Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” – Luke 23:43, NIV
When Whitney’s father died, she grieved him deeply. She had become a Christian late in life and had prayed for her father’s salvation faithfully every day. But now with him gone, she felt hopeless.
“My one desire has always been to see my father again in Heaven,” she explained to a friend. “Now, I’ll never get that chance. He never showed any sign of repentance even in his final days.”
Whitney’s friend gently reminded her of the thief on the Cross with Jesus. “That man lived stubbornly in his sin until the last moments of his life. Yet Jesus still welcomed him into Heaven when he recognized his need for a Savior.”
Sometimes, loved ones start their new beginning in the afterlife and they leave us with questions. We wonder if they believed in Jesus. We wonder if they’ll be there to greet us when we cross over.
God is the God of second chances and new beginnings. He doesn’t reject anyone that comes to Him—even if they seek Him only in the last moments of their life. Your loved one may have turned to God and with their last breath echoed the cry of the thief on the Cross, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” (Luke 23:42)
God, thank You for second chances and abundant grace. I pray for those I love who may not have a relationship with You. Open their eyes to their need. Woo them into a relationship with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.