Call on Him and You Shall be Saved

By Chaplain Rick Cawthon

As I sit to write this article, the calendar shows that we are approximately three weeks from the official beginning of Spring. Looking out the window, it seems spring might be just around the corner. This is quite different from the near-freezing temperatures we typically see this time of the year. I find myself in late summer checking the “Farmer’s Almanac” to see what the prediction for the coming winter is. I have learned the best “they” can do is try to guess the future by studying the past weather patterns. Now, this is not about the weather, but I do know this. No matter what winter brings, I know that Spring will eventually arrive.  

Soon, the cold temperatures will gradually warm up to above 50 degrees! (For us in the Great Lakes area, it’s typically quite a while since we’ve felt that.) Soon, the lifeless lawn will suddenly spring to life and turn a beautiful shade of green. Tulips will soon burst forth to life to transform the drab brown with an array of colors.  

I say that with confidence because I personally know the One who sets the seasons in place. Do you know Him? Or, do you know about Him? There is a vast difference in these two questions. I’ve heard it said the difference is 12-15 inches. That’s an average distance from the brain to the heart. The difference of “heart knowledge” and “head knowledge.”  

You may be wondering, “What does this have to do with the coming of spring?” Others of you may know where I’m going with this. You see, springtime is when we see new life come into being. We see it in the flowers, lawns, trees, insects, the animal kingdom and in just about everything around.  

The “One who sets the seasons in place,” is also the one who brings “new life” into being. Colossians 1:15, 16 – “The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all  creation. For in Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and  invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created  by Him and for Him.” Jesus is the One who formed all things. He is the one who brings new life into His creation.  

The Good News of the gospel is that you don’t have to wait until springtime to experience the  newness of life. Jesus gives new life to anyone who comes to Him in faith.  2 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Romans 10:9-13 – “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”  As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on Him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

In our Detention Center, we’ve seen this “newness of life” happen in winter, spring,  summer, and fall. In God’s Kingdom, it’s always planting and harvest season. New life can spring up at any time. I’m so privileged to be partners with so many who believe that Jesus is truly the answer for a broken, hurting world. Thank you for believing in Jesus (and with me) that anyone who believes in Jesus will experience new life!  

In Romans 10:17 NKJV, we read, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the  Word of God.” I believe we can also agree that faith also comes from reading the Word of God. I have seen that first hand as we continue to see more inmates than ever, in this ministry, enrolled in  our Bible Correspondence Course. We are literally seeing inmates completing hundreds of  lessons every single week. This is up from approximately 32-40 lessons completed each week we saw for about the first 18 ½ years of this ministry.  

For the past several months, every Friday, I have delivered approximately 300 lessons to our Grading Coordinator, who distributes the lessons to our Lesson Graders. Today, Tuesday, I have already received 160 lessons completed since Friday.  I truly believe when people “get into God’s Word, His Word can get into them.” This is when transformation begins to take place in hearts. We are seeing a hunger for God’s Word at a level we’ve not seen in the past. I truly believe God is up to something. I am excited with  anticipation!

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