Welcome friends to another week. This week, I am thinking about how God forgives us when we don't deserve it. I recently watched a crime drama where the young boy started well; however, he committed many crimes in his life. He was a habitual criminal who could never stop his crimes. The main character reminded me of some people I know. They began well but did not end well. Thus, they become stuck in a spiritual prison.
Many times, we do not see God working in our lives. Like the movie, I watched others chained to their prisons of despair and disbelief. In the movie, the prisoner does not want to forgive anyone who wronged him. Therefore, the main character was not only imprisoned due to his crimes but because he did not want God in his life.
Characteristics of physical prisons include locked cells, guards, horrible food, inhuman punishment, and physical, mental, and sexual abuse. Spiritual prisons may be unforgiving, cruel, eternal, and may become a tormentor and accusers. People worldwide know about physical prisons; however, few think about spiritual prisons. Though many websites focus on prison, debt, disease, poverty, and mental and physical changes, they do not consider the spiritual aspect, which is the most difficult one to escape. It is the one that hinders a person from accepting Christ, which endangers the soul. A spiritual prison may include a lack of joy, recidivism (repeating the same mistakes, sins, and other vices), disbelief God can change them, and a lack of empathy for others. Sadly, millions of people think they can earn their way into Heaven by going to church once in a while, doing good works, and believing in themselves; however, these deeds do not pardon sin.
Cellmates (friends) may become allies of Satan, which entices and encourages sin. Their friends may be people telling prisoners they can never escape their sins and that there is no forgiveness. I know several people in spiritual prisons. They believe the lies the world tells them instead of believing in Christ. Sadly, if they do not accept Christ's gift of salvation, they die in their sins.
Once, those who repeatedly made the same mistakes did not trust God. We trusted others, ourselves, or our knowledge instead. We did not believe God could change our lives, nor did we believe God's promises. Did you know there are more than 100 promises in the Bible? God takes our relationship with him seriously. However, when we do not believe, our unbelief lands us in a spiritual prison. However, pastors and others like the character's mother stood in the gap by offering continuous prayer.
Sadly, many think God is a fairy tale and reject his grace and mercy. Eventually, some give up and give in; others do not. However, God still extends forgiveness and mercy to those who insist on living in prison. Millions decide they do not need him. Their lives are extraordinary the way they are. They can do it alone, or they may depend on their good works getting them into Heaven. That said, people become happy in their sins and do not want to hear about God or the Bible. Yet, death scares them. Jesus, in his mercy, looks for the lost person to bring them to the fold. He wants to help them escape prison. In Matthew 18:12-13, Jesus leaves the hundred sheep to look for the one.
How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
Finally, after attempting to run from Christ, the movie character accepted him. There is no place we can hide that Jesus does not find us. Like the character, many people are hardheaded and think they can go through life alone. However, once people accept Christ, their lives are no longer theirs. The main character eventually realizes he has a choice and finally reads his Bible, which changes his life. He understood he was no longer alone and that Christ gave his life for him. Though he still had months left to finish his sentence, God gave him the strength to finish the race. His change became evident to other prisoners, which prompted more conversions.
Many people in the world need Christ. However, they may not realize it. The main character realized he had choices; either remain in spiritual prison or be pardoned and released. In this case, the worldly prison made the person realize they were also in a spiritual prison. However, when a person turns to Christ, their release is sure. Their pardon is forever, and the judge remembers their crimes no more.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. John 14:6
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 is the gospel of our salvation. It is straightforward; however, people must also believe with their hearts, not heads, that Jesus died for them. It says: Now I declare to you, brothers, the Good News which I preached to you, which also you received, in which you also stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
I hope this blog is a blessing to all who search for Christ. His love is unmatched and will always continue. He offers salvation- no questions asked. May the Lord bless and keep you. I'd love to hear from you. Please email me at mailto:email@example.com or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org I hope you have a great week. Please do not forget to visit YouTube for the shortened companion video to this blog. Thanks for stopping by.