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Lesson 9

The thief who was crucified alongside Jesus is thought to have asked for forgiveness and salvation. Is that what he asked for, or is that what has come to be believed? He specifically asked for Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into his Kingdom. Believing heaven is the next step for repentant humans, most Christians believe the thief was asking to be in heaven with Jesus. What does the Bible say about when Jesus will come with his Kingdom? When Jesus left in the clouds, an angel told his followers he would return in a similar manner. Jesus told his disciples early in his ministry he would come and get them. The book of Revelation paints a graphic picture of Jesus coming in the clouds to subdue the beast and false prophet along with all the armies of the world. Resurrecting his believers during this event, the Kingdom of Jesus does not appear until he returns and imposes it on the world. It could be at this time the thief along with the followers of Jesus are resurrected. Do you believe the only paradise is when believers dwell with the father and Jesus in the new Jerusalem heaven? The Bible does provide other possibilities. For instance, after Jesus defeats the world’s armies in the Armagido valley and Satan is chained in a bottomless pit, the world is restored into its full glory. For mortal humanity and the saints who rule with Jesus for a thousand years, this time will be a paradise. The other possibility for the thief to be in paradise ruled by Jesus comes at the end of that thousand years, when the rest of the dead are brought back to life. They will also be living in the kingdom of Jesus and that Kingdom will be a paradise.

Revelation 17:12-14 King James Version
12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. 14 These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.

John 14:2-3 BRG Bible
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Acts 1:11 Contemporary English Version
11 They said, “Why are you men from Galilee standing here and looking up into the sky? Jesus has been taken to heaven. But he will come back in the same way you have seen him go.”

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