United Reformed Church

805 Sunrise Avenue

Sanborn, Iowa

The Penitent Thief  - by J.C. Ryle

“Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. Then he said to Jesus, Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom. And Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise." (Luke 23:39-43) The second lesson you are meant to learn is this: if some are saved in the very hour of death, others are not. This is a truth that never ought to he passed over, and I dare not leave it unnoticed. It is a truth that stands out plainly in the sad end of the other malefactor, and is only too often forgotten. What became of the other thief who was crucified? Why did he not turn from his sin and call upon the Lord? Why did he remain hardened and impenitent? Why was he not saved? It is useless to try to answer such questions. Let us be content to take the fact as we find it, and see what it is meant to teach us. We have no right whatever to say this thief was a worse man than his companion. There is nothing to prove it. Both plainly were wicked men. Both were receiving the due reward of their deeds. Both hung by the side of our Lord Jesus Christ. Both heard Him pray for His murderers. Both saw Him suffer patiently. But while one repented, the other remained hardened. While one began to pray, the other went on railing. While one was converted in his last hours, the other died as bad a man as he had lived. While one was taken to paradise, the other went to his own place, the place of the devil and his angels. Now these things are written for our warning. They tell me that though some may repent and be converted on their death-bed, it does not follow that all will. A death-bed is not always a saving time. They tell me that two men may have the same opportunities of getting good for their souls, may be placed in the same position, see the same things, and hear the same things, and yet only one shall take advantage of them. Only one will repent, believe, and be saved. They tell me, above all, that repentance and faith are the gifts of God and are not in a man’s own power. If anyone flatters himself that he can repent at his own time, choose his own season, seek the Lord when he pleases, and, like the penitent thief, be saved at the very last, he may find he is greatly deceived. Beware of presumption. Do not abuse God’s mercy and compassion. If you would be wise, put nothing off that concerns your soul.

To hear a recent Sunday Sermon by Pastor Donovan click on this line!

One of the things we strongly emphasize in the Cornerstone United Reformed Church is the importance of education which is in harmony with the teaching of the Bible. We are therefore enthusiastic supporters of the Sanborn Christian School. To see something of this School in action click on the underlined words

Minister: Rev. Dan


Study Phone:

  1. (712)729-3789

Home Phone:

(712) 729-5366

Sunday Worship


Morning: 9:30 a.m.


Song Service 6:25

Worship 6:30 p.m.

(Nursery Provided)