Three Cross-Roads

When the thief on the cross prayed His prayer of faith, Jesus responded with a three-fold promise. He said, “Today, you will be with me in paradise.” He didn’t say, “tomorrow” or “in three days” or “in forty days when I ascend” or “next year” or “in a thousand years.” He didn’t say, “after you’ve been baptized” or “after you’ve gone through catechism” or “after you’ve spent a few years in purgatory.” No, He told Jason, “TODAY, you’ll be with me.” The great part of this promise for us is the moment a Christian dies they can be with the Lord in paradise. The Bible doesn’t teach the doctrine of limbo, or purgatory, or soul sleep. We are told when a Christian dies they are “absent from the Body and present with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:8) If you’ve trusted Jesus, then the moment you die, you can claim that part of His promise, “Today, you’ll be with me in paradise.”