Category: Men of the bible (Q thru Z)


In 1 Kings 3:16–28 we find an account of King Solomon hearing a case involving two prostitutes. The two women had both recently given birth to sons, and they lived together in the same home. During the night, one of the infants was smothered and died. The woman whose son had died switched her dead baby with the baby of the other woman as she slept. The other woman, seeking justice, took the matter before the king. She stated her case: “We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us. During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him. So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast. The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne” (verses 18–21).

Solomon could not tell from their words which woman was telling the truth. Instead, he issued a shocking command: “Bring me a sword. . . . Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other” (1 Kings 3:24–25). After he said this, the woman whose son was still alive said, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!”; however, the other woman, whose son had died, answered, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!” (verse 26). Based on their responses, Solomon knew the identity of the true mother: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother” (verse 27).

Why would Solomon give such an outrageous command? Did he really intend to cut a baby in half with a sword? The text is clear that Solomon’s intention was to discover the truth. He did so by watching the responses of the two women and relying on the maternal instincts of the true mother.

The chapter’s final verse notes the effect that Solomon’s unorthodox methods had on the kingdom: “When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice” (1 Kings 3:28). Solomon’s wisdom had been given by God when Solomon requested it (verse 5). The account of Solomon’s handling of the case of the two prostitutes showed that he had indeed been granted wisdom from God. In the following chapters, many more examples are given of the wisdom of King Solomon.

The Wisdom of Solomon, also called the Book of Wisdom, is one of the books of the Apocrypha. The others in the group are 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Tobit, Judith, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, Prayer of Manasseh, and 1 and 2 Maccabees. The books of the Apocrypha are accepted primarily by the Roman Catholic Church and are included in Catholic Bibles. The Apocrypha / Deuterocanonical books teach many things that are not true and are not historically accurate. The Roman Catholic Church officially added the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals to their Bible at the Council of Trent in the mid 1500’s A.D., primarily in response to the Protestant Reformation. None of the apocryphal books are included in the canon of Scripture.

The Wisdom of Solomon was believed by some to have been written by King Solomon, although his name appears nowhere in the text. However, the early church rejected the authorship of Solomon because an ancient manuscript fragment known as the Muratorian fragment refers to the Wisdom of Solomon as having been written by “the friends of Solomon in his honour.” It is widely accepted today, even by the Catholic Church, that Solomon did not write the book, which dates back to the 1st or 2nd century BC, many centuries after the death of Solomon.

While Solomon wrote much on the subject of wisdom in Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, he never elevated it to the status of part of the Godhead, a philosophy found in The Wisdom of Solomon. The book refers to Wisdom in terms the Bible reserves only for the Messiah, saying “she [wisdom] is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” (Wisdom 7:26). The book of Hebrews reserves such accolades only for the Son of God, who “is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Hebrews 1:3). Even more egregious, Wisdom 9:18 says that salvation is an act of wisdom, whereas Scripture is clear that salvation is by faith, a gift of God to those whom He calls, justifies and sanctifies (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 8:30). In fact, if man were to depend upon his “wisdom” for salvation, we would be lost forever with no hope because the unredeemed are dead in trepasses and sin (Ephesians 2:1-4) and their minds are darkened (Ephesians 4:18; 1 Corinthians 2:14) and their heart deceitful and desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9).

The apocryphal books are accepted by the Roman Catholic Church because many of them teach RCC doctrines which are not in agreement with the Bible, including praying for the dead, petitioning Mary to intercede with the Father, worshiping angels, and alms-giving as atonement for sins. Some of what the Apocrypha / Deuterocanonicals say is true and correct. However, due to the historical and theological errors, the books must be viewed as fallible historical and religious documents, not as the inspired, authoritative Word of God.

Image      When seeking what we can learn from the thief on the cross, it should be remembered that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, two thieves were crucified beside Him (Luke 23:33-43), and both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming Him, as did many of the spectators. One of the thieves responded to the message of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond and is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

It is remarkable that, while in the excruciating and mind-numbing torment of the cross, the Son of Man had the heart, mind and will to pray for others. Yet it is a miracle that one thief, while in agony himself, heard the Spirit of God call him to repentance and acceptance of the forgiveness God was just about to provide through the death of Christ. While the disciples were abandoning the Lord, this man answered the call and his sins were forgiven, including his blasphemy against the Son of God (Luke 5:31-32, 12:8-10).

That the other thief rejected Jesus is remarkable in its own right. While being tortured on the cross he literally joined his torturers in insulting the Savior of the world, and he most likely did so because he wanted his torturers to think he was just like them, joined to the world and with no love for God (Matthew 27:44). Not only was this man next to the Savior, he heard Him pray, he witnessed the salvation of the other thief, he saw the world go dark, and he heard the testimony of the Son. But his pride kept him from submitting to the only One who could save him, and when he one day bows to the Name he mocked, he will be doing so reluctantly and while in torment (Philippians 2:10).

What we learn from the saved thief on the cross is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior, and no matter the number of our sins and no matter if we, or the world, think our sins are minor or extreme, it is never too late to repent and accept the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation 22:17). Moreover, as long as someone still has a mind and the will to chose life over death (Hebrews 9:27), it is never too late to proclaim the gospel, which hopefully will open a heart to a miracle by the Holy Spirit.

The gospel of Thomas is a Coptic manuscript discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi in Egypt. This manuscript contains 114 sayings attributed to Jesus. Some of these sayings resemble sayings found in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Other sayings were unknown until their discovery or even run counter to what is written in the four Gospels.

One December day in 1945, far up the Nile Valley, two Egyptian peasants were looking for a local variety of crumbly nitrate rock used as fertilizer. They came across a large jar, about a meter tall, hidden by a boulder. Inside they found a collection of ancient leather-bound books or codices. The spot where the books were found is within a few miles of the site of an early monastery, established by the founder of Christian “cenobitic” monasticism in Egypt, Pachomius. Nag Hammadi, a nearby village, has given this remarkable collection its name.

The Nag Hammadi Library consists of fifty-two texts or “tractates” written in Coptic on papyrus and gathered in thirteen volumes, twelve of which have separate leather bindings. Forty of the texts had previously been unknown to modern scholars. Most of the writings are of a Gnostic character. Scraps of paper found in the binding of eight codices bear dates indicating that the books were made in the mid-fourth century, and at least one of these clearly appears to have come from a monastery. Efforts to date the books more precisely continue. In general, it can be said the collection dates from about the middle of the fourth century. The Coptic texts could be many years earlier, and the originals (probably written in Greek or Aramaic) from which the Coptic translations were made could have been still earlier.

To understand how we got the Bible as we know it, please see the following two articles:   What is the canon of Scripture? and  How was the Canon determined?

Should the gospel of Thomas be in the Canon?

The early church councils followed something similar to the following principles to determine whether a New Testament book was truly inspired by the Holy Spirit: 1) Was the author an apostle or have a close connection with an apostle? 2) Was the book being accepted by the Body of Christ at large? 3) Did the book contain consistency of doctrine and orthodox teaching? 4) Did the book bear evidence of high moral and spiritual values that would reflect a work of the Holy Spirit?

The gospel of Thomas fails all of these tests. The gospel of Thomas was not written by Jesus’ disciple Thomas. The early Christian leaders universally recognized the gospel of Thomas as a forgery. The gospel of Thomas was rejected by the vast majority of early Christians. The gospel of Thomas contains many teachings that are in contradiction to the biblical Gospels and the rest of the New Testament. The gospel of Thomas does not bear the marks of a work of inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Are there any other arguments that preclude the gospel of Thomas from being included in the Bible? If we examine the 114 sayings in this writing, then we find some that are similar to existing sayings, some that are slightly different, but the majority cannot be found anywhere in the entirety of Scripture itself. Scripture must always confirm itself, and the majority of sayings in the gospel of Thomas cannot be confirmed anywhere else in Scripture.

One argument for precluding the gospel of Thomas from the Bible is found in the overt “secretness” attributed to these 114 sayings by the work itself. Nowhere in Scripture is God’s Word given “in secret” but is given for all to read and understand. The gospel of Thomas very clearly tries to maintain an air of secrecy in its words.

The gospel of Thomas is a Gnostic gospel, espousing a  Gnostic viewpoint of Christianity. The gospel of Thomas is simply a heretical forgery, much the same as the gospel of Judas, the gospel of Mary, and the gospel of Philip. Perhaps the disciple Thomas’ nickname of “doubting Thomas” is appropriate here. We should all be doubting the gospel of Thomas!

We should thank God for the example of “doubting Thomas”! The famous story of the disciple Thomas, whose name literally means “doubter,” is recorded in John 20:24-29. All Christians suffer doubt at one time or another, but the example of doubting Thomas provides both instruction and encouragement.

After His crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus appeared alive and glorified to His disciples to comfort them and proclaim to them the good news of His victory over death (John 20:19-23). However, one of the original 12 disciples, Thomas, was not present for this visitation (John 20:24). After being told by the other disciples of Jesus’ resurrection and personal visit, Thomas “doubted” and wanted physical proof of the risen Lord in order to believe this good news. Jesus, knowing Thomas’s human frailty resulted in weakened faith, accommodated Thomas.

It is important to note that Jesus did not have to fulfill Thomas’s request. He was not obligated in the slightest bit. Thomas had spent three years intimately acquainted with Jesus witnessing all His miracles and hearing His prophecies about His coming death and resurrection. That, and the testimony Thomas received from the other 10 disciples about Jesus’ return, should have been enough, but still he doubted. Jesus knew Thomas’s weakness, just as he knows ours.

The doubt Thomas experienced in the face of the heartbreaking loss of the One he loved is not unlike our own when facing a massive loss: despair, heartbreak, and exceeding sorrow, all of which Christ sympathizes with (Hebrews 4:15). But, although Thomas did in fact doubt the Lord’s resurrection appearance, once he saw the risen Christ, he proclaimed in faith, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). Jesus commended him for his faith, although that faith was based on sight.

As an extra encouraging note to future Christians, Jesus goes on to say, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (John 20:29, emphasis added). He meant that once He ascended to heaven, He would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would live within believers from then on, enabling us to believe that which we do not see with our eyes. This same thought is echoed by Peter, who said of Christ, “Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1:8-9).

Although we have the Spirit within us, we can still experience doubt. This, however, does not affect our eternal standing with God. True saving faith always perseveres to the end just as Thomas’s did, and just as Peter’s did after he had a monumental moment of weakness by denying the very Lord he loved and believed in (Matthew 26:69-75). This is because, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Jesus is “the author and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2). Faith is the gift of God to His children (Ephesians 2:8-9), and He will mature and perfect it until He returns.

So how do we keep from doubting as Thomas did? First, we must go to God in prayer when experiencing doubt. That may be the very reason God is allowing a Christian to doubt—so that we will depend on Him through prayer. Sanctification is the process of growing in Him, which includes times of doubt and times of great faith. Like the man who brought his demon-possessed child to Jesus but was unsure whether Jesus could help him, we go to God because we believe in Him and ask Him for more and greater faith to overcome our doubts, crying, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” (Mark 9:17-27).

Second, we must recognize that Christians fight a spiritual battle daily. We have to gear up for the battle. The Christian needs to daily be armed with the Word of God to help fight these spiritual battles, which include fighting doubt, and we arm ourselves with the “full armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10-19). As Christians, we must take advantage of the lulls in spiritual warfare to polish our spiritual armor in order to be ready for the next battle. Times of doubt will become less frequent if we take advantage of the good times to feed our faith with the Word of God. Then when we raise the shield of faith and do battle with the enemy of our souls, his flaming darts of doubt will not hit their target.

Doubting Christians have two things doubting Thomas did not have—the indwelling Holy Spirit and the written New Testament. By the power of both the Spirit and the Word, we can overcome doubts and, like Thomas, be prepared to follow our Lord and Savior and give all for Him, even our lives (John 11:16).

There is much speculation about the identity of the Antichrist. Some of the more popular targets are Vladimir Putin, Prince William, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Pope Francis I. In the United States, former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and current President Barack Obama, are the most frequent candidates. So, who is the Antichrist, and how will we recognize him?

The Bible really does not say anything specific about where the Antichrist will come from. Many Bible scholars speculate that he will come from a confederacy of ten nations and/or a reborn Roman empire (Daniel 7:24-25; Revelation 17:7). Others see him as having to be a Jew in order to claim to be the Messiah. It is all just speculation since the Bible does not specifically say where the Antichrist will come from or what race he will be. One day, the Antichrist will be revealed. Second Thessalonians 2:3-4 tells us how we will recognize the Antichrist: “Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.”

It is likely that most people who are alive when the Antichrist is revealed will be very surprised at his identity. The Antichrist may or may not be alive today. Martin Luther was convinced that the pope in his time was the Antichrist. During the 1940’s, many believed Adolph Hitler was the Antichrist. Others who have lived in the past few hundred years have been equally sure as to the identity of the Antichrist. So far, they have all been incorrect. We should put the speculations behind us and focus on what the Bible actually says about the Antichrist. Revelation 13:5-8 declares, “The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise his authority for forty-two months. He opened his mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.”

While there is no verse that says a “third of the angels fell from heaven,” some verses, when put together, lead us to that conclusion. Sometime after their creation, and most certainly after the sixth day when everything was declared “very good” (Genesis 1:31), Satan rebelled and was cast out of heaven. “How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12). When Lucifer sinned, Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18), and in the book of the Revelation Satan is seen as “a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth” (Revelation 9:1).

We are also told that one third of an “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22) chose to rebel with him. John saw this great wonder in heaven, “…an enormous red dragon…His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth…the great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:3-9).

Since Satan is referred to as a star which fell or was cast down to earth, and Revelation 12:4 says a third of the stars were cast out with him, then the conclusion is that the stars in Revelation 12 refer to fallen angels, fully one third of the heavenly host. If the one-third number is in fact accurate, what assurance that is! Two thirds of the angels are still on God’s side, and for followers of Christ, they are on our side as well.

Yes, the serpent in Genesis chapter 3 was Satan. Satan was either appearing as a serpent, possessing the serpent, or deceiving Adam and Eve into believing that it was the serpent who was talking to them. Serpents / snakes do not possess the ability to speak. Revelation 12:9 and 20:2 both describe Satan as a serpent. “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years” (Revelation 20:2). “The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Revelation 12:9).

While the Bible is not clear as to whether or not the serpent stood up or walked before the curse, it appears likely that like other reptiles it probably did walk on four legs. That would seem to be the best explanation of Genesis 3:14, “So the LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.’” The fact that the serpent was cursed to crawl on his belly and eat the dust of the earth forever is also a way of indicating that the serpent would be forever despised and looked upon as a vile and despicable creature and an object of scorn and contempt. Why did God curse the serpent when He knew that it was actually Satan who had led Adam and Eve into sin? The fate of the serpent is an illustration. The curse of the serpent will one day be the fate of Satan himself (Revelation 20:10; Ezekiel 28:18-19).

A common tactic of Satan is to imitate or counterfeit the things of God in order  to make himself appear to be like God. What is commonly referred to as the  “unholy trinity,” described vividly in Revelation 12 and 13, is no exception.  The Holy Trinity consists of God the Father, the Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy  Spirit. Their counterparts in the unholy trinity are Satan, the Antichrist,  and the False Prophet. While the Holy Trinity  is characterized by infinite truth, love, and goodness, the unholy trinity  portrays the diametrically opposite traits of deception, hatred, and  unadulterated evil.

Revelation 12 and 13 contain prophetic passages that  describe some of the main events and the figures involved during the second half  of the seven-year Tribulation period. Although many Bible passages allude to  Satan in various forms, such as a serpent or an angel of light, he is described  in Revelation  12:3 as a “great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven  crowns upon his heads” (Revelation  12:3). The color red indicates his vicious and homicidal personality. The  seven heads symbolize seven evil kingdoms that Satan has empowered and used  throughout history to attempt to prevent God’s ultimate plan from coming to  fruition. Five of the kingdoms had already come and gone—Egypt, Assyria,  Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

All these kingdoms severely oppressed  and persecuted the Hebrews, killing many of them. Satan’s intent was to prevent  the birth of Christ (Revelation  12:4). The sixth kingdom, Rome, was still in existence during the writing of  this prophecy. Under Roman rule, King Herod murdered Hebrew babies around the  time of Christ’s birth and Pontius Pilate ultimately authorized the crucifixion  of Jesus. The seventh kingdom, which is more fierce and cruel than the others,  will be the final world kingdom that the Antichrist forms during the end times.  These kingdoms were also prophesied in Daniel, chapters 2 and 7. The seven  crowns represent universal rule, and ten horns represent complete world power or  authority.

Revelation 12 indicates many important facts about Satan.  Satan and one-third of the angels were cast out of heaven during a rebellion  before the world began (Revelation  12:4). The Archangel Michael and the other angels will make war with Satan  and his demons, and Satan will be excluded from heaven forever (Revelation 12:7-9). In  his attempt to prevent God’s fulfillment of His earthly kingdom, Satan will  attempt to annihilate the Jews, but God will supernaturally protect a remnant of  the Jews in a location outside of Israel for the last 42 months of the  Tribulation (Revelation12: 6,13-17; Matthew  24:15-21).

The second member of the unholy trinity is the Beast or  Antichrist described in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7. The beast comes out of the  sea, which typically in the Bible refers to the Gentile nations. He also has  seven heads and ten horns, indicating his connection to and indwelling by Satan.  The ten horns indicate ten seats of world government that will provide power to  the Antichrist, three of which will be totally yielded to or taken over by the  Antichrist (Daniel 7:8).  The number ten also indicates completion or totality, in other words, a  one-world government. The one-world government will be blasphemous, denying the  true God. The final kingdom will possess traits in common with the former “beast  kingdoms” of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and particularly Rome (Revelation13: 2; Daniel 7:7, 23). Revelation  13:3 seems to indicate that the Antichrist will be mortally wounded about  halfway through the Tribulation, but Satan will miraculously heal his wound. (Revelation 13:3, 17:8-14). After this wondrous event, the world will be  totally enthralled by the Antichrist. They will worship Satan and the Antichrist  himself (Revelation  13:4-5). The Antichrist becomes emboldened and, dispensing with all  pretenses of being a peaceful ruler, he openly blasphemes God, breaks his peace  treaty with the Jews, attacks believers and the Jews, and desecrates the rebuilt  Jewish temple, setting himself up as the one to be worshipped (Revelation 13:4-7, Matthew 24:15.) This  particular event has been called the Abomination of Desolation.

The  final personage of the unholy trinity is the False Prophet, described in Revelation 13:11-18. This second beast comes out of the  earth, not the sea, possibly indicating that he will be an apostate Jew coming  from Israel. Although he presents himself as a meek, mild and benevolent person,  the horns indicate that he will have power. Jesus expressly warned believers to  watch out for false prophets that may look innocent but actually can be very  destructive (Matthew  7:15). The False Prophet speaks like a dragon, meaning that he will speak  persuasively and deceptively to turn humans away from God and promote the  worship of the Antichrist and Satan (Revelation 13:11-12). The False Prophet is capable of  producing great signs and wonders, including coming forth fire from heaven (Revelation  13:13). He sets up an image of the Antichrist for worship, gives life to the  image, demands the worship of the image from all people, and executes those who  refuse to worship the image (Revelation 13:14-15). Revelation  20:4 indicates that the executions will occur by the guillotine.

The  False Prophet will also compel each person to receive a permanent mark, tattoo,  or brand, just as slaves did in John’s day, to show total devotion to the  Antichrist and renunciation of God. Only those who receive the mark will be  permitted to engage in commerce. Acceptance of the mark means eternal death (Revelation  14:10). The Bible makes clear that humans will fully understand that by  accepting the mark, they are not only accepting an economic system but also a  worship system that rejects Jesus Christ. Revelation  13:18 reveals the number of the Beast—666. No one knows precisely what this  means. Some believe that the Antichrist’s first, middle, and last names will  have six letters each. Some believe that the designation refers to a computer  chip, since some computer programs start with 666.

Satan is the  anti-God, the Beast is the anti-Christ, and the False Prophet is the  anti-spirit. This unholy trinity will persecute believers and deceive many  others, resulting in their eternal death. But God’s kingdom will prevail. Daniel 7:21-22 states, “I  was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and  prevailing against them, until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made  in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to  possess the kingdom.”

When seeking what we can learn from the thief on the cross, it should be  remembered that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, two thieves were crucified  beside Him (Luke  23:33-43), and both began their time on the cross by mocking and blaspheming  Him, as did many of the spectators. One of the thieves responded to the message  of salvation and was taken to paradise that very day. He is the one usually  referred to as the thief on the cross, while the other man did not respond and  is now suffering from a deadly and eternal mistake.

It is remarkable  that, while in the excruciating and mind-numbing torment of the cross, the Son  of Man had the heart, mind and will to pray for others. Yet it is a miracle that  one thief, while in agony himself, heard the Spirit of God call him to  repentance and acceptance of the forgiveness God was just about to provide  through the death of Christ. While the disciples were abandoning the Lord, this  man answered the call and his sins were forgiven, including his blasphemy  against the Son of God (Luke  5:31-32, 12:8-10).

That the other thief rejected Jesus is remarkable in its own right.  While being tortured on the cross he literally joined his torturers in insulting  the Savior of the world, and he most likely did so because he wanted his  torturers to think he was just like them, joined to the world and with no love  for God (Matthew  27:44). Not only was this man next to the Savior, he heard Him pray, he  witnessed the salvation of the other thief, he saw the world go dark, and he  heard the testimony of the Son. But his pride kept him from submitting to the  only One who could save him, and when he one day bows to the Name he mocked, he  will be doing so reluctantly and while in torment (Philippians  2:10).

What we learn from the saved thief on the cross is that we  are all sinners in need of a Savior, and no matter the number of our sins and no  matter if we, or the world, think our sins are minor or extreme, it is never too  late to repent and accept the free gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9; Revelation  22:17). Moreover, as long as someone still has a mind and the will to chose  life over death (Hebrews  9:27), it is never too late to proclaim the gospel, which hopefully will  open a heart to a miracle by the Holy Spirit.