How to Experience Paradise Today
Luke 23:35-43 GNV
35 The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders made fun of him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!”
36 The soldiers also made fun of him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine,
37 and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”
38 Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did.
41 Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.”
42 And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”
43 Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.”
Matthew 27:44 GNV – Even the bandits who had been crucified with him insulted him in the same way.
Jesus always gives what is UNEXPECTED to the UNDESERVING.
Things the thief knew:
- 1. He knew he would face GOD (v. 40)
- 2. He knew he was a SINNER. (v. 41)
- 3. He knew Jesus was the SAVIOR. (v. 41)
Exodus 12:5 KJV – Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year: ye shall take it out from the sheep, or from the goats:
- 4. He knew only GRACE could save him. (v. 42)
Romans 6:23 GNV – For sin pays its wage – death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.
Grace is God giving you SOMETHING for NOTHING.
Things he discovered: (v. 43)
- 1. Salvation is CERTAIN
- 2. Salvation is IMMEDIATE
- 3. Heaven is REAL
- 4. Salvation is RELATIONAL