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? (Luke 23:39-40)

Why is it that our Lord does not emparadise all of us at once? It is because there is something for us to do on earth. Are you doing it?

Some good people are still on earth, but why? What is the use of them? I cannot make it out. If they are indeed the Lord’s people, what are they here for?

They get up in the morning and eat their breakfast, and in due course they eat their dinner and their supper and go to bed and sleep; at a proper hour they get up the next morning and do the same as on the previous day.

Is this living for Jesus? Is this life? It does not come to much. Can this be the life of God in man? O Christian people, do justify your Lord in keeping you waiting here. How can you justify him but by serving him to the utmost of your power?

The Lord help you to do so! Why, you owe as much to him as the dying thief. What a debt of obligation young Christians owe to the Lord. And if this poor thief crammed a lifetime of testimony in a few minutes, ought not you and I, who have been spared for years after our conversion, to perform good service for our Lord?

Come, let us wake up if we have been asleep. Let us begin to live if we have been half-dead. May the Spirit of God make something of us yet so that we may go as industrious servants from the labors of the vineyard to the pleasures of paradise. ((Charles SpurgeonAt the Master’s Feet [Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005], September 11.))

Charles Spurgeon

Further reading