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I'm a gang member. I do dope, drink, and fight. The police have brought me in for many things including attempted murder. I've never been charged with anything because the victims have always dropped the charges. In gang fights, I've almost killed people, but I've never gone that far. My parents know none of this.
Can God really save me from all the crimes I've done? There have been some crimes I've committed and no one knew about them. Does God know? Can I still go to heaven even though people call me a convicted criminal?
I also want to know if there is a way out of the gangs. Please help me.
Toby, you are in a desperate situation. You need some straight answers for your questions, and I'm going to give them to you.
“Can God really save me from all the crimes I've done? There have been some crimes I've committed and no one knew about them. Does God know?”
Toby, I want to introduce you to a man in the Bible named Paul. Paul was a member of a gang who persecuted Christians. As a group—with Paul as their leader—they would go out and find Christians and have them thrown in jail, and even killed. This man hated people who loved Jesus.
One day, he was on his way to persecute some more Christians and Jesus appeared to him. It was such an awesome encounter that Paul fell to his knees and was blinded for several days.
It was through this encounter that Paul came to see his crimes and gang involvement as evil against God. He cried out to God and God saved him. This same man wrote in Romans 10:13,
Anyone who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved (TLB).
Toby, whatever evils you have done, God knows about them all. Hebrews 4:13,
He knows about everyone, everywhere. Everything about us is bare and wide open to the all-seeing eyes of our living God; nothing can be hidden from him to whom we must explain all that we have done (TLB).
God knows everything, Toby, and He still loves you very much. The Bible says in Romans 3:23,24,
Yes, all have sinned: all fall short of God's glorious ideal; yet now God declares us 'not guilty' of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins (TLB).
Nothing stands in the way of you being saved. You have done some bad things—but nothing worse than Paul had done. Toby, if you call out to God and ask him to save you, He will.
Can I still go to heaven even though people call me a convicted criminal? I also want to know if there is a way out of the gangs. Please help me.
If being a convicted criminal means you are a bad person, unworthy of going to heaven, then Jesus Christ was the worst person who ever lived. He was accused of being a criminal and was sentenced to die. He was killed along with two other men-both criminals, thieves. These two thieves were evil men. There is no telling what they had done, but it was bad enough that they were sentenced to death.
Listen to what one of the convicted criminals said to Jesus in Luke 23:29-43…
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: 'Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!' But the other criminal rebuked him. 'Don't you fear God' he said, 'since you are under the same sentence?…We are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.' Then he said, 'Jesus remember me when you come into your kingdom.' Jesus answered him, 'I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise' (NIV).
Toby, the one criminal is in heaven with Jesus today. You can spend eternity in heaven, too. Have you cried out to God and asked Him to save you? Not only will He save your soul but He will save you from the gangs. There is a way out. It starts with Jesus. Cry out for Him to save you. After you have done this, go tell your story to your pastor or youth pastor. I promise, they'll be glad to help you.
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Author: Dawson McAllister of Dawson McAllister Live!
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