Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

1. LUK 23:34 “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

2. LUK 23:43 “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”

When they crucified our Lord Jesus, they put Him between two thieves, a fulfillment of prophecy –
ISA 53:12 He was numbered with the transgressors.

Both of the thieves could hear Him pray, “Father forgive them; for they know not what they do,” LUK 23:34.

The two thieves represent the believer and the unbeliever with TLJC as the Mediator between God and men,1TI 2:5.

He is Jesus, which means “Savior.”

He is Jesus of Nazareth, a fulfillment that the Messiah would be a Nazarene, PSA 69:10-11.

The two thieves represent the fallen human race who are all guilty before God, and the inscription above the cross represents the doctrine of the unlimited atonement.

Atonement is the reconciliation between God and man, accomplished by the efficacious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ on the cross.

The unlimited atonement – TLJC was judged for the sins of the whole world or for every person who would ever live.

1TI 4:10 Because of this we both labor [work hard to the point of exhaustion] and suffer reproach or keep on contending because we have confidence in the living God who [TLJC] is the Savior of all men, especially of believers.

ROM 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

JOH 3:15 whoever believes may in Him have eternal life.

The thieves represent the human race who are guilty before God and therefore sentenced to death but saw the sign on the cross, or the Gospel made available to them.

ROM 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

ROM 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

PSA 19:1 The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.

Both thieves could hear the crowd as it railed upon TLJC.

Pilate put that superscription on the cross to quiet his own conscience, but that superscription was used of God to win a lost soul.

PRO 16:4 The Lord has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

Each of the thieves had access to the Lord Jesus.

God still works in His providence to set up situations for people to be saved.

God sets up the situation to give you an opportunity to trust TLJC and to believe and be saved because –
“The Lord is not willing that any should perish,” 2PE 3:9.

One of the great tragedies today is the tragedy of people missing their opportunities to trust the Savior and to lay down their lives for others.

Giving is where the rubber really meets the road. It is an expression of your spiritual growth.
JOH 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

1JO 3:16 We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
JOH 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.

PHI 4:17 Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.

He admitted that he feared God – he was not an agnostic, he was not an atheist, he was not irreligious. He admitted his guilt.

He admitted he deserved this punishment.
He admitted that Jesus Christ was innocent.
He admitted that there was a life after death.

Do you believe that there is life after death?

JAM 4:13-14, Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we shall go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit. Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Unless you hook up with God’s game plan for the Church-age, which is residence and function in the PPOG, your life is not going to matter.

LUK 12:20 “You fool! This {very} night your soul is required of you; and {now} who will own what you have prepared?”

If Bible Doctrine is not first in your life, your life is not only meaningless, a vapor trail, but it is a vapor trail that will disappear under the principle of the sin unto death.

JAM 4:14 You are such a category (Cosmic believers who lust for money and success or anything you put before doctrine) you do not understand what kind of life is yours tomorrow. For all of you (cosmic believers) are a vapor trail of the sky, being visible for a short time and then disappearing.

Do you believe like the thief on the cross, that Jesus Christ is the Lord of Paradise?
Do you believe that you deserve judgment, that you are a guilty sinner?
Do you believe there is a God and that you are going to have to answer to Him?

ROM 14:12 So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God.

Look at the courage this thief on the cross showed when he spoke to the Lord Jesus.
No one else was asking Jesus for salvation.

The priests and the rulers were mocking Christ, and yet this thief dared to believe on TLJC.

The crowd was opposing Him, the soldiers were laughing at Him, this thief’s own friend (assuming these two were partners in crime) was mocking the Lord Jesus.

Some people do not want to trust the Lord Jesus because they are afraid of people.

He dared to defy the rulers and the priests and the soldiers, and his own friend, when he trusted the Lord Jesus.

“Jesus” means Savior.
Jesus had a kingdom.
Jesus was innocent.
Jesus came from Nazareth, and He saved others.

This man also saw the Lord Jesus rejected, abused, dying, weak.

I invite you to trust a Savior who is risen and glorified, who is seated upon the throne of the universe.

He did not see a beautiful sight as he looked at the Lord Jesus; and yet the thief believed and was saved.

There is another aspect of his conversion that is amazing – not only the amazing situation and the amazing supplication but also the amazing salvation.

This salvation was wholly by grace.

The first man that God made became a thief: Adam and Eve stole from the tree and disobeyed God.

The last Adam, TLJC, turned to a thief, and said, “Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise,” verse 43.

God, in His mercy, does not give us what we do deserve – hell – God, in His grace, gives us what we do not deserve – heaven.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast,” EPH 2:8,9.

PSA 119:89 Forever, O Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven.

Salvation is an instantaneous spiritual experience by the power of God when you put your faith in Jesus Christ.

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