“‘Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom’…Jesus said…‘Today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” Lk 23:42-43 NKJV
Author Charles Swindoll writes: “If ever there was a deathbed conversion, that was it. The thief lived his entire life a sinner, a hoodlum…in no way did he prove himself worthy…so what had he done to receive eternal life? What did Jesus accept? Faith—simple, unadulterated, unproved faith in Christ. That’s all God requires and all we can offer. The snapshot of Jesus’ life the thief saw, convinced him He was the Son of God. Their dialogue teaches us three important truths: (1) No one is ever too far gone. Think of someone you’ve written off…‘Oh, they’ll never come to know Christ. I’ve tried everything…he’s never going to respond.’ When you’re tempted to think anyone is beyond the reach of grace, remember the criminal on the cross. (2) Your real message is your life. Socrates once called words ‘stupid things.’ When your life draws the attention of lost people, you have sufficient proof to back up the words you use. When you let God do the work in their lives, and yours, you’ll be amazed how He brings the appropriate words. (3) All God requires and accepts is simple faith. If you’re working hard to earn your way into the kingdom…you’re on the wrong path. Think about it—how many works will be enough? When salvation is by faith, all the work and all the glory are God’s. Never doubt your acceptance into His family when you come His way. The thief didn’t doubt…He didn’t have to make any promises. He believed with all his heart, and was saved.” You can be too!
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