I have read in the Bible that you gave to me that publicans, robbers, thieves, murderers, immoral women, etc will come into God’s heaven before those that are justified by a relatively proper life. People that have had reasonable good behaviour and moral laws. What kind of holy heaven is this? what reasons could God want to fill His house with disinterested souls like me for instance? Or hearts that are swallowed by the mud of this world, which imprinted a vain shadow on the earth.
Even rational thinking and minimal wisdom teaches us to surround ourselves with people who prove consistency and performance in life. Or in other words, if you want everyone to make a selection, then make a selection subject to his or her benefit. Should we not speak to people who have not tasted culture and education. It’s hard to understand why a holy God would like to spend an eternity with blackened souls stained by so many sins. Sometimes they can’t even remember numbers of their transgressions, why would a pure soul like to mingle together with hands stained by innocent blood?
What motivates Jesus to die for mankind that hardly have a soul of a human being. How logical and irrational is it to wait decades for a man when we are billions of human examples. What does it matter if a man is in plus or in minus?! It’s like everything has no sense. Sinners, in my opinion, should be removed from the calculation of the Lords salvation. Christ speaks about rewards and blessings so huge that neither heaven and earth have witnessed yet!
I have difficulty understanding your God. You say you are my best friend. I can say openly I didn’t ask someone to die for me, and I don’t care about a King if He exists or not!
Why would Jesus die for mankind who are murderers? I’m ok with my life, I don’t need God to guide me. I have my own morality, I never made many mistakes or sins.
In my opinion, God tries’s too much risking loss of all self-respect. I think in this way he accepts the challenge to not be esteemed by people, especially people like me. Mankind generally would like to be respected and to value someone who venerates himself first of all.
He had not interrupted her. He had not seen her for a long time and now enjoyed their meeting. He felt that it lacked the years of their childhood spent together.
But slowly the words of his Sister drifted further from him. He heard them increasingly less. He knew her thoughts, Sometime in their past he contemplated like her. But now his mind was clouded with memories of painful moments. He wanted to talk about them openly with her saying:
“I felt my end was coming, it hanged by a thread. This happened to me almost two years after my arrest. I’m so sorry for what I did and for this I got my deserved punishment. I harvested what I had sown. In one week I lost both parents, one after another. Dad went mad with grief and hanged himself, mother could not face living alone had a heart attack and died. Then I developed a nervous breakdown. I did not speak, or could find my personal role in life. I didn’t eat or sleep, just wanting to be alone. I was destroyed till I could touch where I had fallen down. Conception wanted an end to this dreadful state, even at the cost of my own life. I was governed by dark ideas. One night later, when the boys were sleeping I cried in bed, in my mind a few things that my mother had taught me came to fruition, that there has to be a God. He is Just and punishes sin, but He forgives the sinner. God loves those who turn to Him wholeheartedly. I remembered that my mother told me the Lord forgives any great sin. I was thinking about all she had said to me. But I questioned my self: Is it possible for the Almighty to forgive me? I stole… I killed a woman… I left two children orphaned…I left hundreds of people without a job, those people who worked at our business…. and again…I always come back to my parents…they were utterly destroyed by me.
I was 19 years old and sentenced to 28 years in prison. Could I have expected more from my life?
I kept thinking about my mother and her prayers. I tried to remember something of the Lords prayer “Our Father”, as it remained locked in my soul when my parents took me to church When I was a little boy before I drifted into depression and drink. That night tucked up in bed I said in my mind: “my last hope is God! I will tell Him. I can not stand to live with this burden that weighs upon me. under my blanket and crying I said to Him:
“O Lord my God, if indeed You are just and You are as my mum said can you forgive me? Accept this soul love me as my mum taught especially in this situation that I now face. then please forgive me for everything I’ve done. Help me! Intervene, do something with my life, save me from this wretched state. Only you can intervene, only you can save me.
I felt deep inside my body had collapsed. Constant thoughts about my parents… Ohh, my mother…! She had wanted me to be a priest or an Evangelic missionary… I was thinking of that woman… Those beautiful children… All because of me.
I was desperate! I could not accept what happened…
A calm swept over me I slept like a baby!
The next day I wondered how I could have slept so well. I had forgotten how to have deep meaningful sleep! I woke up a different man. It was clear… What can I say!… I had peace!… I didn’t know true peace existed like that till then.
Now I know that God heard me. Later I understood the value of His verse that says to call Him in times of trouble and He will deliver you and you’ll honour Him. I know that He accepted me, forgave me. I have discovered that God is merciful, slow to anger, and does not keep anger in His heart. In Ezekiel 6:21 His Word encourages us:
“But if the wicked turn from all his sins which he has committed and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.”
Years passed. What now mattered was making my life to have purpose, there are a few things: prayer which remained my way to talk to God and reading the Bible. When I read Bible I feel that it flows towards me in waves of “living water“. It’s like a river that never I would want to dry up. When I pray, the prayer always refreshes me. This is not something like empty words. It always brings me understanding and of people, gives me courage and peace in thoughts. finding wise counsel, strength and purpose to get out of bed, I’m very glad when people of God come to prison because I can understand that there is another way to live this life.
The Lord caresses my soul with peace and gives a sense to my life. The Holy Spirit gave me a verse from the bible just for me:
“To open blind eyes,
To bring out prisoners from the prison,
Those who sit in darkness from the prison house.”
Although God knows that four years remained to serve in prison which will not be easy, he has gained a prodigal son which has been received again by His Royal family, a soul marked by the joy of returning to His father. He has the euphoria of reconciliation with God, beautifully described in “The parable of the lost son” Luke 15:11-32. The experience of life confirms the biblical truth “Therefore I say to you, sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.”
Luke 7:47 It’s everything that he may like, to be loved by God!
I would like to tell all these things to my Sister, about God who is not far from the unfaithful. He said that He will be found by everyone who will look for Him with a sincere heart. But also He said: ” I was sought by those who did not ask for Me ; I was found by those who did not seek Me! Isaiah 65:1
What a wonderful God Indeed! We can not fully comprehend with our understanding! I only now started to understand, to taste Him a little and I saw how good God is! I would like to help my Sister to know God. I thought I will start to pray for her. Now I cherish our friendship. I see with different eyes. In fact, everything I see from a different perspective. I want to share eternity like we shared our childhood. Because I understood “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” 1Corinthians 15:19
He discovered a new life in a place he never expected slap bang in jail. Here John H found what he was never looking for: the mercy and grace of God.
Now he speaks about the favour that he received from Almighty who had not been ashamed of him a killer. Taking him into the calculation of salvation and to call Him “brother.”
“For both He who sanctified and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren” Hebrews 2:11
John was not ignored, although he had virtually no chance. His hands were dirty, smeared with blood. And only God knows how many other sins he had committed. Nobody could have washed them. In addition, his heart was dry and life was meaningless everything turned against him. All that remained was one thing to do, He collapsed at the feet of God. From the darkest angle of his life, and from under the mud that flooded his soul he cried out to God. Then he didn’t know God and what he expects from us.
“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.”Psalm 50:15
he did this without any expectation but did it honestly. In biblical language, what he did is called repentance. We usually write it in our daily life with small lettering. But in the eyes of God, repentance has huge worth. I don’t know why God gave this value to repentance. He puts it as a condition of comeback to Him. For mankind it has the clothes of obsolescence. We have reduced it to a formality like a simple sorry or forgive me. which is not wrong but too many times it is without roots turning into a real regret. We need to take account the size of the effects of our mistakes into the soul of other person. From this point of view, the Bible gave one understanding more deeply to him through the verses from:
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘ You fool!” shall be in danger of hell fire.”
We sometimes need decades to understand its real value. repentance comes from deep layers that escape all logic and human reason. It comes from astral logic, that of God. It belongs to the same logic that God has chosen the weak. It is born in hearts that have known the taste of sin, and whose soul is sick. John understood:
“Those who well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” Luke 5:31-32
It’s hard to be in a prison. The cold walls suffocate you. But also your own prison can be worse. Maybe it is not so shamming but your own prison can burn you from inside.
A physical illness that immobilises you on your bed or into a wheelchair, or a mental disease, maybe like a soul attacked by depression, for instance, can sometimes be more painful. It can be like a worm that eats you from your inner. You can have only the illusion that you are free. real freedom starts from your inner. It’s then you can enjoy even the small things indifferent by circumstance medium, people, by anything else. Because you are not dependent on something or somebody. It’s when your soul lets you enjoy even a ray of the sunshine from the morning, by a door that is opening and hearing the steps that you love. or by a text that says to you good morning. You enjoy them from a different perspective and with another value. John understood that it’s better to pay for your sins here on earth and not to pay for them an eternity.
Indeed the logic and wisdom of God are very different from that of humans. Sometimes between people and the wisdom of God from this point of view, it is the distance from earth to heaven.
The Lord receives all who come to Him with a sincere heart. But while he goes after the lost sheep.”
What do you think?
“If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. For the Son of Man has come to save to save that which was lost.”Matthew 12-13
And this is one of the main reasons why he lets Himself be found including people who do not seek Him. He expects decades after only one man even if he has on His hand billions of human specimens, as well noticed by his friend.
It’s difficult to understand “
“What is the man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?”Psalm 8
Why would He think of him and would care to notice?
Hard to understand why God chose to be born in a heart of a murderer. He could breathe even in a heart of atheist or other categories of people who ignore Him.
There is a single explanation.
Love escapes human logic. It is part of the manifold of the wisdom of God and falls within the terms appointed by the Bible, mercy, undeserved favour, grace. But the condition of having this grace is repentance, by returning to Him through it.
Nobody and nothing can justify you to have this grace. Even a moral life within your own law. What you can do is to call Him with all your heart, lining yourself to the same wavelength as Him. Speak with Him the same love language for the whole of your life. Then grace becomes a practicality and a blessing. This blessing is called Jesus Christ, and only in Him, we can justify our salvation. He can find his way into a mouldy heart. In a heart without doors or windows, with reeks of toxic fumes. In such an environment there is no life. Hardly anyone would dare to wait decades for an opportunity to make a place in it.
There is, however, a Love that dares. One written in big letters. Love not afraid to descend into the mire of your life. For this Love craves you and knows your greatest desire is that He should be born in your heart and feel like home. Then He will changes you, cleanse you of all the garbage of this world and heal you. Gives you life. He will make you in the image and likeness of Him.
This love bears a name: Jesus Christ!
Just a soul like John H Jesus made a ” manager”. In a soul of straw and hay. Because He heard a cry of repentance directed to the sky. Then He opened the door of his heart. A creaking door, that was not greased with oil of love from a long time ago. John began to hear the Word: to be light! And this Light came together with peace and joy within him. Eyes of his mind were opened and began to see gradually this manager from dry brushwood gathered through the valleys of his life and the pits where he fell down. Then he could see a table and on it the bread and wine, all distinct Christian signs. Around the table of his soul gathered many chairs, one for everyone that was around him. Now he had received by God new friends. His old pals were friends only for good times. They left him alone when he had to pass through many problems. Now he had gained multitudes of friends, but they are quality friends. Here he understood that a friend in trouble becomes like your brother as also the Bible said. And you can see into his soul an altar, a place of honor, for meeting with the Doctor of his soul, And The Holy Spirit, who advises like a warm breeze helping him to become God’s image. Deep understand cleaned his soul but also the people around him can see beautiful changes in behavior, in the way of thinking and how he see all things.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:18
During this period, when the world celebrates the birth of Jesus, John and his wife rise to sky with clean hands and songs of thanksgiving. Between prison walls he found the freedom of his soul.
John still has to remain in prison four years yet. But he knows that there will come a morning when he will drink a cup of tea with his new family. A new beginning. In this darkness, God sent to him the most important gift, a Savior, in Jesus Christ and also in the person of his wife. Yes, the Almighty is a God of a second chance!
John never forgets that God’s grace and his repentance made the difference in life.
In time, faith and hope brought him a love for God, as his response and gratitude to Him. His love for this wonderful Savior is now deeply written in his life and his family and with capital letters.
John’s story is a true story. It was adapted in writing this article. His wife is now a student at a university of law. She has a reason in plus to become a good lawyer and find solutions for her husband to come out from prison faster.