WE RECENTLY RECEIVED a letter from a prison inmate that we want to tell you about – not because it is so dramatic, but because it is so ordinary. Apart from the individual circumstances, at its core, it is my story and it is your story.
Nearly nine years ago, I was charged with a heinous, violent crime and was facing up to 150 years in prison. The first time my mother came to visit me, I told her what I had done and what I was facing. I could see [how] devastated she was and how hopeless my situation had become….
After the short 15-minute visit, I returned to the unit where I was housed… I went into my cell, fraught with fear, despair, hopelessness, and a host of other emotions I could spend hours describing….
I went into the common area to try and distract my racing thoughts by watching TV, when I noticed two men having a Bible study. There was something about how these men behaved that drew me to them… I remember walking up to the table and saying that I noticed how they behaved despite the circumstances, how peaceful and happy they seemed to always be. I said I wanted whatever they had and asked to join their daily Bible study….
Looking back on everything, from incarceration, to everything that has happened to me to this point, I see the providence of God in shaping my future. He was and still is with me regardless of the circumstances….
I also realize, as I reflect back on everything that had I been incarcerated for drugs or anything else that seems minor in comparison to my offense, I would not have felt the despair and hopelessness that caused me to look to Jesus for salvation. It’s truly amazing seeing the hand of God in my darkest moments. I began attending services at all the different activities that were available. Eventually, I settled on ‘C- prison church.’ I also began attending the systematic theology study group twice each month led by the same pastor. Pastor S- would also lend me many books over the years. One of the most memorable happens to be Christless Christianity by Mr. Horton. Not long before reading it for the first time, I had stumbled upon “The White Horse Inn”… Knowing what I believe and why is such an important thing to consider.
I began reading charismatic books when I first became a believer, then I began to read books and sermons by Reformed theologians as well as the Reformers themselves. It wasn’t until then that I realized that I was missing some of the most important points of doctrine such as a thorough understanding of propitiation, imputation, grace, election, and a host of other subjects.
It seems that most Christians that I encounter are either ignorant or misinformed about Reformed theology and how amazing it is to study God through the Biblical lens the Reformers used.
I really enjoyed reading your advertisement for “Core Christianity.” I think that would greatly benefit the men here as well as myself. I don’t know if your book by the same title is in softcover or not, but if it is, would you be willing to send it to me? I don’t have the funds to order it, but I would very much like to read it, and definitely will pass it on to others.
I am due to be released on October 26th, 2017, just in time to celebrate 500 years since the start of the Protestant Reformation.
God bless you all and thank you so very much for your time.
Sincerely in Christ Jesus, N- G-
This man was sure that his 150-year sentence was going to be the end of his life story. But when the gospel interrupted his life, he was pulled outside of his broken and battered circumstances and saw himself in God’s story. No longer cast as a treasonous rebel, he became recast as a redeemed son because of the faithful work of the main character of redemption, Jesus Christ.
Now an avid reader of Modern Reformation and listener of White Horse Inn, this man looks ahead to a prison sentence mercifully cut short from 150 years to 10 years (plus 10 years probation), ready to serve the Lord wherever he’s called and to tell everyone the wonders of the gospel – God’s story in Christ.
Through the prayers and gifts of friends like you, White Horse Inn has been able to continue to provide resources that bring both Christians and non-Christians up close to the story of redemption in Christ. It’s because of friends like you that people like this prison inmate have heard, believed, and grown in the gospel through the ministry of White Horse Inn.
Please join us now and to help reach so many more people with the gospel.