“Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come.” (John 8:21)
“Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works:” (2nd Tim. 4:14)
In American football, if the score is twenty-one to three and there is fifteen seconds left in the game, I can almost guarantee that there is someone in the stands calculating how their team can still win, someone with hope.
The thief on the cross who asked the Lord to remember him is an example of how those people whose team is going to lose look at life, there is always hope, there is always a chance until life comes to an end. “Well then,” I might ask them, “how do you know the other thief did not go to paradise as well, just because it isn’t recorded for us, why do you assume he went to hell?”
The Lord Jesus Christ did not tell those He spoke to that day that they might go to hell, He said they were going to, and while you and I cannot see the future of a person in that regard as He could, we are not to be foolish enough to believe that all will be as that thief whom we will meet one day in heaven.
It is in this sense the foolishness that far too many believe today that God is love and that all will one day reside in His Kingdom, that hell at best is a temporary holding facility, much like the lie of the Roman Catholic cult of purgatory, and that one day everyone ever born will be in glory for all eternity.
If someone has believed that the preaching of the cross was foolishness their entire life, saying “Rember me” in the last moments of their life is not going to alter their final destination.
Hanging on that cross the Lord saw something in that thief’s heart, it was more than just the words he said, our Savior knew a true repentance in him as much as He knew those Pharisees were going straight to hell when they died.
Paul, as far as we know, did not ask the Almighty to forgive that coppersmith, those under the throne who will ask for justice are not asking the Lord to forgive them who killed them, but to exact vengeance upon them.
Not exactly something you are going to hear in a Sunday morning service, is it?
There is fifteen seconds left in the game, but someone is still holding our hope.
“If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (Heb. 6:6)
I have often wondered, is there any hope left for one whom the Living God has given over to a reprobate mind? Is there no hope even when we desire to still see hope?
You and I both have friends and family that will die in their sins, but we still hope, we pray for them, but that may not change anything at all. If there is one thing that people will not give up on it is hope, even a drowning man holds onto it until the last moment.
“For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. 22:14)
Why the Most High does not choose some I do not know, I do not even know why He chose me, but I do know this, I do not know when to stop hoping, when to stop praying for someone, when, or if, I should come to the realization of the truth that person is going to die in their sins.
Down eighteen points with fifteen seconds to go.
It really would not change anything or add anything to this short letter to you today, but I would like to know what that other thief was thinking while he hung there beside the only One who could offer him hope.
I also wonder if the Lord was waiting for him to say something, or if He also knew that he would die in his sins.