THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR THIEF

Blog: Max Dawson
April 20, 2017
I doubt that there has ever been a contest to find the most popular thief in the world. But, if there was such a popularity contest, surely the man in would win it. In this text, he, like Jesus, was dying on a cross.
The thief said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” Jesus replied to the man, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”
Why is this thief so popular? Because folks believe his case proves that a person does not have to be baptized to be saved. The case of the thief is often brought up in opposition to the words of Jesus in passages like . That’s where Jesus said, “He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.”
“But what about the thief on the cross? He wasn’t baptized. That proves you don’t have to be baptized to be saved.” A thousand preachers will make that argument in pulpits across the land this week. I told you the thief was popular.
People who hear that argument in the pews will repeat it ten thousand times in the next week. They think the argument is scriptural, sophisticated and unanswerable.
There are numerous things wrong with the argument. We could talk about how the thief did not live under the New Covenant. And that he never heard the Great Commission. We could talk about how Jesus could personally forgive sins in any way he chose while on earth. There are three or four other things that could be shown to be wrong with the argument “that the thief proves baptism is not necessary.”
But, instead of elaborating on answers to this false teaching, I want to look at something more fundamental: “Why are people trying to find a way around the teaching of Jesus? It was Jesus who spoke the words about baptism in . Why are men going to other passages to try counter what Jesus said there? There just seems to be something incredibly wrong in doing that.
After all, we are talking about Jesus–the Lord and Master, the Son of God, the King of the Universe! And then feeble men think they have found a “loophole” that says we don’t have to do what King Jesus commanded! Incredible.
I suppose that not everyone who opposes baptism would make the argument about the thief on the cross. But why would anyone make such an argument? And why would anyone oppose what Jesus said about baptism?
Whatever happened to simple, humble, submissive obedience to Jesus?
THE FINAL WORD
By the way, do you have any “loopholes” that you use? Maybe some like these…
“The Bible condemns drunkenness, but it never says I can’t have just one drink.”
says not to forsake the assembly, but it doesn’t tell me that I have to attend every assembly.”
“I know gossip is wrong, but let me tell you what sister Smith did…uh…so you can pray for her.”
Blessings to you, my submissive friends,
–Max

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