Click on thumbnail for larger image. Spirit-inspired painting found HERE, author unknown.
Even in the blackness swirling around the wooden cross that the world's Savior was nailed to, the love of God broke thru like the rays of the sun on a stormy day. That love shone down on the two thieves crucified on each side of Jesus. Their agony was obvious, they knew why they were dying
And one of the thieves said to the other, " we are punished justly, but this man has done nothing wrong " And then , in one of the most moving conversation scenes in human history, the thief turned his face toward Jesus and pleaded in humble faith. " Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom ". No stained-glass homilies, no excuses. Just a desperate plea for help
And at this point Jesus performs the greatest miracle of the Cross. Greater than the earthquake. Greater than the tearing of the temple curtain. He performs the miracle of forgiveness. " Today you will be with me in Paradise. " In the twinkling of an eye, that thief changed his eternal destiny. He passed from death to eternal life. We know this is so because Jesus is the one who made the promise
Luke 23:43 - Jesus said, " I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise '
Salvation in Jesus Christ is just that simple. This thief most likely never went to church, never attended Sunday school. And yet today he has eternal life in heaven. All because he opened his heart and let Jesus in. The road to heaven passes through the Cross of Jesus Christ
Jesus IS returning again very soon, just like He promised He would. Open your heart up today, to the love, grace and mercy that only Jesus Christ can offer !!!
NOTE FROM PEGGY
That's the example I use whenever a new Christian (or just a worried Christian) is concerned that they may not make the Rapture, because they haven't really had much time to "do" things for His glory. For instance, I had a man I met in the early 80's when I attended Holy Spirit Lutheran Church. He had been a pilot for Continental Airlines, and had gotten asbestos cancer as a result. When I first met Stan (a Messianic Jew), he had only been a Christian for a year. He told me he was SO scared of dying, because since he was a new Christian, he hadn't done much for Jesus. I told him, "Well, Stan, look at it this way. Jesus was hanging on a cross between two thieves. One asked Yahshua to remember him when He went into His kingdom. Jesus told Him that that VERY day, he would be with Him in Paradise. And the thief had probably never done a thing for Jesus, and would be dead within several hours, so he would NEVER have a chance to do anything for Him on this earth. But he had repented, Jesus had forgiven him and saved him, and he had gained eternal life." Stan cried when I told him that, and he said, "You know, you're absolutely right!" By the time he died (about 8 months later), he was no longer afraid to die, but instead, was looking forward to it! In fact he told his wife and daughters, when I breathe my last, look up and wave goodbye to my spirit as it leaves for Heaven. What a glorious feeling that gave me, to know that he was no longer afraid of where he mind wind up!