This is a common belief in modern Christianity that the thief in the cross went to heaven that same day with Jesus . What does the bible say ? Some people say that this is a pagan belief from Greek philosophy . The most important thing in seeing to know did the thief on the cross go to heaven that day is to find out what the bible say . Here is the verse
LK 23 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, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.'
Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? Punctuation
Did the Greek original text have coma ? No then putting a coma in the wrong place makes the whole difference. In the original language of the bible Greek there was no comas. So let us say we put the coma after the world today, will the meaning change ? Let us see
LK 23 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 today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.'
Putting the coma before the word today would mean .
I tell you today and in a few minutes you will be with me in heaven. But it would mean this text would disagree with the whole bible which teaches that the dead know not anything , or that the soul that sins it shall die . But what happens if we put the coma after the word today ? Then it means I tell you today that we are on the cross. Today that we are suffering, one day you will be with Me in paradise. Where we place the coma makes a big difference. Did the thief on the cross go to heaven ? No as Jesus Himself did not ascend that day to heaven .
I repeat now for better understanding. The original Greek did not have comas . Putting in the right place it means that I tell you that today we are on the cross, that one day you wail be in heaven with me . Does this agree with the rest of the bible ? Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? No because Jesus himself did not go to heaven that day . As He said to Mary after his resurrection I am not ascended to my Father . JN 20 17 'Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. '
Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? Greek philosophy
This belief of people going to heaven is Greek philosophy it is not based on the bible. As the Greeks believed that at death people would go to heaven or hell . But the bible teaches that the dead do not know anything . Lazarus was sleeping in the grave, it does not say Lazarus went to heaven. It says Jesus will raise the dead. If they are living in heaven would the bible say they are dead. Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? No
When the bible says the person that sins it shall die . If the person was not dead would the bible say they are dead. No What does it mean sinners who die are dead. It means they are not living, they are not counscious, it means they are waiting the resurrection for the righteous and fire of hell for the others.
Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? Difficult verses
There are difficult verses like the one about the thief on the cross we saw above. Also the parable of the rich men and Lazarus, how can we explain this one ? It is a parable a story that existed in Jesus time . Would Jesus start to deny the whole bible and Torah and start teaching Greek philosophy ? No It means that parable is a story we cannot take literal .
The parable of the sower does it mean seeds are really the bible ? Does it mean the fruitful ground is really a brain and the mind ? No When we look a the cursed fig tree does it mean that fig trees are the literal country of Israel ? No
LK 16 19 'There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: 20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores, 21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25 But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. 26 And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence. 27 Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
28 For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29 Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. 30 And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. 31 And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. '
Then this parable is the same . Can the beggar send a drop of water from heaven to hell ? No Can one drop of water take away the pain of hell ? No
Is Abraham s stomach the whole world ? No that would be a large stomach . Can people from heaven see people in hell ? No that would be a nightmare and people in heaven would not be happy looking all day at their relatives burning in hell . It is just a parable to teach that when people are in unbelief even if prophets resurrected they would still not believe . Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? He did not go that day . He will be in heaven when Jesus comes again , at the resurrection .
Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? Forever and ever
This is a very important point as many people are deceived and in Babylonian beliefs because they believe forever and ever means for eternity . Like we have seen in other articles of Earthlastday.com words change meaning . The bible was written in 1611, then we need to use the meaning of the words when the bible was written . In the bible forever meant often , until the person died. For example .
EX 132 14 'And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever.' Forever does not mean for eternity , or that this feast would be kept in heaven for eternity . It means this feast would be kept until Jesus died
EX 21 6 'Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an aul; and he shall serve him for ever. ' Here too we cannot take this verse to say the servant will serve the master forever , even in heaven throughout eternity as we know in heaven there will not be slaves , as it would not be heaven .
So we know that forever and ever in bible times did not mean for eternity . But it means until the thing that needs to be done is over. Today we can say the soccer game will last forever and ever . In bible times it means until the game ends. Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? No as Jesus will only resurrect people when He returns again . Until then people are in the grave waiting for the resurrection.
Did the thief on the cross go to heaven? For ages
So we see that also when the bible says that something will be burning forever for example, it does not mean that the burning is forever, it means that the punishing is forever. If i say this book is burned forever. Does it mean that the book will burn forever ? No it means that the effect of the burning will last forever. It is not the punishment that is forever, it is the effect of the punishing .
Forever and ever the book will not exist, forever the book will be destroyed, forever the book will be to ashes and ill not come back . It does not mean that the book will burn forever.
MT 13 40 'As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.' Here it says that people will be cast in the destruction fires at the end of the age. The bible teaches that in RE 20 that at the end of the millenium, the wicked will be raised and God will send fire and destroy them . Hell is not forever, but at the end of the millennium people will be destroyed. Those who sinned more will burn longer.
JN 5 JN 5 28 'Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.' Those who are in the graves the bible says cannot be in the grave and in hell at the same time . It says they will receive their recompense at the end of the millennium
RE 20 9 'And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.' Here we see that this hell fire comes down at the end of the millennium upon those who are resurrected again , the wicked and it plainly says they are destroyed .
MA 4 'For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. 3 And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.'
Here also is another witness that the wicked, the proud, are destroyed literally to ashes. Hope this articles helped clarify the truth about hell and death . Father God bless , heal and prosper us. Give us the desires of our hearts. Give us your righteousness. Thank you for your Word, the truth, the Holy Spirit, the blessings we enjoy everyday in the name of Jesus amen I highly counsel to read the great controversy Ellen g White And