“And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.'”
– Luke 23:43
In Luke 23 in the New Testament, we find a profound Bible verse salvation lesson that speaks directly for the fact that it is never too late to become a Christian and put your faith in Jesus Christ.
At Jesus’ crucifixion, his cross was between that of two thieves. On one side of Jesus, the thief on the cross had a hardened heart, one that was unwilling to change.
However, the thief on the other side of Jesus was repentant.
This demonstration shows us that Christ can snatch us from the hand of death and eternal damnation at the last moment, offering divine mercy.
It shows that is never too late for true repentance – even to one’s last breath before dying.
Luke 33:39-43 tells us the story, as we infer the mindset of the two thieves by their own words, and divine mercy of Christ through His words:
“One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, ‘Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!’ But the other [thief] rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.’ And he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ And he [Jesus] said to him, ‘Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.'”
(Emphasis on the speaker added in ).
Ophelia White, a 94-year-old woman who attends Cook Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana got baptized for the first time.
After being baptized, White spoke to the congregation.
“I want people to know it’s never too late [to be a Christian],” White said. “Get with it.”
Todd Free, the pastor of Cook Baptist Church, was the one who baptized Ophelia and found the moment inspiring.
“It’s inspiring to people, particularly for senior adults, to know that God is still touching hearts even in the elderly years,” Cook said. “There are many others like Mrs. White who went their whole life thinking they knew Christ but understood later their need for Him.”
“I’m praying we have others in our congregation who have a similar story will have the courage to do as Mrs. White,” the Pastor Cook added. “We see her testimony as a gift from God to our church and are grateful He allowed us to be a part of this.”
Others in the congregation were moved, too.
“It’s never too late to become a Christian,” one parishioner said. “You should never give up on a person. It takes time, a lot of time.”
They also called Ophelia a living testimony to that fact and related the story of a man who had been a deacon at the church, but who realized he did not actually have a personal relationship with Christ, deciding to be baptized and saved at 64 years of age.
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. I want a personal relationship with you.
In Your Name I pray. Amen