One of the most common advertising ploys today is to offer entry to a prize draw if you order goods from a catalogue. Sometimes the offer might be "the Holiday of a lifetime in Paradise". God in His Word, the Bible, tells of the certainty that every person in this world has the opportunity to be certain of a home in Heaven itself.

When the Lord Jesus was crucified, two criminals were crucified alongside him, one on either side of the Lord. At first, both of these men joined the crowd as the mocked the Lord, Matt. 27.44, but later, one of them stopped to think about what he was doing. He came to an awful realisation, namely that he was receiving a just penalty for his crimes, but that the One next to him was free from any guilt. Realising this, he rebuked the other criminal, confessed his guilt and said "Jesus, Lord remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom", Luke 23.42. In his guilt, he cried for mercy at some date in the future. The answer that he received was, "Today thou shalt be with me in paradise", Luke 22.43. He learned that there was immediate forgiveness available. He did not have to pass through any purgatory, or other place of punishment for sin. The moment he called on the Saviour for mercy, he received a full and eternal forgiveness.

The message of the Bible is that what was true for this criminal is equally true for us today. We are all sinners, Rom.3.23, and we deserve to die for our sins, Rom.6.23. When there was nothing that we could do about our sins, Christ died for us, Rom.5.6-8. If we are prepared to recognise the true nature of our sin, and helplessness in the sight of God, we can claim the promise of the Saviour, "Him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out", John 6.37. If there is any doubt about the certainty that this salvation is forever, the Lord Himself said, "I give unto My sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand", John 10.28.

In Romans 10.9, we read the promise of God's word in another way, "If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved". The use of the word, "thou" means that it is individual, we cannot do this collectively. The use of the word shalt means that it is certain, there is no question of "may", but the assurance that salvation is complete. Confessing "the Lord Jesus" is not confessing that Jesus lived, but confessing that the Jesus Who lived around 2000 years ago is Lord today in my life.

Our desire is that you may find His salvation today.

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