The Thief on the Cross


And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.” Luke23:43


Today in the Churches one of the most worn out excuses for people to keep living in Sin is the ‘Thief’ on the Cross, making it in ‘under the wire’ (so to speak) Whenever anyone from the System comes across one of our Videos or articles teaching the Biblical necessity for Purity and Obedience to God, they immediately run to the thief and claim his last minute mercy, as a wretched miserable sinner full of vile filth.


Pastors especially like to use this passage to Prove man can be absolutely forgiven ‘in his sins’. It’s an easy way to sooth the guilty conscience of his congregation and support his theology at the same time. But is this isolated incident really man’s free ticket into Paradise? NO ONE among the early Saints thought so. In their reams of written text NOT a Single one of them sites this passage in the manner described above. Can you possibly imagine early followers of Christ, who believed that their bloody Martyrdom in the arenas of Rome was a Witness for Jesus, using this kind of cop-out to avoid the pain? Not likely. Yet today the thief is used as the most common excuse in the church to continue in sin.


Much like the Chief Sinner Lie and the Wretched man fallacy, the Thief premise fits into the church love affair with reformed theology. If you see Christ as your Substitute instead of your Example to follow and THINK that His Righteousness and Obedience is transferred to you by faith, then what remains to be Done? Basically: NOTHING! God’s Wrath has been appeased, Jesus became sin for you, so the Thief can be magically forgiven with his last breath because sin is not only vanished on the Cross but also FORGIVEN IN ADVANCE! Thus you can see the basis of the ‘Death Bed’ conversion, in the minds of most Pastors. Lacking any real understanding of Repentance and the Nature of genuine faith, they march into the hospitals and coerce a dying person to ‘Repeat’ some words then assure them heaven awaits. It’s a horrible Deception and it’s a foundational tenet of their Doctrines.


WHY didn’t the early Saints constantly site the Thief incident in Luke’s Gospel as their assurance of future forgiveness? The answer is simple! They viewed the Death of Christ as a Ransom to Redeem man from the Corruption of sin. It was Darkness to Light, from the Power of Satan to God! (Acts26:18) To them Jesus came to DESTROY the Works of the Devil and Deliver them from Bondage. There was no Retributive Justice involved, the Reconciliation stands on what He did in our Behalf. NOT how He took our place and obeyed God for us. If His Death was a Substitute to avert God’s Wrath, WHY did the Thief have to Suffer on his own Cross and die such a horrible death? (for his crimes, you would say) BUT his crimes were paid for ‘in advance’, weren’t they? Such a notion sounds like Double Retribution (sin being punished twice!)  

{at least according to your theology}


Instead of an excuse to sin, the Thief is a powerful illustration of Deep heart-felt broken Repentance.

(surly at the last minute, but genuine none the less) He not only cried out to God, but freely admitted his wrong doing and the just penalty deserved. In the mist of his blood, pain and agony he found that repentance and the Light of God shined within his darkened heart with the VERY IMAGE and Glory of Christ! Redemption….YES! Mercy, beyond our imagination. BUT NOT some excuse for you to suppose that anyone can make it in under the wire This was sharing in the Fellowship of His Sufferings in a final Baptism of Blood to seal it for eternity. (a far cry from what many of you think)


Let’s put the Sin question aside for a moment. Those of you who site the Thief are surly NOT the thief, that’s a given. What remains then is whether or not you’re going to Obey Christ’s Commands. They stand nonetheless because if you Love Him you WILL OBEY Him! Why do you call Him Lord and Do Not DO the things He said? Is it because you’re supposing that ‘making it in under the wire’ is a viable option and that’s your ‘Plan’?  Given the fact that most of you have Never really Repented of anything to begin with, the possibility of you finding that kind of Repentance at the end is slim to none. Consider Esau in Heb12:16-17, he also sold his birthright to live a profane life of indulgence and afterward was UNABLE to find repentance though he sought it bitterly with tears.


Can you imagine a Pastor giving some dying person this kind of warning? NEVER in a million years! The farthermost thing from his mind. It would be ‘Repeat after me’ and BINGO you’re in like Flynn! He would then return to his congregation and report that this ‘person’ is at home with Jesus. Thereby bolstering the Lie that like the ‘Thief’ you have Nothing to worry about. You also are filled with Vile thoughts, a total lump of sin and desperately wicked. But Grace and Mercy have you covered, at least according to the Pastors. Nothing in the Bible is binding because Christ paid your debt in advance. You (and the thief) are Free and Clear, at least until the Judgment.