Salvation comes from Jesus, not from anywhere else or anyone else: not from religion, not from one who calls himself a prophet, not from any church leader, not from trying to be good enough for God, not from any effort or great thing you may do – nothing else can save you from the future wrath of God, but God Himself.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed to us in the Bible, shows us what God expects of us. We have been created by God, and thus it is God that has the final say, not us.
The historical account of Jesus and the thief on the cross hanging next to Him is one of the simplest examples of what God expects of us.
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” –Luke 23:39-43
The thief was sincere and honest in his heart, without pretence in what he said. The thief confessed his own sinfulness, repented, and acknowledged Jesus as God. Nothing more, nothing less.
“…Do you not even fear God…” –Luke 23:verse 40
He sincerely recognized before Jesus that he deserved punishment for his own sins and expressed his respect (“fear”) and submission to God. He expressed repentance for the wrongs of his life, asking Jesus to “remember me….”
There is no faking that fools God. He sees and knows all. When we speak to God, our sincerity is heard, but our feigning is rejected.
Accept Jesus. When we accept Jesus in humility and repentance, acknowledging Him as Messiah and Lord, He recognizes the genuineness of our turning to Him, He accepts us – and we become brand new. We pass from death to life, from a state of condemnation to a brand new state of redemption. Living water flows from our inner being.
as the Scripture said,
rivers of living water.’”
– John 7:38
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
Jesus said to the thief that he would be immediately in His Kingdom once he died. In that moment in time, he passed from being a mere mortal – to being an accepted child of God. Through repentance and submission to Christ as God – he was welcomed into the Kingdom of God.
The other thief died in his sins, unforgiven, still damned. But the thief with him was saved.
What about you? Are you still “a mere mortal”, living before God in your sins, unrepentant, uncommitted… still damned, living under the condemnation of Creator God? Are you one of the “unsaved” walking on the road to destruction?
The Gospel of Jesus tells us about a hope in Christ, how He died to pay our penalty, removing the heavenly decree against us, legally paving the road to heaven, opening the narrow gate. Jesus said that He was the only way to heaven for us here on earth.
“I am the way,
and the truth,
and the life;
no one comes to the Father
but through Me.
– John 14:6 [Full Chapter]
Don’t be fooled by the other roads. Only Jesus’ road leads to Creator God and His paradise of eternal life with Christ.