“How does the thief on the cross fit into your theology?
No baptism, no communion, no confirmation, no speaking in tongues, no mission trips, no volunteerism, and no church clothes.
He couldn’t even bend his knees to pray. He didn’t say the sinner’s prayer and among other things, he was a thief.
Jesus didn’t take away his pain, heal his body, or smite the scoffers. Yet, it was a thief who walked into heaven the same hour as Jesus simply by believing .
He had nothing more to offer other than his belief that Jesus was who He said He was.
No spin from brilliant theologians. No ego or arrogance. No shiny lights, skinny jeans, or crafty words.
No haze machines, donuts or coffee in the entrance. Just a naked dying man on a cross unable to even fold his hands to pray.”
So I have to ask, does this fit your image of what is means to be a Christian? Remember, that Christianity is NOT A RELIGION. All religion is man made. Yes, Judaism is a religion, Islam is a religion, Buddhism is religion, even atheism and communism are religions. Even the people who call themselves the Green people who worship and adore the earth-theirs is a religion. BUT Christianity is NOT A RELIGION. Christianity is a RELATIONSHIP WITH JESUS CHRIST.
In the Gospels; Matthew. Mark, Luke and John, it is clear from the teachings of Jesus and we read how He lived His life, that the most important thing is our relationship with God. I know you will all list things like: our health, our finances, our careers, our relationships with others ,etc. they are most important. BUT everything literally finds its meaning in our relationship with Jesus Christ
John 3:16 says: “ For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son so that whosoever believed in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.”
In the Gospels we find over and over again the Good News that God wants us to have a full life; an abundant life because He loves us so much. This full life is a gift and it really is a possibility. When you accept Christ into your life you can become a full, creative, unique, and beautiful person God created you to be.
I am quite sure many of you have heard over the years that giving is so important. That is true, however, we rarely ever hear about the spirit of receiving. Very few of us know how to receive gifts graciously and freely. You see what typically happens is that our pride and our arrogance get in the way. We don’t want to be obligated to the person who is giving to us.
With Jesus all you have to do is to receive His gift of salvation, it is a free gift. He paid the price already for us. Faith is accepting the free gift. Faith is receiving the free gift. He is offering it to you will you freely. That is what the Cross reminds us of - that JESUS freely gave HIS life to redeem our lives! Salvation is a free gift.
This Easter, as we celebrate the RESURRECTION of our Lord and Savior JESUS CHRIST, be sure to take accept this free gift if you haven't already. If you have already accepted salvation, take some time to thank HIM and celebrate HIM today!