Friday, April 22, 2011

Last Believer Enters Heaven Before Christ’s Resurrection

What if heaven had a newspaper, or electronic bulletin board, or even a Twitter headline like the one above?
 
The mixed range of expectations here on earth when Jesus gave up His last breath was surely echoed in heaven by those who could still not understand... that the hour had not yet come for Christ’s kingdom here on earth to be revealed to all, and that His death was a necessary part of the story of salvation. ( For only the Father in heaven knows the due time - Matthew 24:36)

Today is tough for many christian believer's because it is known as Good Friday, or rather the day that Christ was killed and died. Christians believe the day is "good" because the message of Easter is of Christ's victory over sin, death, and the devil. For this I too am grateful, because His death gives me new life.

As I look back, live through it, and move forward, I find that life change has occurred, and that I have a purpose in what has happened. The bad choices and poor decisions are not a part of me any longer, and I do not have to be a slave to thoughts of crime or sin. And this is only as a result of what Christ has done in me. People listen to and believe in me, not because of something special I have done, but because I have opened myself to the loving guidance of Jesus. As a result my wife still wants to be married to me. I get to be a father. Friends support me, wanting their own children to know me. And people come to ask for guidance and encouragement when challenges and struggles face them.

Redemption means to buy somebody's freedom. Jesus bought our freedom with his life on the cross, changing everything then and forever. His sacrifice altered how everyone saw the loving forgiveness of our gracious God. Accepting that gift can make all the difference in how others see you too.

Question: Who is the final, or last believer of Christ to to enter heaven before the resurrection? (as far as I can tell...)

The Crucified Criminal... Saved!


Luke 23:41-43; “We deserve to die for our crimes, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus didn’t ask him his sin, nor even tell him that his sins were forgiven! In summary, Christ said his belief had saved him! A so will it save you. You may still face punishment for your crimes, or discipline for your sins, but you are saved none the less.

Can you imagine the reception in heaven for that criminal on the cross?!? One moment, the heavens are distraught with the death of Christ, then the next, angels and saints alike are welcoming a brother. The last to come home before Christ himself returns.


“Forgiveness...

is the fragrance the violet sheds...

on the heel that has crushed it.”

-Mark Twain

 

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