We all know it.
Jesus is on the cross. On either side are two criminals, people who deserved to be punished along with one who did not deserve punishment at all.
One criminal hurled insults at Jesus.
The other one repented.
I don’t think so; when he said “Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom” what did Jesus say? “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23
This drama is acted out every day.
The woman on her deathbed, wracked with cancer who comes to know God before she passes. [the story in AHA].
The professor in the movie “God is Not Dead” who comes to know God right before he dies from a car accident. He has spent his teaching career getting students to doubt the existence of God.
Did he get into paradise? You bet he did.
I have a friend [one of my best] who watched his father slide into alcoholism. He loved beer and he had much sadness in his life. He tried to drown the sadness with beer. I watched him in the grocery store buying the stuff. I tried to talk to him repeatedly as he slurred his words and made nonsensical comments. Once I followed him down Fort Campbell Boulevard as he went all over the street, swaying from one lane to another.
I listened to the son tell the story of the last year of his life, how he came to be peaceful about his life. How he came to love beer less and love God more. How he became close to his family and how one day, when my friend went to his house, he was “asleep” in his favorite reclining chair.
He had gone to be with his Lord.
Not at all.
We have all used the cliché “better late than never.” It is true. It is better to find God while you are alive than never to find Him at all.
However consider this. Isn’t it better to make a strong move toward God before we are on the deathbed, the wet pavement of a crash scene or even the last year of an alcoholic life?
Wherever you are in your life right now, MOVE. You know what to do. Make a better choice rather than falling into your old habit. Force yourself to be honest with yourself and call upon the Holy Spirit for help. God will be there to help you because you don’t have what it takes to do it on your own. He knows you don’t have it and He is ok with that. He made you the way you are, to depend on Him.
We don’t have to test the idea that we can make it to His Kingdom at the last minute. We can start living in His Kingdom…RIGHT NOW!