuke from the other thief. Did it change him as well?

My Dear Reader, time is growing short. It's running out. Jesus said that if He left that there would be a day He would return and take all who have called upon His Name for salvation. Those who do not will be left behind to deal with all the coming judgments of God as written in the Bible. Death and destruction on a scale never seen before by mankind. Forced obedience to a new world Leader. Forced worship of that same man. 
Evil on a scale never before experienced since the Great Flood written about in the book of Genesis.  

Jesus is coming back just as He said, says the Angel to the Apostles. 

Are you stumbling over what you've done in life and are letting that keep you from a new life in Christ?
Are you consumed by your past and are letting that keep you from a new life in Christ?
Are you one who's given up hope because life just hasn't been the way you had hoped?  

Jesus is at the door of your heart, gently knocking, waiting for you to open it up and beg Him to enter. No hooks, no strings. 

Jesus said that any who comes to Him to be saved that by no means He would cast away. 

Consider what you've read today. 
Today could be your turning point. 

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. (C) Lockman Foundation.  

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