What does it take to get to heaeven? The Bible makes it pretty clear that we need to “follow God’s will”, “ask him to rule in our hearts” and “believe with all our heart” that his way is the only way. What keeps us from making this choice? Everything that we live for, everything that we “truly and with all our heart” want more than God, is an idol that we have chosen over God.
I have so many things that I live for: my work, my wife, my daughter, my dogs, the Lakers, a Porsche 911 Turbo, my Google stock, a nice big house with a swimming pool, and whatever other ambitions I have for my future.
The convict on the cross had nothing left to live for. All that remained for him was God. All that filled and ruled his heart was God.
That is why he is there with God, and why I probably won’t be.