by Anonymous, 27 September 2021
One day, quite unexpectedly, I received a visitor who took me on a day pass. My visitor opened my eyes to the real world, and for the first time I was suddenly faced with the full realization that the life I had been living was indeed not a true life, but rather an imprisoned life; and I saw it for the wretched existence it was, being a slave to my own criminality, unable to stop, unable to leave prison.
My visitor explained to me that He knew me (although I didn’t know how He could since I had never met Him), and He wanted to give me the opportunity to leave prison and never go back. He went on to explain that I didn’t have to leave prison if I didn’t want to, that I could reject freedom and remain as a slave. “But,” He told me, “if you do decide to go back, I want you to understand that the prison will eventually be closed, and all inmates will be transferred to another prison where there is no chance for parole or release.
Well I am here to tell you that I didn’t even have to think about it. Now that my eyes had been opened to the real world I would have to be insane to ever want to go back to prison. “Yes!” I told Him, “Yes! I want to stay out here with you! I don’t want to go back to prison!” He smiled and hugged me, and told me that He was very happy that I had made the decision I had.
I looked Him with worry suddenly clouding mind and erasing the smile from lips. “What about all the crimes I’ve committed?” I asked Him, genuinely concerned that my newfound freedom would suddenly come crashing down around me. “Don’t worry,” He told me, “I’ve taken care of all of them. I have paid the penalty for every crime you have ever committed; and, just in case you slip up and commit another crime in the future, I’ve paid for that one also. You will never have to go back to prison, and no one can ever take you back. You are free.”
Since that day I have gone on to live a far more satisfying life than I ever lived in prison, regardless of how nice I managed to fix up my cell. No amount of decoration or privileges could ever compare to the freedom I now have. I have certainly not regretted my decision, and I am eternally thankful for my visitor and the gift of freedom He gave me. And a gift it truly was. The only thing that I had to bring to the table to deal with were the crimes I had committed, and He said that was all I needed to bring to Him. It was enough. He took my crimes, and in return He gave me freedom. How awesome is that!
Well, by now I am sure you are thinking this isn’t a real story, and it nothing more than an analogy, a parable if you will, about salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. To be perfectly honest it is both. Yes, this is a story of salvation – true salvation in Jesus Christ; but, it is also a very true story, albeit in a somewhat metaphorical sense. I was most certainly in prison – the prison of being chained to my sin. And my parents were in the same predicament. Was I a criminal? Absolutely. I was guilty of breaking far more of God’s laws than I care to remember. The visitor who opened my eyes to reality by showing me what life was like outside of my prison was, as I am sure you have guessed, Jesus Christ.
While this is the end of my salvation story, my testimony if you will, I hope it will be the beginning your salvation story. Jesus Christ is the only hope for you to come out of your prison. You don’t have to do anything other than ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins. That’s it. When you do this you will repent of your sin (turn away from sin), and you will submit to the Lordship of Jesus, and obey Him, and you will bear fruit for Him in the form of good deeds because this is what all true believers will do. It is the natural and inevitable result of God changing your nature by opening your eyes to the Truth of Jesus Christ and salvation in Him; and if you don’t then you should be honest with yourself, and admit you were only looking for fire insurance (it doesn’t exist) and had no intention of following Jesus. Don’t reject Jesus. Remember, “God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.” (Augustine).