Thursday, March 8, 2012

Last minute conversions

March 8, 2012

The Life of Jesus; read today: "…you will be with me in Paradise."; Luke  23:43

The third of the recorded words that Christ spoke from the cross.

NET: Luke 23:43. And Jesus said to him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

My daughter asked me a few years ago if she would see grandpa in heaven as she never knew him. He died many years before she was born.

I paused and thought before I said anything. My dad, if he had accepted Jesus certainly did not live the life of a Christian. He was an alcoholic who was only sober when he was in the hospital, and sometimes I wondered if he was then. On his last visit they told him he would die if he kept drinking, and he said I can not give up living to live.  He died two weeks later, in his recliner, a drink by his side.

Maybe somewhere deep inside, something that someone said came back to him that night and caused him to turn to Jesus and ask for forgiveness. I do not know. I only know that if he did, then like the thief on the cross, he would see Jesus in paradise that day.  I do not put down death bed conversions, Jesus died for people who put it off to the end just like He did for me. I can only think about how much richer and fuller both his life and my children’s lives would be if Grandpa was still alive today.

So my answer to her was I do not know. I can only hope that he is.

Read for next time: Darkness from 6th to 9th hour; Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44-45