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 23:39-43
How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology?
No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trip, no volunteerism, no financial gifts, and no church clothes.
He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner’s prayer and among other things, he was a thief.
Jesus didn’t take way his pain, heal his body, or smite his scoffers. Yet, it was a thief who walked into paradise the same day as Jesus simply by BELIEVING.
He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who He said He was.
No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words. No fog machine, donuts, or coffee in the lobby. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son so that whoever BELIEVES in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
That is good news, that is Gospel!