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Two Are Dying Beside Jesus. What would change drastically in just a few hours!. “How did the thief on the cross get saved without being baptized?”. - Luke 23:39-43. One will be With Jesus In Paradise. The Other Thief Separated from God Eternally!.

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Two Are Dying Beside Jesus

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Two Are DyingBesideJesus

What would change drastically in just a few hours!

“How did the thief on the cross get saved without being baptized?”

- Luke 23:39-43

  • One will be

  • With Jesus

  • In Paradise

  • The Other Thief

  • Separated from

  • God Eternally!

Breakfast with the Devil,Supper with the Savior

  • Luke 23:43

  • One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Christ?  Save yourself and us!’” Luke 23:39

Condition of the man

  • Here is a man in the last hours of his life.

  • 1. He is completely lost,

  • 2. He is completely helpless,

  • 3. and

  • He is still angry with God.

Things Said in the Bible about the Thief on the Cross

  • 1. He was a thief. Sinner.A criminal

  • 2. He railed on Jesus in the beginning of the crucifixion.

  • 3. He was dying on one side of Jesus,

  • Another on the other side of the Lord.

His Change of Heart…

  • We are not told how long he was hanging on the cross before



4. Things that he said.

1. Remember me…He wanted to be

Remembered by the Lord.

The last companion Jesus had on

Earth, and the first one to enter Paradise with the Lord!

  • Remember me When thou comest into thy kingdom…

  • 1. He knew something about Jesus.

  • 2. He knew that Jesus was coming into his kingdom.

  • 3. He wanted to be a part of the Lord’s kingdom.

  • He rebuked the other thief. At first, they two are together railing against Jesus.

  • He changes his mind…

  • He acknowledged that he was dying the death that he deserved.

  • He confessed that Jesus had not done

  • anything worthy of the death he was

  • experiencing.

  • Suffering doesn’t always make people more tender.

  •   It can bring out the worst in us.

  • Sometimes pain intensifies a sinner’s hatred towards God.

Sometimes people hate God!

  • 1. Will not confess his Son.

  • 2. Why did you make me like I am?

  • 3. Why do I have to suffer?

  • 4. Why was I born anyway?

  • This man was just hours away from eternity

  • Having given himself to crime, (he admits that) he was now under the judgment of the law. 

  • Soon he would face the judgment of God and still he is raging against God.

  • It is the story of his life.

Some have this attitude:

  • (Revelation 6:16), “We’d rather die than bow before You!”

  • Then

  • Something

  • Changed!

  • His partner guilty of crime is on the other side of Jesus in exactly the same position.

  •   This man has been pouring out insults on Jesus, but then something changes.

  • A silence comes over his soul,

  • and perhaps for the first time in his life,

  • he really thinks about his own position.

  • Earth is receding and eternity is beginning to loom large. 

  • It’s right on the horizon. 

Even asked the other thief?...

  • “Don’t you fear God?” (Luke 23:42).

The concerns that some have…

  • The thief on the cross was not baptized…

  • But the thief was saved…

  • So therefore, baptism must not really be essential to salvation!

    • That is what many people conclude.

    • But is that true?

While on Earth; Jesus had the authority to forgive sins…

The man who was paralyzed –

Luke 5:18-26

The woman who was a known sinner - Luke 7:36-50

Jesus clearly offered the thief on the cross salvation – Luke 23:39-43

The thief was saved before baptism was ever even commanded by Jesus

  • Jesus commanded baptism after he died - Matthew 28:18-20;

  • Mark 16: 15-16

    • Baptism into His death - Romans 6:3-4

    • How could the thief have been baptized into Jesus' death, when Jesus had not yet died?

The thief on the cross was saved before the newcovenant began…

  • Old Covenant

    • Between God and the children of Israel – Exodus 19:4-8;

    • Deuteronomy 5:2-3

    • Came to an end when Jesus died on the cross -Ephesians 2:14-16;

    • Colossians 2:14

The thief on the cross was saved before the new covenant began…

  • New Covenant - Hebrews 8:6-7

    • Of which Jesus spoke when He instituted the Lord's Supper – Mark 14:22-24

    • Came into effect when Jesus died on the cross -Hebrews 9:15-17

Therefore, you and I now live under the new covenant...

We must submit to Christ's authority as expressed after His death - Matthew 28:18-20

His apostles took the command to baptize others seriously –

Acts 2:38;

Acts 10:48

I Pet. 3:21

  • 1. The first ones added to the church

  • Were baptized. Acts 2:41

  • 2. Paul was baptized. Acts 22:16

  • 3. Peter states clearly that baptism

  • Saves. I Pet. 3:21How can you be saved without that which saves you.?

  • 4. Paul wrote that in order to get into Christ, you must be baptized. Gal.3:27

  • 6. The Corinthians were told ‘that by one spirit, you were all baptized into one body

  • I Cor. 12:13How can you get into the

  • Church (the body of Christ) without being baptized?

  • 7. The Lord adds the saved to the church.

  • Acts 2:47

The thief's example is not applicable to the question of baptism...

He died before Jesus declared the command to be baptized into His death.

The thief lived under the old covenant, which did not require baptism into Christ!

  • Then he says to Jesus,

  • “Remember me when you come into your kingdom” (23:42).

  • And Jesus said to him,

  • “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

Great Lessons We Can Learn

1st. The Repentant Thief Recognized the brevity of (HIS) life!

  • He understood life's temporal nature because he was dying.

  • Ever stood by someone dying—did you think what it would be like if that was YOU?

  • Psalm 103:15–16 (NASB)

  • 15 As for man, his days are like grass;

  • As a flower of the field, so he flourishes.

  • 16 When the wind has passed over it, it is no more,

  • And its place acknowledges it no longer.

  • James 4:14 (NASB)

  • 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

Second, the penitent thief understood the reality of the afterlife.


  • I’ll be somewhere.listening!

  • He understood that life after death was just as real as the present life.

  • Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NASB)

  • 11He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Daniel 12:2

  • 2 “Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.

Matt. 25:46

  • Matthew 25:46 (NASB)

  • 46 “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Third, the repentant thief understood his guilt before God.

  • This understanding is evidenced by his statement in verse 41, “And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds.”

  • Rom. 3:23 For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.“

  • In other words, every accountable member of the human race stands guilty before God because of his/her sin

4th: He understood Jesus was special.

  • In reference to Jesus is Luke 23:41

  • This man hath done nothing wrong.

  • We are dying the death we deserve,

  • But He has done nothing wrong!

  • This shows his need for the Savior.

  • How many today do not think Jesus

  • Is Special.

Fifth, the thief understood that Christ had the power to save him.

  • Do you believe that? He did.

  • Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

  • John 14:6

  • Acts 4:12

  • I Tim. 2:5

6. this thief understood that it is never too late to obey God for salvation

  • We all should listen to this point. It is not too late for us to do something about our souls.

  • Whatever we have done in the past,

  • We can find forgiveness for it by ‘looking unto Jesus.” Heb. 12:2 and obeying

  • Jesus. Heb. 5:8,9

  • , "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise" (vs. 43).

  • 2 Cor 6:2b). However, once you die and you pass into the eternal realm, then it is too late

  • (Luke 16:19-31;

  • Heb 9:27).

  • 1.Do you understand the brevity of this life,

  • 2. The reality of the afterlife,

  • 3. Your personal guilt before God,

  • 4. . Christ’s desire for you to be saved..

  • 4. It is not too late to obey Christ for salvation?

  • 5. What to do to be saved?

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