[ENG] The thief’s Easte

[ENG] The thief’s Easte
(From the Bible, Luke 23:33/43)
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus,
“Lord, remember me when thou comest into the kingdom!”

his had believed any of the religion of this world, He might have said, “Do you want to go to heaven? During your life, your behavior was very bad. However, if you change and persevere in doing good until the end, (this is what all religions teach); if you don’t commit mortal sins, etc…; and if when you die, someone will light candles for you and again after a month, a year, and each following year, MAYBE someday you can go to heaven.” If He had been from yet another religion, He might have said, “Well, if you want to go to heaven, you may not join the military service. You will have to wear a tie and go around with your briefcase. You cannot have a blood transfusion, and MAYBE you can go to heaven.” If He had been from still another religion, He might have said, “You may not eat pork, and you have to pray 5 times a day. You have to observe the Ramadan (fasting 1 month a year). You have to make a pilgrimage to Mecca… MAYBE you can to heaven.” All of the religions of this world are the same: “You may not do this; you may not say that…” If Jesus had been from any of the religions of this world, “MAYBE” would still express the uncertain hope of heaven. JESUS is not like the religions of this world and He answers right away, with CERTAINTY,

“Today shalt thou be with me in paradise”.

Jesus wasn’t near that thief by chance. He came to die for all the “thieves” of the world.
We are all sinners and He loves us. He died for us too. After a short prayer of only
4 seconds, the thief found true life, the only one that is eternal. Jesus didn’t command
the thief to recite long prayers, make long pilgrimages without shoes, or do good
works to pay for wrong deeds. He asked only for a heart that longs for God.
Jesus wanted to tell the other thief hanging on the cross, “Today you will be with
me in paradise,” but He couldn’t say that because the other thief didn’t believe.
What will He say to you? The thief didn’t perform miracles and didn’t live a good
life, but after a prayer of 4 seconds, he became holy and went to heaven the same day.
When God makes men holy (only He can make man holy – Exodus 31:13, 1Thessalonians 5:23),
they are holy instantly. When men try to make other men holy, they need a long process of many years.

Only the ones who have been made holy by the blood of Jesus can go to heaven. Nothing that is impure can
be in heaven because God demands holiness. If you are not holy, you cannot go to heaven. That is not a privilege of a few, but for anyone in the world, like our thief. The religions of this world have changed the simple gift of God into something very complicated. Today, if you believe, you can be holy. Many think that it was different for the thief on the cross because he was at the last moment of his life. We are at the last moment of our lives too! No one can have any kind of certificate from the President that says that tomorrow he will still be alive! Therefore, a prayer to Jesus from your heart is urgent, even for you. Now it’s the time to receive salvation from Jesus. We don’t know if we will have this opportunity again.
When Jesus was born he divided history, when He died he divided human beings. A thief died as a lost man and went to hell, and the other one died as a saved man and has been in heaven for about 2000 years. When your moment comes, will you die as a saved man or a lost one? If we had the opportunity to ask the thief, “Where are you going today?”, he wouldn’t say, “I don’t know!” He would say, “I am going to heaven because Jesus promised me and I believe in Him.” If we ask the same question to any true Christian, he will have the same answer: “I am going to heaven because Jesus promised me and I believe in Him.” Can you give the same answer? Jesus remembered the thief hanging on the cross, and took him to heaven. Will he remember you? EASTER represents passing over from death into life. The thief passed over the earth to heaven and eternal life. Will your Easter be like his? This is our prayer.

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