THE SALVATION OF 125 INMATES TESTIMONY
BY: CHARLES SLAGLE
JANUARY 2, 2003
At last, here is that testimony about my preaching Universalism in prison and the response that followed.
First off I have to say – WOE is me, if I proclaim not these glad tidings!”
I’d go freaking bonkers if I couldn’t. Can anyone relate?
A few years ago I preached this whole gospel of – universal reconciliation – to 500 inmates in a prison close to Weatherford Texas. I’m talking about the “restitution of all things” that Peter preached to the temple authorities when he proclaimed the good news, recorded in Acts chapter three.
The message? The same as usual:
GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU – NOT EVER! SO YOU MAY AS WELL GIVE UP DOING YOUR OWN THING AND ENJOY HIS FRIENDSHIP, BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO SOONER OR LATER.
Oh, yes, I talked about “hell” and consequences. I talked, as Peter did of “utter destruction” from ignoring the One who is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the earth, the One Who loves them with His very life. I told them that we can all have as much hell as we want – perhaps more than we’ve bargained for as long as we run from Him. However, I also told them that if they opted to sin with such dedication that they spent the entire “ages of the ages” in the lake of fire before God got them straightened out, that He loved them TOO MUCH to lose them. I told them that His name is “UN-failing Holy Love” and He intends to live up to His name! I told them that this is the nature of the stubborn love of the “Hound of Heaven.” I spoke also of the Good Shepherd who will not fail or be discouraged until He finds the very last lost sheep and establishes salvation throughout all the earth.
It was a fantastic experience. I spoke of Sodom‘s restoration prophesied in Ezekiel chapter 16.
I don’t know how it happened, but I soon found myself “on a roll,” spoofing the “eternal torment” lie and religiosity – while these guys stared at me like a tree full of owls for the first few minutes. I told them that the religious gospel “You can count on God IF He can count on you!” is NOT good news. I said, “Dudes, that stuff will put you in the hospital! Ever been to ‘group’?”
Then I held out my hand as if to shake hands with some of them, and said, “Hi! My name is Charlie, and I’m an alcoholic!” And it stuck a familiar cord I guess. For suddenly they were roaring with laughter and shouting and whistling and applauding and hooting and saying, “AMEN! You preach it, Charlie!”
This kind of response continued from that moment until the end of my message. Wow…was it an experience…
I told the guys that God is NOT calling out a church to go to “pie in the sky in the sweet by and by.” No! He’s calling out CO-REGENTS and CO-DELIVERERS to inherit the nations with Christ. To s-p-r-e-a-d heaven throughout all creation until Unfailing Love Himself becomes “all in all.”
He he! While all of this delightful uproar was going on, there were a few scribes and pharisees present (some visiting church folk) who crossed their arms and scowled furiously while I was preaching. They were literally glaring daggers at me.
But I didn’t care. I was having fun, and so were the guys. Besides, these religious scowlers brightened up considerably when “altar call” time came.
I concluded my message by saying, “Are you guys sick of religious crap? Do you want to LITERALLY AND PERSONALLY KNOW the Real Jesus who loves you with total and unconditional commitment? Do you want to be one of those deliverers He is now raising up to set creation free? Are you sick and tired of being a part of the problem and ready to be part of the Solution – Jesus Christ Himself?”
And the response?
125 of those tough looking dudes got up out of their chairs and came forward crying like little kids to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I then invited the Christians already present (along with the scowlers who were now beaming and all teary-eyed themselves) to come pray with any of those men who had come forward to receive Christ.
Yep, those hard-core traditionalist Christians SURE LIKED THE RESULTS of the message, whaddayathink?
Closing out –
I find myself constantly praying that the Lord will protect those men (and others since that day whom the Lord has led me to touch) from religious folks who might come to “spy out their liberty in Christ.” There are many who would seek to contaminate these newly born again guys with churchianity’s eternal punishment “winners and losers” toxin of conditional love. Many would like to convince them to believe that THEY sure were lucky they found the Lord before it was “eternally too late.”
These men are in process of HEALING from the lie of conditional love – the lie that got them shut up in prison in the first place. Know what I’m saying folks?
They don’t need this religious garbage.
These men were not saved by luck – nor were they saved by their wisdom. It was not their cleverness, nor was it mine, and neither was it “luck” that drew these hurting prisoners to Christ; it was the unfailing love and grace of God Himself!
So thanks for joining your prayers with mine for these guys (and other new Christians like them) as the Holy Spirit brings them to mind.
Love to all,
SALVATION OF 125 INMATES TESTIMONY, THE [Charles Slagle] 1-2-03 1