“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:39-43). Jesus was always witnessing, even when he was nailed to the Cross. When Jesus died that day he did not go straight to Heaven. He went and preached to the spirits in prison in the heart of the earth, and he apparently stopped off in a place under the earth called paradise where the old Prophets and the saved people went. Many Bible scholars and Theologians believe this. “for as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:40). “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;” (1 Peter 3:18-19). He preached to the Sprits in prison obviously to give them another chance to get saved and get out. Many people think that Jesus told the thief on the cross next to him when they were dying that the paradise he was talking about was Heaven which is definitely Paradise also, but if you know the scriptures then you know that Jesus Christ went and preached to the spirits in prison in the heart of the earth. Please read about the different levels of hell in this web site for a greater understanding. Paradise was a good place were the departed people of God went when they died, and they waited there until Jesus resurrected them, and they walked the streets of Jerusalem, until the Lord took them to Heaven also. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” (Matthew 27:50-53). “Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.” (John 20:15-18). These verses show us that Jesus didn’t immediately ascend to Heaven when he died. So therefore Paradise is not Heaven as it is used in this verse where Jesus told the thief on the cross next to him they would go this day, to a place called Paradise, other than Heaven, where Jesus went 40 days later. In 1 Samuel Chapter 28, when Saul had the witch of Endor conjure up Samuel from the earth in Paradise were he was waiting for the Lord, Samuel was very upset because he was disturbed from his peaceful place to come back and talk to Saul. Jesus said, he was going to prepare a place for us in John Chapter 14. Can you imagine how beautiful Heaven must be ? God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit created his beautiful creation in only 6 days. Just imagine what it must look like now after he has been working on it for over 2000 years. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Say this prayer if you want to be saved: Jesus, I want to know you, and to live forever in Heaven, I know I have made mistakes and done bad things- and I am sorry. Please forgive me. I know I don’t deserve it, but I accept your love and I accept you as my Saviour. I believed you died on the cross for my sins and rose from the dead. Please come into my heart and life and fill me with your Holy Spirit and give me peace. Amen