Being “saved” has nothing to do with church membership. God doesn’t care what church you go to. Being baptized will not punch your ticket to eternal life. Being a “good” person isn’t on the checklist of entry any more than my being a pastor wins me “brownie points” with God.
We are no less than a thief on a Cross. Luke’s account in chapter 23 shares the thief who recognized that he was doomed (as are we). He could not turn back, nor to the left or right…his earthly fate was sealed…he was going to die (as are we). “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Maybe he hoped that someday Jesus would deem him “good enough”.
Jesus’ response wasn’t a question. “What church do you go to?” or “Well, were you baptized, and if so was it sprinkled, immersed 3 times forward, or 1 time backwards?” Jesus said “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Today…TODAY. No waiting period.
This man was saved from eternal destruction in hell, not because of church affiliation, but by GRACE. It was a GIFT from God.
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
The thief was saved…as am I…because God loved. I can so dig it.
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