You Shall be with Me in Paradise

And he said to Jesus, "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom."
And Jesus said to him, "Truly I say to you, today shall you be with Me in paradise."
Luke 23:42, 43

All the world's religions, with the exception of Christianity, have one thing in common; none of them guarantees salvation to their followers.

The Hindu believes salvation is ultimately achieved through the transmigration of the soul. If the soul is reincarnated enough, it may achieve perfection, but how many times in the reincarnation lottery do you have to be recycled before you finally reach your goal – then whoops! What if the planet is hit with a meteor and disintegrates right smack dab in the middle of someone's transmigration leaving him stranded in the outer darkness of the universe without a body?

The Buddhist believes that if you do everything “right", right speech, right action, right thought, etc., then salvation can eventually be attained. So what if you die before you've mastered your theology? There are no make-up courses in hell.

The Muslims are in the same insecure little boat. Nobody is ever assured they'll be good enough to please Allah. Even their religion's founder has admitted, "Save yourselves from hellfire, as I cannot save you from Allah's punishment...Nor do I know what will be done with me or you..." (Sahih Bukhari Vol. 4, book 51, #16 and the Koran: Sura 46:9).

Then I see a thief hanging on a cross next to Jesus, God manifest in human flesh (I Timothy 3:16) the One who paid the penalty for all of mankind's sin and rebellion.

He looks at the thief with the repentant heart, who knows he's blown it; he's nailed to a cross, he can't move, he can't do a thing to save himself and suddenly he's given the free gift of eternal life.

Jesus says the same thing to all who have the humility to receive Him as that repentant thief, “You shall be with Me in Paradise."

copyright 2003 by H.D. Shively

See also our article "You Can't Get To Heaven Without a Space Suit"

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