To Be With Christ Is Paradise
“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).
These are the recorded words that our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to this dying thief moments before He died. The Lord assured him and every believer who dies in faith – they will be with the Lord forever in paradise. Where is paradise? To be with the Lord! Wherever He is that will be paradise, eternal glory and eternal rest with HIM forever and ever (2 Cor. 5:8; Phil. 1:21; Rev. 14:13).
This dying, believing and repentant thief rejoiced in that day in the salvation of his soul; in the forgiveness of all his sins (Eph. 1:7) and righteousness imputed to him by free grace (Rom. 3:24; 4:6). He is right now seated in glory in the Lord Jesus Christ and still rejoicing in Him (Eph.2:4-6). He is still singing the eternal song of redemption; “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen” (Rev. 1:5-6). May God be pleased to give us faith and repentance in Christ right now that we, too, may enjoy Christ, our paradise, now and forever.
-Tom Harding, Pastor of Zebulon Grace Church, Pikeville, KY USA