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Simple Faith

May 11, 2019

“I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NIV)

Here’s a man who is full of anger against God, but then something changes in his soul…

1. He begins to fear God.
“Don’t you fear God?” (23:40).

2. He recognizes his sinful condition.
“We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve” (23:41).

3. He believes in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (23:42).

This man sees in Christ the authority of a king. How did he come to that? The sign above Jesus’ head says, “This is the King of the Jews.” He had also just heard Christ say, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

4. He asks Jesus to save him.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (23:42).

You really cannot get a simpler faith than that, and Jesus saves this man on the spot! “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

You can pursue spirituality all your life, but you’ll never come to know God apart from Christ. Without him, you cannot find forgiveness. Without him, you cannot enter heaven. The Father has committed “all things” into the Son’s hands—and that includes salvation.

Jesus doesn’t say, “Go on a long search.” He says, “Come to me” (Matthew 11:28), and I will give you rest for your souls. Do you see the love of Christ in this?

Are you trying to pursue heaven without Jesus? What would keep you from following in this man’s footsteps today—fear God, recognize your sin, believe in Jesus, ask him?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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