I met Robert at Dodge Correctional Institution about six months after his arrest for possession and distribution of a small amount of drugs. He came to our Tuesday morning Bible study, and we met for a pastoral visit a little more than a week later. When we met, Robert told me about his family, his life “before prison,” and he also told me about his crime.
Over a period of a couple of years, Robert and his wife maxed out several credit cards. Unpaid bills began to pile up. They fell behind on their mortgage payments. Instead of seeking help with their financial problems, Robert decided to sell drugs. It was so easy to do; buy from a dealer and resell the drugs. The money was good, really good!
When they were current on their mortgage, had paid down most of their credit cards and paid all of their past due bills, Robert stopped selling drugs. He thought, No harm, no foul.
Sadly, Robert and his wife continued to spend money as they had in the past. In a few months, they needed another infusion of cash. Once again, he began selling drugs — only this time, he sold drugs to an undercover policeman.
Robert was tried, convicted, and sentenced to four years in prison with an additional four more years of Extended Supervision by the DOC. Even worse, his incarceration led to a domino effect of other problems for his wife and family.
When Robert met with me, he confessed that he had broken not only society’s laws, but also God’s Law. He asked me if God would ever forgive him for all of the hurt that he had inflicted on so many people, especially his wife and children. He knew about Jesus, but he wasn’t sure if his sins were forgiven.
It was my privilege to share the good news of the Gospel with Robert. I assured him that because of Jesus’ holy life, innocent suffering and death, and his resurrection from the dead, God the Father has forgiven all sinners of all time. That forgiveness is ours through the Holy Spirit’s gift of faith in Jesus.
At the end of our visit, we thanked God the Father for sending his Son to be our Savior. We also prayed that the Holy Spirit would strengthen and keep Robert in his faith.
The week after our visit, Robert was transferred to another facility. I pray that through the Word of God, the Holy Spirit is keeping Robert in his faith in Jesus and that we will see each other again in heaven.
This Easter, as you reflect upon our Savior’s cross and empty tomb, consider partnering with us in this ministry to people like Robert, who need to hear the message of sins forgiven. With your help, we will continue pointing them to Jesus who “was handed over to death because of our trespasses and was raised to life because of our justification” (Romans 4:25 EHV).