“Father Forgive Them…”

7 Sayings of Christ on the Cross – 1

 

  Text:   Lk. 23:26-34

    Aim:   Appreciation of the greatness of God in providing forgiveness for an undeserving world.

Introduction:

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VERYTHING ABOUT THE crucifixion of Christ is of surpassing interest. God thought so much of it that He inspired Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John to give detailed accounts, each one giving lights that the other did not give. The crucifixion was foretold in every sacrifice in the Old Testament, and in countless passages that are veiled to the unspiritual mind, reference was made to the coming sacrifice of our Saviour.

 

Every word spoken by the Saviour Himself on the cross has burned itself into the consciousness of the world. So when He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” we find His words precious with blessed meaning.

 

Let us seek God’s message for us in these words of our Saviour just after He was nailed to the cross.

I.     “Father, Forgive Them…”

A.    Sin, an Accepted Fact

1.    The basis of forgiveness is that an offence has taken place.

2.    The resolution of forgiveness is that the offender has been released from the guilt and indebtedness.

3.    Forgiveness sought from God accepts sin as a fact! I.E. a violation of law has been committed and God has been offended.

a.    Those who do not sin do not need forgiveness.

b.    Jesus’ praying for forgiveness for men admits to the Father that ALL are sinners! —ALL must have forgiveness or be forever doomed.

4.    Jesus knew what He was about to do.

“When he cometh into the world, he saith, ‘Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me’” (Heb. 10:5).

a.    He knew He was the only One who was qualified to satisfy God’s judgmental wrath upon sin.

b.    He knew that day—the day of His crucifixion—He would make atonement for the sins of the whole world! —The sins of every man, woman, and child who had ever been born OR who ever would be born!

5.    When He prayed, “Father, forgive them,” Jesus prayed boldly!

a.    He knew if sin was paid for on the cross, then God could in righteousness forgive sin.

b.    He knew that ONLY on the basis of blood shed by a righteous substitute could God forgive sinners.

 

He could look up to His Father and say,

·        “See, Father, I am paying the price that was arranged before the foundation of the world.

·        “I am fulfilling the Scripture, ‘Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other’ (Ps. 85:10). Now you can be righteous and still forgive.
You have laid on Me all the iniquity of the world.

·        “I am dying as the Lamb of God to take away the sin of the world.
Therefore, ‘Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.’

6.    When Christ prayed for forgiveness for men, He acknowledged their sin BUT reminded the Father that He was paying for their sins.

a.    He said in effect, “Father, charge all their sin to my account.”

b.    “I will pay it every bit, and then you can forgive them.”

BASIC Roman Catholicism BELIEF ConcerninG Forgiveness:

Roman Catholicism teaches that when we sin we steal from God. If we were to steal from a man we would not only ask his forgiveness but also pay him back, so when we tell God we’re sorry we are forgiven the eternal punishment, but we still have to pay God back. This is called the temporal punishment. The eternal punishment, absolved in Confession is Hell. The temporal punishment may be satisfied by good works, almsgiving, saying indulgences, prayers and bearing our Cross. Temporal punishment not fully paid on earth is completed in purgatory.

(EXTERNALS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Msgr. O’Sullivan, p. 376)

 

Dr. Ludwidg Ott, in FUNDAMENTALS OF CATHOLIC DOGMA, paged 441, states, “By an indulgence (indulgentia) is understood the extra-sacramental remission of the temporal punishment of sin remaining after the forgiveness of the guilt of sin. This remission is valid in the sight of God, and it is granted by the Church out of Her treasury of satisfaction.

 

From PENANCE AND THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK, Catholic Enquiry Centre, London. p. 109. “The stain of sin is washed away in the sacrament of Penance (see 210) and the life of Christ is fully restored. But the sinner must continue to make amends for his sins. The remnants and effects of sin still remain after it has been forgiven and the penitent must strive gradually to remove them by prayer, good works and acts of penance.”

B.   The Forgiveness Offered Here Is for EVERYONE

1.    The crucifixion of Christ cannot be limited to any particular time or race or occasion.

a.    This is one event that is timeless, ageless, and universal.

b.    Jesus is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Rev. 13:8).

c.    Everything about the crucifixion indicates that it is for ALL men everywhere.

2.    All men are guilty of the death of Christ, and the blood poured out there has purchased redemption for all who will believe.

3.    TURN >> Acts 4:24 (DON”T READ) – Here the apostles quote part of the 2nd Psalm in their prayer. READ vv. 24-28!

a.    Herod and Pilate, the Jews and Gentiles were gathered together against Christ to put Him to death.

b.    Pilate was the Roman governor in Judea, and Herod the king of Galilee, and these agreed about the crucifixion of Christ.

c.    BUT while the Roman soldiers carried out the brutal torture and murder of Jesus, it was the Jews who planned it first.

1)    The Jewish scribes and leaders, the Jewish Sanhedrin, had condemned Him to die.
2)    The Jewish mob cried, “Let Him be crucified. Crucify Him, crucify Him!”
3)    The whole human race seemed to have converged at Calvary to take part in putting to death this Son of God, the man Christ Jesus!
So Jesus prayed for all!

4.    TURN >> Matt. 22:1-7 – Parable of the Marriage Feast

a.    The Saviour in the parable of the great supper likens all who reject Christ to murderers. Every person in this world is responsible Christ’s death, for our sins nailed the Lord Jesus to the cross.

b.    All those who reject Him become guilty and deliberately take part in that murder of the Son of God.

c.    TURN >> Hebrews 6:4-6 – Here we are told of a hypothetical case that IF it were possible for one to fall from the experience of salvation one could NEVER be brought to repentance and salvation again. WHY? Because they would have to “crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

d.    When Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them,” He must have included all the world SINCE every human being ever born was represented BY the soldiers who drove the nails in His hands and feet, BY the howling mob, BY the scorning, self-righteous Pharisees who sat and taunted Him, and BY the heartless one who offered Him vinegar and gall when He was thirsty.

5.    Jesus did not have in mind only that generation when He prayed “Father, forgive them…” TURN Back >> Lk. 23.
Just before He was nailed to the cross a great company of people followed Him and women who wailed and wept His fate. >> READ vv. 28-31

a.    Jesus prayed not only for those present, BUT also for their children.

b.    What did Jesus mean in verse 31 – “For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?”

1)    This was a proverbial saying. Jesus was the green tree, and unbelieving Israel was the dry tree.
2)    In the immediate context, if the Romans heap such shame and suffering on the sinless, innocent Son God, what dreadful judgement would fall on the guilty murders of God’s beloved Son.
3)    Jesus knew that in less than 40 yrs. destruction would descend on Jerusalem in 70 AD. The suffering and sorrow would be so great that barren women, who would normally be an object of reproach, would be considered fortunate. The horrors of the siege would be so bad that people will wish that the earth would pity them by swallowing them up.
4)    Revelations tells us such will be the scene in the future when the wrath of the Lamb is unleashed on a sinful and unbelieving world.
When that great day comes Rev. 6:16 asks, “who shall be able to stand?”
5)    If an innocent person like Jesus is called to suffer this much for sins of the world, what will the suffering of the guilty be in the day of judgement?

Application

A.    Jesus was praying for people who live today who are as wicked as those who crucified Jesus that day.

1.    If on that day of the world’s history men crucified Jesus, so they also would hate Him if He appeared on the scene today. How quickly they would murder Him if He preached in one of the cities of New York, London, Berlin, Paris or Dublin in these days when the tree of mankind is dry and ready for the axe of judgement!

2.    Jesus had in mind those of us who live today, sinners around the world in all ages and times when He said, “Father, forgive them.”

B.   How marvellous was the compassion of the Saviour who died for all!

1 John 2:2 – “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

1 Tim. 4:10 – we are told He “is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.”

Heb. 2:9 –The Bible teaches us that Jesus by the grace of God should tasted death for every man.

·        Jesus prayed for me that day as much as if He had called my name and said, “Father, forgive Robert W. Zemeski. He had a part in my crucifixion. He helped to nail these nails. He sat there and scoffed while I died. He is a terrible, Hell-deserving sinner even though he knows it not. Father, forgive him.”

·        Jesus prayed for you too. Jesus wants you forgiven. His own loving heart is already melted with forgiving love if you will receive it! He prayed for you!

C.   This Prayer of Jesus Leaves Every Sinner Without Excuse

1.    Christ’s paying for your sins, bearing your punishment for sin ought to be enough to prove that God loves you.

2.    The fact that God gave His only begotten Son ought to convince every doubter that He means what He say – “I love, I did this for you.”

3.    The manifold mercies of God, blessings poured out every day and the very breath of life you now enjoy must certainly prove that God loves you.

4.    At Calvary, with the blood first spurting from the torn hands and then the feet, in the agony of His crucifixion, Jesus prayed for you!

5.    However guilty a sinner you are, Jesus prayed for you. He wants you forgiven! He has paid for your sins and asks the Father to forgive you for His own sake.

a.    No hardened sinner can say, “I am too wicked. God will not save me.” Jesus has made it possible and asked it of the Father.

b.    No calloused person with a seared conscience can truthfully say that God has not called him, that he is not invited.

c.    If you are not a Christian, it is your own fault. Jesus prayed for you.

6.    Concerning every such hardened, debased, impure, blaspheming, abandoned, and despised sinner, Jesus said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

a.    No person has a right to limit the extent to which God will forgive.

b.    No sinner has a right to excuse himself. Jesus wants you forgiven. He went to the cross to pay for all your sins and while dying, He asked the Father not to hold them against you but to forgive them.

c.    This ought to break the hardest heart, yes, it ought to “melt the heart of stone.”

What answer do you have, to the dying prayer of Jesus for you?

If you do not let God forgive you, it is your own fault!

D.   BUT Forgiveness Is Only for Those Who Take It

1.    The prayer of Jesus is for all the sinners in the world. The death of Christ on the cross paid the debts of all mankind. “He is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn. 2:2).

2.    Every person who ever goes to Hell goes there for sins that were already paid for.

a.    Such a person wasted and despised the mercy that was offered.

b.    He frustrated the grace of God.

c.    He trampled under foot the offer of salvation.

3.    Satan has no claim or any right to a single person, either in life or in death, for Jesus has paid the purchase price for every one.

4.    But this blessed salvation, purchased at such cost and so freely offered, is only for those who will have it.

a.    1 Tim. 4:10 – We are told that Christ “is the Saviour of all men, specially to those that believe.”

b.    That is, He is potentially a Saviour for every man BUT actually He is only the Saviour for those who will trust Him, surrender to Him, depend upon Him, and receive the salvation, which He offers.

5.    Jesus prayed, “Father forgive them.” But even so, many will not receive His salvation.

a.    They jeer and hate and despise and mock, while their wicked hearts rejoiced in sin, and they hugged to their bosom their iniquity.

b.    God is willing to forgive, but they will not be forgiven.

c.    Jesus has interceded for them, but when God offers love, they return hate.

d.    When God offered mercy, they spit in mercy’s face.

6.    All the boundless grace of God is of no avail to save a sinner who will not be saved. The prayer of Jesus can only be answered for those who are willing to be forgiven.

a.    Every sinner needs to know and understand that it is “his move,” “the ball is in his court.”

b.    God has done all a loving and infinitely merciful God can rightly do.

c.    The Son has been offered “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world” (Jn. 1:29).

d.    ONLY as you repent of your sins and trust Him for forgiveness can your sins be carried away.

e.    ONLY as you take what God offers can you be saved.

·        If this moment you are not saved, if you are still unforgiven, then it is because of your wicked rejection of the mercy of God!

·        It is my earnest prayer that if you are not saved, today you will receive the forgiveness for which Jesus prayed and for which the Father, in answer to His dear Son’s prayer, freely offers.

Simply trust Christ. Depend upon Him. Take His forgiveness today!

E.    May You Cultivate the Loving and Forgiving Spirit of Jesus

1.    Since Christ was and is so willing to forgive, let all of us who love Him forgive freely.

2.    COMPARED to His suffering, none of us have ever suffered. COMPARED to the wicked mistreatment they gave Him, none of us have ever been mistreated.

a.    If Jesus can forgive, then you can well afford to forgive all others, and I beg you to do it today.

b.    Matt. 6:15 – Jesus said, “If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”

3.    Let no grudges keep you away from happiness and peace.

a.    Ask God to take out of your heart all wicked malice, bitterness and unforgiveness.

b.    We ought to purposely lay aside, decisively forgive and forget all that could ever come between us and any other poor, sinning soul. A soul who is going to dye and face the same Saviour you will.

c.    That person you are at odds with, Jesus loved them and longs to forgive them. He prayed, “Father, forgive them.” Let us pray the same prayer.

1)    With forgivenss in our hearts, let us pray for lost souls to experience our Father’s forgiveness, too.
2)    Only with such compassion and love as Jesus our Saviour has, can we take part with Him in the redemption of sinners.

4.    Are your sins forgiven? If they are, “rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:8-9).

a.    The Saviour instructs us, “In this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Lk. 10:20).

b.    How sweet it is to be forgiven! BUT if your sins are not under the blood, not all forgiven and forgotten and carried away, then trust Jesus Christ today—right now! Depend upon Him, and experience the sweetness of forgiveness. Why not settle the matter today?

II.    “Father, Forgive Them; For They Know Not What They Do.”

When Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them,” He said, partly as a reason for His prayer,
“For they know not what they do.”

 

How like the tender love of Jesus, that while they crucified Him, Jesus thought up reasons why they should be forgiven! In the wickedest and vilest of men, Jesus sought to find anything that would modify the wrath of God!

 

We have been told that “love is blind,” the thought being that we do not see the faults of those we love. The love of Christ is not blind. He knows our sins far better than we do.

·        These same Pharisees for whom He prayed, He had scourged with burning words in Matthew, chapter 23, calling them “hypocrites,” “wolves in sheep’s clothing,” “whited sepulchres full of dead men’s bones,” “fools and blind.”

·        He was not blind to their sin. BUT the all-consuming compassion, that undying love for sinners, which sent Jesus to the cross voluntarily to die for them, would cause Him to seek out every reason for mercy and leniency.

 

So the Lord Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”

 

There are wonderful words in the 103rd Ps. vv.13 & 14, “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.”

 

At times when I would have punished one of my children, their dear mother would plead in their defence saying, “But, Honey, He didn’t know he was doing wrong, he forgot!” Or “He didn’t know that is what you meant.”

 

Likewise, in pleading love Christ prayed to the Father,

“Father, forgive them! FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO!”

A.    The Deceitfulness of Sin

1.    The wickedness of those who crucified Jesus was inexcusable and brutal and deliberate.

a.    We must not think lightly of this sin, and we must not excuse it.

b.    Remember, EVERY PERSON in the world in some sense is guilty for the death of Christ, and deliberately and maliciously so, if we reject Him as Saviour.

2.    Nonetheless, it is literally true that sinners against Christ do not know what they do.

a.    The Pharisees did not know how awful their crime was, nor did Pilate, nor Herod nor the soldiers, nor the mob.

b.    We must say that sin is deliberately wicked, and yet it is clear that the sinner is nearly always deceived. The Christ-rejecter does not know what he does!

3.    It will help us to be tender toward sinners if we can remember that they are blinded and deceived by Satan, led astray by their own lusts, enslaved by the deceitfulness of sin.

a.    Every lost man is blinded by the god of this world, for 2 Cor. 4:3, 4 says:
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image, of God, should shine unto them.”

b.    Satan is the archdeceiver. Jesus said that Satan is a liar and the father of liars. To the same Pharisees who had Jesus crucified, our Lord had said:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

c.    Satan lied and deceived Eve when he said, “Ye shall not surely die,” and “Ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.” From that time until now, every heart that Satan controls is deceived and blinded, and every material thing that he touches and uses is made deceitful.

2 Tim. 3:13 warns us that “evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.”
Titus 3:3 – Paul says in, “For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived.”

4.    7 times in Revelation we have it foretold that the nations and people of the whole earth should be deceived.

a.    Four times the reference is to Satan himself;

b.    Once to Satan’s ruler, the Man of Sin or Beast;

c.    Another time to the False Prophet he will raise up to deceive the nations;

d.    Another to the great empire and system, the second Babylon which he will build.

5.    The whole world lies in wickedness, deceived and blinded by Satan!

a.    Rev. 12:7-10 –Inexpressible joy and praises will come when Satan loses access to Heaven and is cast out. It is in heaven where he now accuses the saints before God day and night.

b.    Rev. 20:3 – We learn the millennial reign of Christ can only come when a mighty angel binds Satan with a great chain and shuts him up in the bottomless pit “that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled.”

c.    The world will never realise what sin is, it will never know what it does in rejecting and hating Christ until Satan is bound so that he can deceive them no more!

 

Our dear Saviour, knowing our frame, remembering that we were dust — poor, sinful, wicked and yet blinded in our wickedness — prayed for us, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

B.   The Heart Is Deceitful

1.    It is part of the penalty and guilt of sin that the sinner does not realise the enormity of his wickedness.

a.    Many are harmed by the deception of liquor. The media often reports of some claimed health benefit from drinking BUT

1)    The person who is intoxicated thinks himself wise and brave and strong and capable.
2)    He thinks himself warm while he is freezing.
3)    He thinks himself safe as he drives a car careening down the highways to kill or be killed.
4)    Deceived by intoxication, how many drunkards boldly begin a fight without realising their incapability and are shot down or murdered by others, perhaps equally intoxicated.

 

So it is with sin. It deceives, enslaves and blinds while it leads folks on to destruction. It was only the loving pity of our Saviour toward sinners that led Him to pray, “Father ... they know not what they do.”

b.    The opium smoker often lies in squalor and dirt and dreams of grandeur and beauty. He dreams on, enslaved by his habit, until no reality in life can drag him from the fateful narcotic that deceives and blinds and enslaves and ruins him.

 

So it is with sin, always. The sinner enjoying sin never knows the awfulness of sin’s results nor the wickedness of his rebellion against God.

c.    Like the insane man who thinks himself Napoleon and insists on titles and homage.

 

So the sinner does not know his pitiful state. He is guilty and must be condemned; yet Jesus Himself being witness, the sinner is blinded and must be pitied!

 

Oh, may God put in our hearts some of the divine pity our Saviour had for sinners, blinded, deluded, engulfed and enslaved by the very sin they hug so tight to their chests!

May we join in His cry, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do!”

2.    Perhaps the sinner does not realise the enormity of his wickedness because we do not place the emphasis where Jesus placed it when we preach on Calvary.

a.    Preaching often focuses on the ghastly tragedy of the cross, when the sun covered her face in shame, when the earth shook and the rocks were rent at the dying of a God who was man.

b.    It seems we have thought more of a tragedy of a Christ rejected than we thought of the tragedy of the Christ-rejecters themselves!

c.    We have wailed after Jesus as did the women of Jerusalem, and we do not remember that He said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.”

3.    Maybe the sinner does not realise the enormity of his wickedness because we do not have Christ’s compassion of pity for sinners themselves. People who are blinded and deceived, committing sins against their own souls as to reject the Saviour!

4.    In Jer. 17:9 we are told that “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Small wonder, then, that no sinner releases what he does in rejecting Christ.

a.    It seems to me that no man in his right mind would ever sin, YET, I am amazed continually at the wickedness of my own heart.

b.    How fruitless sin is! How silly! Why should any man ever go away from God? What did any person ever gain by doing wrong?

c.    As I confess my sins to God, I am many times impressed with the thought that every one who sins is a fool. He is certain to reap what he sows, and the reaping is certain to be bitter. All that glitters is not gold, and sin never turns out as it was promised.

1)    The thief does not get riches; he gets poverty and imprisonment.
2)    The adulterer does not get joy and satisfaction; he gets haunted memories and unfulfilled desires and ever-present shame.
3)    The murderer does not get triumph, but disaster. Around the world thieves are poor; adulterers are unhappy and unsatisfied; murderers are harassed and hunted.
4)    What profit does the man have who gains the whole world and loses his own soul?

5.    What a fool any man is to hold on to sin and love sin! We must conclude that no man in his right mind would do so.

Illustration

·        The prodigal son wasted his substance in riotous living, thinking to find happiness.
Instead, he found want and famine and a hog pen.

·        The reason – he was never in his right mind! He was a drunken fool, a sin-blinded “sucker.” I say, the prodigal boy was never in his right mind UNTIL he landed in the hog-pen.

“When he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father” (Lk. 15:17-20).

·        If every sinner in the world really came to himself and dropped off the shackles of a deceived mind and shed the scales from blinded eyes, he would run to Jesus for mercy and forgiveness!

 

Truly Jesus was right when He said, “They know not what they do!”

C.   What If Sinners Realised Their Sins?

1.    What if some sinner that day at the cross of Christ realised how wicked his crime and yet continued to nail Christ to the cross and mock Him while He died?

2.    Or what if some sinner today, rejecting Christ, realised the awfulness of his sin, how rebellious against God, how black his heart, how satanic his sin in rejecting Christ, and yet continued to reject Christ — what then?

a.    Such a sinner would be committing the unpardonable sin and pass forever beyond the pale of redemption, for the unpardonable sin is simply such a definite and enlightened and deliberate rejection of Christ as to insult and drive away forever the Holy Spirit.

b.    It is such hardenings of the heart in its attitude of rebellion that never can the sinner repent or seek God.

3.    So it was true that day about the sinners for whom Jesus prayed: they knew not what they did!

a.    At least, if there were any who knew what they did (and there may have been a few), then it was not for these that Jesus prayed.

b.    We are plainly told in 1 John 5:16, “There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.”

Application

A.    If you sit here today as a sinner you surely do not know what you do.

1.    How foolish, how wicked, how Hell deserving is your sin, how certain it is to bring eternal torment if you do not repent.

2.    If you do realise how sinful, and then deliberately reject Christ, you have committed that sin which has no forgiveness in this world nor the world to come, and so are lost forever.

3.    However, that is not likely the case. If it were, you most likely would not be listening to this message nor be concerned at all about your sin-blinded soul. Surely you do not realise what you do.

B.   To the sinner rejecting Christ, Hell is not a reality.

1.    You do not quite believe sin is as bad as pictured, and you do not at all believe that you are in any danger of going to Hell.

a.    BUT that is the deception of Satan, for I warn you that unless you repent, Hell is exactly where you are going.

b.    I beg you to come to your senses now and shake off this blindness, this drunkenness of sin. Come to your right mind, as did the prodigal son, and repent and be saved!

2.    The deceived mind does not receive the Gospel.

a.    Satan steals the Word from your thoughts as a bird steals the seed by the wayside. You do not consider; you do not think.

“Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard,
 lest at any time we should let them slip”
(Heb. 2: 1).

b.    It is part of the blindness of sin that you do not heed.

 

Any intelligent, well-meaning sinner who would spend 30 minutes in serious contemplation on the claims of Christ and the need of his poor soul would surely turn at once to Christ in penitent faith. Turn, oh, turn! While you can.

 

 

 

Today Is the Day to Be Saved

·        Heb. 3:13 we are commanded, “But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”

Sin is deceitful.

1.    How many horses have been burned up in flames because in the excitement and blinded by the smoke, they rush back into the only safe place they knew, their stalls, and there are consumed in the flames.

2.    So the sinner, blinded by sin, continues to say, “Tomorrow I will be saved,” and marches headlong to eternal ruin, for tomorrow never comes.

3.    Only those who say “today” are ever saved. Hell is full of those who said “tomorrow.” Every soul there intended one day to be saved.

“The deceitfulness of sin!” How it hardens our hearts!

1.    Belshazzar continued to drink his wine in a night’s revelry while the city of Babylon was taken. In the same night he was slain.

2.    Anthony could not break himself away from the delights of Cleopatra’s presence until the battle was lost, and his empire was gone forever!

Either of two terrible things can happen to the sinner who is deceived by sin.

1.    One is, you can come to know what you are doing and so deliberately reject Christ and commit the unpardonable sin with no chance ever to be saved.

2.    But far more likely are you to harden you heart and are even more blinded day by day and come to death still saying “tomorrow!”

·        Let me plead with you to be saved today! Ask God to draw your heart to Him. Arise from your rebellion and sin, and flee to the Father’s house for forgiveness!

·        Jesus has prayed for you, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do,” with infinite compassion. He knows your weakness, your blindness, and your sin. The price is paid for your salvation. Then today put your trust in Him who knows all of your heart and yet longs to save you. Will you trust Him today?

 

 

 

11 March




SERMON OUTLINES