Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “I assure you, today you will be with me in paradise.” [Luke 23:42-43 (NLT)]
Sometimes people say things like, “In my next life, I’ll study harder in school,” or “Next time, I’ll be sure to marry someone wealthy,” or even, “I want to come back as a dog.” Others say they remember past lives they’ve lived. Make no mistake about it: this is our first and only life and there isn’t going to be a next one here on earth. We won’t be returning as different people or animals; there won’t be a second chance. Jesus didn’t tell the repentant criminal hanging on the cross that death afforded him an opportunity to be better as another person in the future. Jesus told him he’d see him in heaven that very day! This is it for us and we better get it right the first time; we die once and face judgment. Indeed, today is the day of our salvation!