While Jesus was hanging on the cross, He was mocked by the crowd, the soldiers and even one of the thieves that was hung with Him mocked Him. That thief died and went to hell. The other thief asked for forgiveness and ended up in paradise with Jesus. This is a glaring example of immediately reaping what we sow. Just as God spoke the world into existence, we can speak words that create and build up or we can speak words that destroy. Let us be sure that we are speaking words that edify one another and that our actions prove the words that we speak. We will not always receive immediate punishment for bad words and deeds nor will we always receive immediate rewards for good words and deeds. But if we are faithful in doing good works, we have a reward laid up in heaven. So, let us continue to do good works, not for earthly rewards, but because we love our Lord and Savior.
62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”—Luke 9:62 (NIV) 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him.–2 Tim. 2:12a (NIV)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
8 God knows people’s hearts, and he confirmed that he accepts Gentiles by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he did to us. 9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he cleansed their hearts through faith.
The believers of the sect of the Pharisees wanted to require that all of the new believers who had not been circumcised must do so. Peter stated that that was a requirement under the law and the law had been too heavy a burden for the Jews to bear. So, he asked, knowing this, why would you lay this same unbearable burden on the new believers? Throughout the history of the church, there have always been those who wanted to add requirements to God’s simple plan of salvation. God says that “we are saved by grace through faith” There is nothing else that is acceptable in His sight. Nothing less and nothing more. That’s it. When the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him, Jesus assured him that they would be together in paradise. Nothing less, nothing more. That is the key that unlocks the gates to heaven. Once that step is taken, there are things that need to be done to enjoy the abundant life that Jesus said He brought to us. Those things do not add to the salvation plan, they just make for a more purposeful, abundant lifestyle here on earth and more rewards when you get to heaven.