Short question I need help with:
What is the Greek word / meaning for paradise used in Luke 23:43? Is there another description for it? Where is this paradise? Is the Father there? My question pertains to where does a believer “go” when they die? I believe scripture says our spirit goes to the presence of the Lord, but I can’t seem to find it (2 Corinthians 5:6-8 ?)
Long version of above (why I need help):
I’m working with some Mormon’s ...
My approach has been focused on the following questions: How can we justify our sin before the Heavenly Father? Can we make ourselves holy enough to be in His presence? Can we do ‘enough’ good works? Can we follow the law and be justified in His sight? And, can we know now (with 100% certainty) if we are going to heaven?
Over our meetings I have used the following scriptures presented to them in this order: Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23, Matthew 5:22, James 2:10, Romans 3:19-28, John 3:15-18, John 5:24, Romans 10:1-13, Romans 7:6-1, Romans 8:1, Romans: 8:16-17, John 3:3-6, and Ephesians 2:8-9.
I believe we are sealed with the Holy Spirit at the moment we believe (Ephesians 1:13-14), and from that point on the Lord will not let anyone / anything take us from Him (John 10:28-30). I do believe we should follow our Lord’s instruction and be baptized, but I do not believe water baptism is a condition for our eternal salvation.
In our conversation today, one of the young men brought up water baptism (suggesting it is a requirement). I referred to the thief hanging on the cross next to Jesus (Luke 23:40-43), and asked if they thought the thief was saved.
They didn’t answer the question, but started talking about what they believe concerning where man goes when we die... They were side tracking on Jesus saying “...Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”
I believe our spirit is immediately with the Lord when our body dies. Jesus called this “place” paradise while hanging on the cross.
I am slightly familiar with the “three heavens” system the Mormons believe, but don’t know enough about it. Our conversation took a quick turn in another direction, and I didn’t have to respond to where I know they were headed, but I’m sure it will come up in our next meeting.