Luke 23:42-43 “Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”
“Today” – this means he received salvation instantaneously.
“You will be with me” – he will be with where the Lord is.
“In Paradise” – this speaks of the place of never-ending joy.
The salvation of the thief hanging on the cross is the only way that man can be saved. He could do no good works; he could not get baptized or perform anything else. No sacraments need to be performed. Nor was salvation a life-long, progressive work. It is further evident that salvation is independent of good works. It was instantaneous. All he could do was cast himself in faith and let Grace do the rest.
There is no purgatory and the “soul-sleep” doctrine was proven wrong here as the Lord declared that he will be with Him in paradise that very day. The body may sleep, but the spirit and the soul exist after death and goes to be with the Lord.
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