Good day!! Welcome back to another edition of the GSM blog. Once again, my name is Dave Good and it is my honor to spend the next few minutes with you.
Today, I would like to talk about preparing your soul for eternity. No one knows how long they will have on this earth. I’ve seen people live 100 plus years and I’ve seen some lose their life at a very young age. Some are taken in the blink of an eye, due to a tragic accident or sudden illness, while others pass away slowly after a long battle with cancer or some other fatal illness. The point I’m trying to make here is that we just don’t know when our time is up.
I believe we serve an extremely graceful God who gives us every opportunity to secure a place with Him in heaven. I think back to the criminal hanging on a cross next to Our Savior on Calvary.
“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 NKJV)
While one criminal was mocking Jesus, the other criminal was able to see the truth. The criminals deserved to be put to death for the crimes they committed but Jesus did not deserve to die. The criminal’s declaration of his own sins and the realization of the injustice of Jesus’s innocence was the first step to securing his salvation.
If you put yourself in the criminal’s shoes you might be able to sort through his thoughts while hanging on a cross next to Jesus. The criminal knew what he did wrong. We are not told specifically in the story but you could imagine maybe murder, blasphemy, inciting a riot, or a threat to the powers to be, the truth is we just don’t know what he did. Whatever his crime was he deserved to be on that cross.
On the flip side, this criminal must have been aware of the life of Jesus. If you were living anywhere around Jerusalem, the works and miracles of Jesus were well known and talked about. The criminal must have figured things out as his life was hanging in the balance. He acknowledged Jesus and was offered salvation.
The reason I’m bringing this up to you today is because it’s never too late to secure your eternity. The criminal next to Jesus had only hours to live and I’m sure his life involved a lifetime of wrongdoings just like us. Jesus offered salvation at the very last minute and promised him a place in heaven. The only thing the criminal had to do was acknowledge and have faith in who Jesus was.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Ephesians 2:8 NKJV)
Jesus offers us grace, despite all that we have done wrong, if we only have faith. We need to have faith that Jesus lived a sinless life, died on a cross, and rose from the dead three days later. He paid the price for our sins and restored us to the Father. There is no other way.
“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6 NKJV)
Friends, I’m not sure what your past looks like or what sins you have committed over your lifetime but I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late to get right with God. If you put your faith in Our Savior he promises to meet us in paradise. I don’t know about you but that sounds good to me. Knowing I can spent eternity with the Father is the greatest gift he can give us. I urge you today, don’t put off your eternity. It’s never too late to accept the precious gift of salvation!