“Today You Shall Be With Me In Paradise”

Is a deathbed repentance real? Can someone be saved who has never lived for Jesus but at the last minute, they give their life to Christ? The answer to that question is, “yes, they can.”
Someone may say, “But that doesn’t seem right…. ” From a human perspective, it doesn’t seem logical or maybe even right. But, from a divine perspective, it highlights the love and grace of God.
A great example of this is the thief on the cross.
When Jesus was on the cross, He spoke seven times. Yesterday we looked at Jesus’ first saying when He said, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” Today, we look at the second saying from the cross. Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One of the thieves began ridiculing Jesus saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other thief rebuke him saying, “Do you not even fear God… since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?’ Then, that thief turned to Jesus and said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in Your kingdom!”
Hearing this, Jesus said to him, “today you shall be with me in Paradise.”
Again, someone may say, “But how can this be? How can a person… moments before they die, get right with God?” It’s called grace.
Think about this…. this thief was blessed… this thief was crucified with Jesus Christ…. Crucifixions happened all the time and lots of people with a sordid past had been crucified. But through the providence of God, this thief happened to be crucified at the same time Jesus was. And He had the opportunity to have his sins forgiven.
You may know someone who had a deathbed repentance… maybe you have questioned if it was legit. If that individual trusted Christ sincerely, it’s legit. But, someone may say, “they were never baptized.” I believe in baptism and if one is able to be baptized they should but, baptism doesn’t save anyone.
Again, someone else may say, “Well, he didn’t join the church.” I believe in the church and every Christian should be involved in one but, church membership doesn’t save you. Trusting Jesus saves you.
This thief had his sins forgiven and received the promise of heaven, moments before he died. He heard Jesus say some marvelous, comforting words… “Today, you shall be with me in paradise.”

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