Paradise | Devotion #2: Confess, Believe, and Receive
There has been an argument among the church world through the years. The argument is what happens to someone who has lived a life of opposition to God, and on their death bed, they ask Jesus to be their Savior. Are they saved?
I believe Jesus answers this question pretty clearly on the cross. Jesus did not say much on the cross. He was only recorded saying seven statements during the six hours He was on the cross. The Bible does record a conversation between Jesus and another man, “a thief,” on the cross. You could say the other man was on his death bed. He was hours away from dying just like Jesus.
Luke 23:39-43 records the conversation, “One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’”
The man proved that he believed in Jesus and confessed with his mouth and believed in his heart that Jesus was Lord. He confessed, believed, and received (Romans 10:9-10).
Jesus in verse 43, confirmed that the man had confessed, believed, and received.
“Today you will be with me paradise.” It was not because he lived a good life; it was not because he was baptized. It was not because he spoke in tongues; it was not anything he did. It was what Jesus did.
This is why I believe whole heartily that someone can give it all to Jesus on their death bed. It is definitely not up to us to decide who gets saved and who does not. It is solely up to God and what goes on in their heart.