If someone is so disappointed that they have given up hope for the future, what choice do they have? No matter how dark their lives are, how big the mistakes are that they’ve made, and how many sins they’ve succumbed to, it’s never too late for them to make the choice to trust God for a bright, glorious future.
Two criminals were hung next to Jesus on the cross, but there is a stark contrast in how they each responded to Jesus. One of them scoffed at Jesus by saying, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” (Luke 23:39, NLT). And the other thief, at some point, also made fun of Jesus (See Matthew 27:44).
While the other thief mocked Christ and could have continued, remarkably, he humbled himself and made the right choice by saying, “Jesus, remember me when you enter your kingdom” (v. 42).
What was Jesus’ response to the humbled thief? He replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise” (v. 43).
In the face of death, the thief on the cross trusted God for his future instead of giving up hope. Despite the fear of having no future, the thief trusted God anyway. Everyone is a sinner in need of a Savior. No matter the number of their sins and whether they—or others—think their sins are minor or extreme, it is never too late to repent and accept the free gift of salvation.
No matter what dire straits one may find themselves in today or what they’ve done in the past, one can turn from their sins and trust in God. It’s not too late for them to give God their life today and be assured that God will secure their tomorrow. For help finding a licensed Christian to talk to about how to grow spiritually, click here.
Just as eternal life in paradise awaited the thief on the cross, the eternal life that waits for anyone who trusts in Christ far outweighs the sufferings of this present life. He can also transform anyone’s life, making their present life brighter as they look toward the Son!
God promises a bright, new future for those who willingly choose to turn to Him. So, when life seems dark and hopeless, remember only one thief on the cross made the right choice.
by Steve Arterburn