I wrote this letter back in the days when I was doing prison ministry. This was in the period 1995 – 2005. At some stage I turned my letter into a pamphlet. Letter writing to a prisoner friend is a good alternative to visiting. In my days visiting a prisoner was quite a challenge. I am sure it still is? I also posted this letter back in 2017 on BreadontheWater but I see it is all scrambled up now, probably due to a problem with the software back then. It is interesting for me to notice that even though almost 2 decades have past, the message is still relevant today. I did not make any alterations!!!
Is there life behind prison bars?
No! Don’t throw this pamphlet away. Just take a moment to read this message. You probably never expected earlier in your life that you would end up in prison. And now you wonder why you did. “Is there a God?” you ask deep inside yourself. Most people at some stage in their life will ask themselves this question. Let us assume you are either an atheist or agnostic. You say there is no God or you don’t know if there is a God. The question whether or not there is a God is a very important question indeed. For if there is no God, then there is no plan and there really is no purpose. Everything related to life then becomes a coincidence. The fact that your parents met and loved: – it was probably a one in a thousand chance or less of them meeting and loving which brought you into this world as a baby. How their parents met and loved, that was perhaps also a one in a thousand chance. That makes it less than a one in a million chance for you to be born, after only the 2nd generation! Further, the off chance on their parents meeting each other, and so forth, etc., until you reach the beginning of man. In total, that is already a minute probability! Next, think of the process by which all the organs that form an intelligent person came together. Looking at it as a scientist, evolution really is a long chain of many, many chance meetings and interactions with nature, sometimes even collisions with celestial bodies like comets and asteroids, where it is believed that eventually intelligent life evolved from animal life and animal life from amphibian life and amphibian live from marine life and marine life from the first living cell. The thing is, if you do not believe that there was a plan to begin with, then everything connected to this chain of events really was just a lucky lotto draw and a one in a 100 billion chance or less in each of these stages.
For example, consider this: How exactly do you think was the first living cell formed? What came first, the chicken or the egg? This actually is a relevant scientific question. Scientists have been able to do modifications on existing cells and seeds by genetic engineering but no scientist has ever been able to produce a living cell or seed out of the (dead) atoms and molecules that they consist of. Why is that, you ask? Well, scientists say, if you mix all the atoms and molecules that make up the first living biological cell or seed together, and you have the right conditions of temperature, light, concentration, electrical charge, radiation etc, then apparently you would still have to wait for millions and millions of years for a “chance reaction” to take place that would produce the first living cell. So, in fact no one has ever been able to make a “living” cell or seed synthetically. Some scientists simply claim that this is due to a lack of time.
Taken altogether, though, statistically we can say that there really is only a very, very small probability indeed that you came into existence; in fact that chance is so small that we can call it near impossible. I think that is why I would say that life itself, and yes, your life in particular, is a miracle! Forget about finding anything like “intelligent life” in the rest of the universe. It is just (statistically) impossible, because the chances of life developing elsewhere are so small that it outweighs the argument of there being enormous amounts of stars with planets available in the universe.
Nevertheless, you say that you still believe there is no God or you don’t know if there is a God. You think it is reasonable to believe that everything you see around you came by accident. Life did not come forth by creation (a plan) but by evolution. You believe in Murphy’s law (Murphy’s law = given that there is a chance that something will happen, then, if there is enough time available, eventually it will happen). You still refuse to accept that the creation of the whole universe was part of God’s plan for us to be born. Now I will ask you: never mind the question about how life came into being and how incredibly small the chance is that you are alive today. What about the next question: where does matter itself come from? Where did all the atoms that form the person that you are and the earth that you are living on and the air that you are breathing, came from? If you believe there is no God, then obviously in the beginning there must have been absolutely nothing. Good for you if you believe in the Big Bang theory. But the question still remains: where did all the matter that forms the universe, originate from? You see what the problem is? It does not make sense to believe that there is no God because it is not logical. In fact, if you believe there is no God, you are actually saying that you believe that out of absolutely nothing and guided by absolutely nobody, an incredible intelligent and intellectual person (like yourself) with a material body came into being. Now, for you to believe that such a miracle could have happened, you must actually have a much bigger faith than that of a person simply believing and admitting that there is a Higher Power, a God who created him for a specific plan and purpose!
So, now we come to the point, where you may acknowledge that there is in fact a God who created us. The bible teaches that every man should be able to see this if he just takes the time to observe nature, and watch the incredible miracles happening in nature on a daily basis. Somehow you also already knew instinctively that your sense of right and wrong, i.e. your conscience, is directly connected to the very fact whether you do – or do not believe there is a God… That is why when you are feeling remorseful for the sins that you committed, you are in fact on your way into believing in God!
Immediately when you come to realize that there is a God, you will also note that now there is a plan and a purpose. Remember, God sees the beginning and the end all at the same time, because He is beyond time and space. The interesting part of life really is to find out what God’s plan and purpose for your life is! At times you may feel insecure and inadequate, but remember that God never makes mistakes. He does not make misfits. He has a plan and a purpose with each and every one of us, His children. Just think of a few biblical figures like Joseph and Paul. If it were not for them having been in prison, where would we be today? Through the imprisonment of one man, Joseph, a whole nation was saved from starvation (see Gen. 45:5-8). The apostle Paul wrote all his letters to the believers from prison. Imagine the New Testament without Paul’s letters! (see Phil. 1:12-14). Your time in prison is not the end of your life. In fact, God wants to use the prison circumstances in your life. He wants to be with you, right there in prison! Our God is a God of miracles.
At this stage you may ask me: I accept that there is a God, who created me, and who cares about me, but how do I know which religion is the right religion? This is an interesting question. If you want to, you can study a number of religions and decide for yourself. The five major world religions are Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity. I did not really study Buddhism or Hinduism. I do know that in Buddhism there is no God, so that is really a dead end to start with. In Hinduism, there is a great number of Gods – that could be a bit of a labyrinth. Many religions and even some sects in Christianity believe in imposing on their members and believers a multitude of rules and regulations, as if it were possible to please God by stepping up on an imaginary ladder and trying to reach Him or get closer to Him by keeping to more and more religious rules. The real Christian faith is different. Christianity really is: God revealing Himself to us (you), in the person of Jesus Christ. You can say it is like: God coming down that (imaginary) ladder to earth, picking us up where we were injured or broken, putting us together again and showing and revealing Himself and His character to us. The bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the image of the living God. God has left us His picture, in the form of the example of the life that He lived on earth. After that, He also proclaimed that His Spirit, the Spirit of God, is in all of us who accepts Him! Millions of people all over the world who became Christian can testify to this fact. One day soon, you too will acknowledge this. At the same time He challenges us to become more and more like Him, to live like He lived His life on earth, doing miracles in the lives of other people.….
If you want to learn more about God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, please ask the inmate who distributed this tract for more information. He may have some books and guides for you that you can use to study. May God bless you and help you.
This tract was distributed by:……………………………………………………………………………………
Jesus said: I am the Door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly! (John 10: 9 & 10).