Discipleship? But What About the Thief on the Cross?

I really enjoy talking to people about what it means to imitate and obey Jesus as His disciple. However, because most people in my culture and context have been taught an easy-believism, cheap-grace, cultural Christianity; they often struggle with the concept of the purpose of salvation being that believers bring glory to God by being re-conformed into the image of God.
 
Moreover, they also struggle with the idea that re-conformity into the image of God only occurs through being conformed to the image of Jesus (who is the perfect image of God) by imitating and obeying Him as His disciple, through the supernatural empowerment and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. Finally, they struggle with the concept that this conformity to Jesus through imitating and obeying as His disciple must begin in the here and now, not just when we get to paradise.
 
But this is exactly what the Bible teaches. John the Apostle wrote:
 
We know that we have come to know [Jesus] if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did (1 John 2:3-6).
 
Scripture clearly teaches that either you are being conformed into the image of Jesus through imitating and obeying Him as His disciple, or you do not know Him; simple as that.
 
But again, because I live in a culture of easy-believism and cheap-grace; sooner or later, someone brings up the thief on the cross.
 
The problem is that the thief on the cross argument is filled with holes.

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The Lord Detests Lying Lips

If I heard it once, I heard it a thousand times…
 
“I can’t wait until the day after the election and the coronavirus is gone…”
 
Well, the voting is over and not only is Covid-19 still here, it is getting worse.

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The Center of Your Life

Humor me…
 
Ask random people what they believe to be the center of your life.
 
And don’t just ask people who you think will tell you what you want to hear…
 
Ask people who will tell you what you don’t want to hear. Because, they will be more honest.
 
In fact, ask people who don’t even like you. They will be the most honest.
 

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