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The Thief

Luke 23:32-49 Authorized (King James) Version 32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. 35 And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. 36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, 37 and saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. 38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS. 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. 47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned. 49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

The Lord Jesus said long ago what people in civil authority are like.

Matthew 20:25 Authorized (King James) Version 25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.

This means that people in civil authority exercise dominion and authority upon the people they rule over. They have experienced that when you're in authority, that people will try to take your position. So they exercise authority over them to show them who's boss.

People like this in civil authority, will not welcome the criminal into their church or town. But that is not how Jesus is. Look at the character of the criminal on the Cross. He was better than the civil authorities because He feared God. He admitted to his charges, and wanted to help Jesus because He was innocent. He rebuked another criminal that was dying with him and Jesus for sounding like the the cops and mocking, for not believing in Jesus. For his unbelief in Christ. While the civil authorities rejected him, had him in jail and dying on the Cross with Christ.

Being innocent is a big thing in jail. I know. I've seen it over and over out in the California penal system as a youth. I was in and out of the system for 20 years from 1983 to 2003. Out of those 20 years, I did 12, almost 13 accumulated years. Not straight time, as in 12 years straight. But accumulated time means in and out for over 20 years. 1 month here. 3 years there, and so on up to almost 13 years.

Men that have been convicted, don't like it when someone is being punished with them for being innocent. Men like that, which I'd say is every single criminal in jail anywhere, are welcome in Jesus' Kingdom. The cops and those that exercise authority over their subjects don't like that God equates the criminal with the cop under sin (Rom. 3:22-24). But the criminal has the right to attend the same church as the cops do. The civil authorities and their cops may not like you because you've been in jail. But you are welcome with Jesus. When Jesus welcomed this criminal into His Kingdom in this passage, He also welcomes you today.

If you want to accept Jesus' offer of entering into Paradise with Him today, you can do so with a simple prayer.

Romans 10:9-10 Authorized (King James) Version 9 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Whoever Believes In Jesus Shall Have Eternal Life

John 3:14-21 Authorized (King James) Version {Paraphrased} 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness {says the Lord Jesus}, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. 18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. 21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

"Thief" (Third Day)

"The Old Man Is Dead" (Del Way)

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