Thief on the Cross

Thief on the Cross

I have pity and feel really sorry for people who try to teach God’s word without knowing what the scriptures say on a subject.

The “thief on the cross” is a very good example. Because of the thief many people have been deceived and believe they can be saved like the thief. I’ll admit, at first glance, this sounds good and easy to do. But, let’s take an in depth look and understand what really took place.

(Luke 23:39-43) “39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

Was the man “saved”? I believe he was!

I was talking to a small group of men a while back and one man said something that I’ve heard many times, and you probably have too. He said. “You don’t have to be baptized or join any church to be saved, and I can prove it by the Bible.” I asked the man to show me the proof and he referred to the thief on the cross.

Now the facts that prevent us from being saved like that poor man was.

In the first place, the great commission had not yet been given—Matthew 28:19-20. At that time no one knew that Jesus was to be preached “to all nations”. Such a commission was never given to Moses or any of the prophets, not even John the Immerser.

Second, we live after the great commission was given. Therefore that puts us into a different time and category.

In the third place, while Jesus was on the earth, he could forgive sins. (Matthew 9:4-7) “And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house.”

Jesus was still on the earth when he forgave the thief on the cross. We must obey the gospel as it was first preached (Acts Chapter 2). When we obey as they (3000) did at the preaching of Peter, the Lord added them to the church He built—not a denomination. They did not “join” anything—the Lord added them to the church or kingdom.

Now back to the man that started this false doctrine. I have nothing but pity for him! I do pray that he will consider these scriptures and never make such a statement again because it is a serious and dangerous thing to teach something that is not true. (James 3:1) ” My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.”

Thanks for reading and God bless!

P.S. I did not give the man’s name or his denomination. I don’t want to embarrass him or anyone.

2 Replies to “Thief on the Cross”

  1. I feel the man on the cross was saved. As I had stated in the comments earlier but I am not sure what you mean that it’s not that easy to be saved. Asking God to come into your life. And confess your believe in him that he is the son of God and that he died for our sins and asking him to save you. Does it take more than that to be saved?

    1. Thanks for reading the article. I couldn’t find any previous comments you made and that could be an oversight on my part. If so, I humbly apologize. I firmly believe that the thief on the cross was saved because the Lord told the thief that he would be with Him in paradise. (Luke 23:43) The plan of salvation is not hard. However, what makes it difficult for people is that there are so many different teachings on the plan of salvation. Most every denomination will teach something slightly different. Here are some things worth thinking about. Can all these different plans of salvation be correct since we only have one guide/blueprint (The Bible)? The Bible is our only guide to salvation and life eternal. So, is what we are teaching, believing, and following based on Bible or teachings of men? (Matthew 15:9) “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” I think we can both agree “teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” is not acceptable to the Lord. With that being said, I will gladly attempt to answer your question.

      What you are referring to, is commonly known as the “sinner’s prayer”. I have read and studied and not found any instance of an apostle, deacon, or any other teacher in the New Testament telling someone how to be saved or become a Christian in this manner. The closest thing we have to this is the conversion of the Apostle Paul. He prayed and fasted for 3 days before he was told what he must do to be saved. Do you think Paul had already admitted that he was a sinner and the Jesus is the son of God? I certainly do and I am sure you do too. Yet, there was still more for him to do. So, yes there is more to do.

      I hope you will read the scriptures included in this article about the 3 accounts of Paul’s conversion. Hopefully it will help you and if not I will respond to any comments or emails as quick as I can. http://religiouscommonsense.org/a-sinner-in-prayer/

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. May God bless you.

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