Today, is the day to be saved

“I assure you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43 New Living Testament) What a world we are living in! More countries have nuclear capabilities than at any other time in history. There is the threat of terrorist attacks at any given moment of the day or night. And people are now offended by anything and everything that has been part of our culture for hundreds and even thousands of years.

If one expresses his or her opinion by means of social media, almost immediately there will be someone who posts a negative response to it. We are asked to be tolerant of what others believe and do, and yet, in many instances, tolerance towards us and our lifestyle is regarded as not being necessary. What happened to the statement, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” Yet, when in America, do what you want to do and forget everyone else’s opinions and feelings. And do you know what? We haven’t seen anything yet. This is just the tip of the iceberg and there is a whole lot more to come.

The thief on the cross faced what none of us will face in our lifetime — being crucified. However, there might be a time in our lives where we might have to take a stand for what we believe and it just might come at a high price for us to do that. We never know when we are going to draw our last breath, but one day, we will. The thief on the cross knew that his time on earth was short. And he wanted to be ready for eternity. With perhaps only hours to live, he asked Jesus to save him. And Jesus replied, ‘Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43 New Living Testament) Jesus gave the thief and us four characteristics of salvation that we can believe in.

First, Jesus said, “today.” That means that salvation is immediate. When you ask Jesus to save you, it is done. Right there and then. You don’t have to do anything else because Jesus did it all with His death on the cross. There are only two places you will go in eternity. You will either go straight into the presence of God and spend your eternity in Heaven with Him, or you will go straight into separation from God and spend your eternity in Hell.

Secondly, salvation is certain. Jesus told the thief, “Today, you will.” He said “you will.” Not, “maybe you will” or “I hope you will” or even “Let Me think about it.” No! Jesus said, “You Will.”

Third, salvation is a relationship and not a religion. (Please read those nine words again.) I don’t care what church you belong to or don’t belong to it’s all about Who do you belong to? Is Jesus your Savior because you have asked Him to be? Have you been saved/born again? Is your name written down in the Book of Life? Or will you hear Jesus say to you, “Depart from Me. I never knew you.” Salvation is not about religion. Or a church. Or rules and regulations. It’s about a relationship with Jesus Christ and it begins right here on this Earth. God made you for a relationship with Him and God wants it to last forever.

Fourth, Jesus said, “Today, you will be with Me in Paradise.” Heaven is a real place and it is forever. Hell is too.

Please think about this today. Where are you going to spend your eternity? If you accept Jesus as your Savior and ask Him to save you and come into your life, you are born again and you will spend your eternity with Him in Heaven. If not, you will be separated from God and His love forever in a damnable place created for the devil called hell.

It is your choice, but if I had to make a choice, I’d choose Heaven, and I would be saved today. Right now is the time for you to be saved. Today.

Pray: “Dear God. I know I am a sinner. And I believe that Jesus died for my sins, that He is Lord and I accept Him as my Savior. I accept the free gift of eternal life. Thank You for saving me and now help me to live for You. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.”

If you just prayed that prayer, let me encourage you to find a Bible preaching church and get involved with it. We’d love to have you check out Crossroads this week. Come and let our family be your family.

And that is Something to Think About for this week.

If you are on Facebook, you can watch our service “live” on Sunday morning at 10:45 a.m. Simply “like” our Facebook page at crossroadslondon and watch.

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Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.