Five Minutes Versus Life Sentence

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6 KJV).

Imagine. Five minutes in the Word could have spared many from life in prison!

I recently watched a documentary about the largest maximum-security prison in the United States. Also known as “Angola,” Louisiana State Penitentiary is about two-hours’ drive from here. Over 6,000 prisoners live at Angola—three-fourths are serving life sentences and 85 percent die there! Several prisoners were interviewed in the heart-wrenching documentary. Having been incarcerated there for 30 or 40 years, they were “reformed.” One prisoner, on death row, was executed shortly after his interview. Another prisoner, an elderly man stricken with cancer, died before filming was completed.

Watching that documentary, the viewer cannot help but wonder where were the parents, especially the fathers, when these prisoners were growing up. Did any parent of any prisoner ever care enough or love enough to sit down five minutes with those children and teach them about Jesus Christ? Evidently not! How many of those 6,000 inmates could have never wound up there had someone—anyone, anywhere—reached them with the Gospel of the Grace of God before the world reached them with their ideologies? Think of the loss. There could have been 6,000 profitable citizens who improved society, trophies of God’s grace, had they each just had someone share Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork with them! Had they just had one adult point them in the right direction with sound Bible doctrine during their childhood years!

Parents, especially fathers, (if you are not a parent, you have an influence on younger generations regardless), please do not neglect your divinely-ordained position as role models in word and in deed. Barring exceptions, many wayward souls had extremely shallow to nothing in their spiritual lives growing up, and all of society suffers because of it. Please make sure that the children in your life are hearing chiefly from you the message of God’s grace and His Word rightly divided. If you must be taught first, get your whole family to someone who can teach. Think—even five minutes in Scripture will outweigh a life sentence in prison! 🙂