Free in Prison …
John 8:34-36 (KJV) 34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
Any normal man would desire to be free. Jesus makes men free, even “free indeed.” Notice that a man is passive in the process; he is made free by the Lord Jesus. O that we would strive to trust Christ for the freedom only He can give! The context of this passage is clear; the freedom given by Christ is not freedom To sin, but freedom FROM sin. The 34th verse speaks of the man who is servant to sin. By God’s power that man is converted from servant to son, and the son is then free (no longer dominated by Sin) to serve His new Master. This is our purpose in prison ministry. Our desire is to see the inmate, who is servant to Sin be converted to God’s son, and thus made free indeed FROM Sin.
One of our three prison revivals this month is worthy of special note. Richard P. and I conducted it at Dougherty County Jail in Albany, GA. This is a huge county jail which is home to around 750 inmates. Over the three days, we conducted over 16 hours of visitation and services. Each pod of inmates has two levels of cells in v-shaped buildings. The inmates on each of the two levels are allowed out of their cells for 6 hours a day broken up into three two-hour segments. During that time, they are allowed free access to the large open area in the pod. Each pod has a small conference room for conducting services. When we enter a pod, if any of the inmates are in the open area, we must immediately go into the conference room, and hope and pray some of the men would come into a preaching service. IF none of the men were in the open area, we were allowed to go from cell-to-cell to speak directly to the inmates. In that case, we are never allowed to go into their cells. We speak to them through a small window in the cell door. After the revival meeting was over, there were a total of 58 men who called on the Lord Jesus Christ in repentance and faith. These are professions of faith. Only God and the inmates know if they were sincere, if they were real. I am always very careful to take the necessary time to explain the Gospel and what it takes to be sincere. As many as were sincere, are now made free indeed by our lovely Lord Jesus. Will you join us in praying for these who made profession of faith? We also witnessed 7 professions of faith at Haralson County Jail in Georgia, and 5 professions of faith at Apaloosa Correctional Institution in Florida. Only God can do these things.
Linda and I spent Monday through Thursday, January 8-11, at the annual Rock of Ages Coordinator’s meeting in Commerce, GA. It was a refreshing time of good preaching, teaching, and fellowship. We were thoroughly challenged to reach more inmates in 2018 than ever before.