Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43)
We can’t mix grace and the law. Grace, salvation, righteousness, the blessings of God—all are received and never achieved. We can’t earn the right to receive the blessings, healings, or promises that God has already given us. The thief hanging on his cross next to Jesus shows us this in stark details. In one second, this man went from a clear path to eternal damnation, to being with Christ in Paradise. A one second repentance let him walk into the door of God’s family. Jesus welcomed the man as if he’d lived his whole life for the King. The Kingdom is expanding to let more and more people in—are we on board with that?