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The Tale of The Two Thieves

Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” Luke 23:39-42(NKJV)

I think one of the greatest stories recorded of God’s grace (unmerited favor) has to be the story of the thief who was being crucified upon the cross right next to Jesus. Actually, there where two thieves being crucified — one on each side of Jesus, but one of them humbled himself, confessed his own guilt and then acknowledged Jesus’ saving power. The other thief however resorted to taunting and mocking Jesus — his pride would not allow him to do what was right, and it would cost him more than he could ever have imagined. 

There are many throughout the world who will choose to live like these two thieves, insomuch as some will never acknowledge Jesus as their Lord, and they too, will live eternally separated from God.  While others will choose to truly believe in Jesus Christ, and identify with their need to be forgiven of their sins — some even in the last hours or minutes of their lives.   

For all those who have been falsely taught that salvation is accomplished by good works and deeds, this story teaches an entirely different, but truthful, lesson.  The thief was at the end of his life, and as he began to die, he simply believed in Jesus.  There was no time for this thief to work or earn anything. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)

Q: What should we glean from this story, and from these Scriptures?

As long as there is breath in our lungs there is hope.  No matter what anyone says, we must trust God’s Word, which clearly teaches us that we can repent at any time, and confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and we will be saved (Rom. 10:9-10).  What if a person has at one time accepted Jesus, but has since abandoned their faith and gone back into the world — can they still be saved? The answer is yes!  All one must do is repent (turn around) and come home back to Christ.  Jesus illustrates this very truth in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32).  These scriptures carry a powerful message, and it is up to us whether we will choose to believe them or mock them as one thief chose to do. 

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

STUDY QUESTION: According to 1 Corinthians 1:18 what can we learn about the message of Salvation?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Do you know of someone you can share these stories with?

PRACTICAL APPLICATION: Choose to share these stories with others so they might come to know the love and mercy of Jesus. 

PRAYER: Father, I thank You for the free gift of eternal life.  I thank You for the lessons learned from these stories.  Give me the boldness to share this message with others.  In Jesus’ precious name, amen…


Blessings Upon Your Day, Scott



Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000