Q: Will those who believe in Christ but not in the seventhday as the Sabbath go to heaven?
A: Something important happened right before Jesus died as He hung between two criminals, all in terrible agony.
«Hey! Aren’t you the Christ?» one demanded with an angry, sarcastic voice. «Why don’t you save yourself—and us too?»
The other thief had been watching Jesus carefully. He’d seen Him give comfort to His weeping mother, even while pain racked His bruised and bleeding body. And he’d heard Him ask God to forgive the guards for their cruel actions. Not one curse did Jesus hurl at the crowd. Not one murmur of anger or hate had escaped His parched lips.
«Don’t you fear God?» he asked, addressing the other criminal. «We deserve to die. But this man is sinless.» At that moment the second thief fully believed what he’d heard about this stranger from Nazareth. As his body trembled in pain, he called out, «Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom» (Luke 23:42).
Christ answered him immediately. «Truly I tell you, … you will be with me in paradise» (verse 43).
The thief didn’t have time to accept most of the things Jesus taught, but he was saved anyway—because he believed in Jesus. We, on the other hand, have time. Obeying all God’s laws keeps us safely within the boundaries of His saving power. With us, belief must be combined with obedience.