Sunday, April 02, 2006

"I'm saved, but I'm not going to heaven."

Last Thursday, I walked onto the jail pod, opened my ministry bag and waited for some guys to approach me.

"Do you have a Bible?" a young man asked me.

"I just have New Testaments today," I told him. "You can have one."

After introducing myself to "Rylie," he told me, "I'm saved, but I'm not going to heaven." Well, this peaked my interest so I asked him what he meant by that. He told me that he had "accepted Christ" and had attended a particular church when he was out, but that he didn't think he was going to make it to heaven.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Because I still do the things I know I shouldn't do. I'm addicted to drug dealing. I love the fame and the power."

"Are you famous?" I asked him (sort of tongue in cheek).

"Out there (on the streets) I am. I make the best crack around. I cook it myself. I don't use the cheap stuff. People know they're getting quality when they buy from me. I stopped selling drugs for a while and got a job flipping burgers. But it only paid $6 an hour. I've got a mortgage to pay. Why should I work at a job making so little when I can make $5000-$10,000 easily through a quick sell.

"The truth is, I'm not repentant," Rylie continued. "If you tell God you're sorry, but you keep doing the same thing, you're not really repenting."

I had to hand it to him: he really understood what it meant to repent and he knew he wasn't repentant.

"Rylie, you can't sleep at night, can you?"

"No, I can't. I have to take meds just to fall asleep. I always feel as if people are after me. I've had a rough life. I was born addicted to heroin. When I was young, I found my mom dead. She had been dead for two weeks. My dad is doing life in prison. I've got ADD and bipolar. I try to read the Bible, but I can't concentrate on it. But every time I flip it open to a random page, God speaks to me."

"Why don't you try it now?" I asked, handing him a Bible. He got a look of fear and trembling on his face. Taking the Bible, he began to pray almost frantically, asking for forgiveness. He then opened up the Bible and it landed momentarily on John 9. He closed the Bible, made a few side comments, flipped open the Bible again and once more, it landed on John 9. The NIV heading for that section of Scripture is Jesus Heals a Man Born Blind. That was all Rylie saw.

"Which is easier," I asked him, "to heal a man born blind, or to heal a man born addicted to heroin?"

"I would think it easier to heal a man born addicted to heroin," Rylie answered.

"Then if Jesus could heal a man born blind, he certainly could heal a man born addicted to heroin. Jesus can heal you, Rylie."

"But I have to want it."

"That's right."

Our conversation was cut short because some federal agents were about to show up wanting to speak with him. Pray that God opens Rylie's eyes to fully grasp the destruction that drugs are causing in his life. Pray God grants Rylie true repentance leading to salvation.


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