Apr 14, 2021
|From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: I am trying to encourage a friend of mine who has landed in prison. He has come to know the Lord but is despondent that he has no purpose in life. — P.T.
A: There’s a wonderful story about Paul and Silas who were thrown in a Philippian prison for preaching. Instead of complaining and crying out to be freed, they sat in the damp dungeon listening to the groans from others in chains. But the jailer that night heard a strange sound that drowned out the wailing. Paul and Silas were having a song service at midnight, praising the name of their great and mighty God. They used their imprisonment to proclaim the news that Jesus had come to free people from the chains of sin. What was Heaven’s response? The prison walls shook on their foundations and crumbled, giving the chance for prisoners to escape. The jailer was about to fall upon his sword and commit suicide because of a mass escape. Paul glanced in the jailer’s direction and said: “Don’t kill yourself; we’re still here!”
Having already heard their testimony in song and word, he fell upon his face and said, “Sir, what must I do to be saved?” Paul didn’t answer, “Join the church and thou shalt be saved.” Oh, no! “Live the best you can and thou shalt be saved.” Oh, no! “Get baptized and thou shalt be saved.” Oh, no! The answer that rang through the jail that night is the same message that’s been ringing down through the centuries: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.”
Many people have difficulty resting upon the facts of the Word of God. So many rest upon their feelings, morality, church membership, the sacraments, or any number of things. But it is faith placed in Christ alone that assures the soul is saved, and whether in prison or living in a dark and wicked world, we are surrounded by those who need to know Christ as Savior.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2021 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.