“Today, you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23:43 (NIV)
The thief on the cross went from unbeliever, to believer, then to heaven in a single day. Jesus could do this for every Christian if he wanted to, couldn’t he? Imagine what that would be like: Every conversion on a Sunday would lead to a funeral on Monday!
Why doesn’t Jesus do that? Four out of five Christians will say, “He’s leaving us here to get us better prepared for heaven.” No! You are as ready for heaven on the day you commit to Christ as you will ever be! You get to heaven on the basis of your justification, not your sanctification.
So why does he leave you here? There can only be one answer to that question: He has work for you to do… Are you doing it? Do you see that the only reason you are not in heaven, if you are a Christian believer, is that he has work for you to do?
To those who die, Christ says, “You will be with me.” To those who live, Christ says, “I will be with you. I will never leave you; I will never forsake you.” Do you see the love of Christ there?
Look at the love of Christ until it becomes irresistible to you. Look at the love of Christ until you say, “Why am I holding back from this Savior? What is the value of all my arguments and objections? I must have this Christ, and he must have me.”