| || "And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved" |
-- Acts 2:21
Saved Without Formal Religion
Had you realized before that the thief on the cross who was crucified at the same time as the Saviour (Luke 23: 39-43) and whom Jesus saved, was never baptized nor a church member? Furthermore, this thief had never had communion, nor did one good deed – yet, hear the words of the Saviour to him:
“Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” - Luke 23:40
How, then, did this thief get into heaven with Christ, being such a wretched sinner? The answer, my friend, is to be found in the following:
1) He recognized Him as the spotless and perfect Son of God, who would save unworthy sinners by His sacrifice at Calvary. You also can be saved in no other way. Church membership, good works, giving to charitable organizations, taking communion, all are to no avail to cleanse you from the guilt of sin and iniquity inherited from Adam. You, as well as I, must realize our sinful problem. He and He alone can cleanse and save our soul and make us fit for Heaven.
2) He recognized his own sinfulness, and that not only was he guilty as a thief -- but that he was a sinner by birth – for he trusted the Saviour to wash away his sin, by His death. The thief then was saved by faith -- but a faith that recognized and was based solely upon the sacrifice of the Saviour at the cross.
Friend, if you realize your need for Christ, trust Him today.
Rev. Barry Crowell