Summary: I would like to take a few minutes and talk to you on a subject I have entitled “Death Row.” There has been a lot of debate going on for years on the concept of the death penalty and the legality of putting someone to death for committing a violent act ca
By Rev. James Tidwell
Key Text: Romans 5:12, 6:23;
5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”
6:23 “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
(CEV) 5:12 “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.”
Tonight I would like to take a few minutes and talk to you on a subject I have entitled “Death Row.” There has been a lot of debate going on for years on the concept of the death penalty and the legality of putting someone to death for committing a violent act causing their victims death. I will not be getting into that debate tonight. Only to give a few facts on the subject of Capital Punishment in the United States better known as the death penalty.
• As of December 31, 1999, the death penalty was authorized by 38 states and the Federal Government.
• There are five methods of execution in the United States: lethal injection, electrocution, lethal gas, hanging, and firing squad.
• 3,581 offenders were under sentence of death in the United States as of December 31, 2001.
• Texas, California, and Florida have the largest death row populations.
• Texas leads the nation in the number of executions since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
• As of July 14th, 2005 there are 412 people on death row in the State of Texas.
• 9 being females and 403 being males.
• Since 1982 to the present day Texas has executed 345 people.
• Harris County leads the State of Texas by sentencing more people to death than any other county in Texas with 280 people being placed on death row.
• As of today, there are 9 people still waiting for their death to be carried out in the State of Texas this year barring a stay from the Governor they will die before 2005 ends.
• Since 1982, 507 people placed on death row in Texas have had their sentences reduced or commuted life. (Life with Jesus)
Those are some sobering facts. Only the Appeals Court, Parole Board or the Governor can take someone off of death row once they have been sentence to die. This can only be done when new evidence to their innocence can be found.
I stand before you today, to let you know, you too have been placed on Death Row. Yes, I know you might say we will all die someday and that is true. The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27 “It’s appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment.” Also in James 4:14 the Bible states “Whereas you don’t know what your life will be like tomorrow. For what is your life? For you are a vapor, that appears for a little time, and then vanishes away.”
But it is not the “physical death” I wish to talk about tonight but the “Spiritual death.” Being a Christian I can’t imagine life without Jesus Christ, let alone living for all eternity separated from God. Now let us look back at our text found in Romans 5:12.
Our text tells us “Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world.” Adam the first man sinned against God and because of that now we all have to pay the price for his disobedience to a Holy God. How can this be fair you might ask? How could a loving God do this to his creation? God is a Holy God and cannot look on sin. Because of this Adam was kicked out of the garden, God had created for him, to live a life apart from God for all eternity. What a tragic day for all humanity!
Let’s look now at the second part of Romans 5:12 “Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die.” Because of Adams sin which brought sin into the world now we too find ourselves apart from God. The Bible teaches we are born with the nature of sin already in us. You don’t have to teach a 3 year old to lie, it’s already in them.
I can remember one morning I heard some noise coming from the kitchen. I got up to investigate and found my 3 year old nephew up on the counter with the cookie jar opened and crumbs all over him and the floor. Now you must understand something he knew he was not allowed to be up on the counter or for that matter in the cookie jar. Upon questioning him about who put all the cookie crumbs on the floor. He replied “I don’t know, I did not do it.” He had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar yet he did not know who did it?