Sermon Illustrations

Ron Smith was in law enforcement for 20 years. After he retired, he was asked to join a prison ministry of his church. He scoffed at the idea, knowing he had put a lot of those guys in prison and he, above all, knew what types of peoplethey were. But eventually he broke down and joined and God softened his heart to them. He met a young man named Rob who was violently abused by his step father and at one point was thrown through a window shattering it. By the time he was 14, he had moved out to escape what was happening in his home. Not able to support himself, he turned to crime. He started with petty theft but then got caught at 16, stealing a car. He was punished and when he got out at 17 he graduated from stealing cars to robbing banks. He robbed 16 banks in 4 states over 120 days. He was found to be a hopeless cause and was sentenced to 20 years. He tried to escape and that put him in supermax. Now Rob joined the Arian Nation while in prison and Rob was African American. A year away from getting out of prison and Ron woke up one day and realized what a mess he had made of his life. He felt like he was a hopeless cause. Not having anywhere else to turn, he turned to Jesus for hope. One day, he prayed and gave his life to Jesus. Ron was assigned to become his mentor. Ron showed such compassion and love to Rob and that he wasn’t a lost cause that he became a completely different man, a new creature in Christ. This is the opportunity Jesus gives the thief on the cross and it’s the opportunity you can give others as well.

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