Church of God, New World Ministries

Understanding Luke 23 Verse 43

Are you studying your Bible so as to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you ---:” (I Pet. 3:15)?

One of the most misunderstood passages of Scripture in the Bible is found in: Luke 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.”

Always remember this unbreakable rule: “Scripture cannot contradict nor nullify Scripture.”: John 10:35 “If He called them gods (Psa. 82:6), unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken.”

With this in mind, let’s explain these verses in Luke 23. Some will try to tell you that this means “this thief is with Christ in Paradise or heaven”. With Scriptural evidence, I can assure you, HE IS NOT! (Read, Acts 2:27, 29 - 34); Jn. 3:13 “And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.”

  1. I ask: “Are you trying to tell me that this criminal, hanging there next to Christ, is going to supersede or preempt king David of Israel in the resurrection”? Jeremiah 3:9 “But they shall serve their LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up (resurrect) unto them”. The truth is that David, the thief, nor any one else has ascended to heaven.

  2. Heaven is NOT the reward of the “saved”. The reward of the saved is ruler ship with Christ, on this earth. Revelation 5:10 “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 11:15; Rev. 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they (the resurrected saints) sat upon them. ------; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,”

  3. Zechariah 14: 5 “---: and the LORD my shall come, and all the saints with thee.” 9 “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: ---” There are dozens of Scriptural references depicting Christ’s return to rule on this earth, as King of kings and Lord of lords.

  4. Christ Himself did not go to heaven on the day He died, because He remained in the tomb for 3 days and 3 nights: (Matthew 12:40).

  5. From these evidences we’ve read thus far, we can deduce that the translators of this passage of Scripture MISPLACED THE COMMA in verse 43! It should read:Verse 43 “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee today, (I’m assuring you TODAY,) shalt thou be with me in paradise (you shall be with me in paradise)”.

  6. “Shalt be” is in the future tense. It means WHEN Christ sets up His Kingdom on this earth (Verse 42). We believe this to be in the NEAR FUTURE, not 2000 yrs. ago, when our Savior hung there on that tree, dying for our sins. Yes! This criminal, in the future second resurrection, will have his opportunity to fully repent, be given God’s Holy Spirit, and to be “saved” through the shed Blood of Jesus Christ (Ezekiel 37:1-3 - 11- 13, 14)! Christ will REMEMBER this man THEN!

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