January 2, 2003
At last, here is that testimony about
my preaching Universalism in prison and
the response that followed.
First off I have to say--WOE is me, if I
proclaim not these glad tidings!"
I'd go freaking bonkers if I couldn't.
Can anyone relate?
A few years ago I preached this whole
gospel of--universal reconciliation--to
500 inmates in a prison close to
Weatherford Texas. I'm talking about the
"restitution of all things" that Peter
preached to the temple authorities when
he proclaimed the good news, recorded in
Acts chapter three.
The message? The same as usual:
GOD WILL NEVER GIVE UP ON YOU--NOT EVER!
SO YOU MAY AS WELL GIVE UP DOING YOUR
OWN THING AND ENJOY HIS FRIENDSHIP,
BECAUSE YOU ARE GOING TO SOONER OR
Oh yes, I talked about "hell" and
consequences. I talked, as Peter did of
"utter destruction" from ignoring the
One who is the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the earth, the One Who
loves them with His very life. I told
them that we can all have as much hell
as we want--perhaps more than we've
bargained for as long as we run from
Him. However, I also told them that if
they opted to sin with such dedication
that they spent the entire "ages of the
ages" in the lake of fire before God got
them straightened out, that He loved
them TOO MUCH to lose them. I told them
that His name is "UN-failing Holy Love"
and He intends to live up to His name! I
told them that this is the nature of the
stubborn love of the "Hound of Heaven."
I spoke also of the Good Shepherd who
will not fail or be discouraged until He
finds the very last lost sheep and
establishes salvation throughout all the
It was a fantastic experience. I spoke
of Sodom's restoration prophesied in
Ezekial chapter 16.
I don't know how it happened, but I soon
found myself "on a roll", spoofing the
"eternal torment" lie and
religiosity--while these guys stared at
me like a tree full of owls for the
first few minutes. I told them that the
religious gospel "You can count on God
IF He can count on you!" is NOT good
news. I said, "Dudes, that stuff will
put you in the hospital! Ever been to
Then I held out my hand as if to shake
hands with some of them, and said, "Hi!
My name is Charlie, and I'm an
alcoholic!" And it stuck a familiar cord
I guess. For suddenly they were roaring
with laughter and shouting and whistling
and applauding and hooting and saying,
"AMEN!! You preach it, Charlie!!"
This kind of response continued from
that moment until the end of my message.
Wow...was it an experience...
I told the guys that God is NOT calling
out a church to go to "pie in the sky in
the sweet by and by." No! He's calling
out CO-REGENTS and CO-DELIVERERS to
inherit the nations with Christ. To
s-p-r-e-a-d heaven throughout all
creation until Unfailing Love Himself
becomes "all in all."
Hehe. While all of this delightful
uproar was going on, there were a few
scribes and pharisees present (some
visiting church folk) who crossed their
arms and scowled furiously while I was
preaching. They were literally glaring
daggers at me.
But I didn't care. I was having fun, and
so were the guys. Besides, these
religious scowlers brightened up
considerably when "altar call" time
I concluded my message by saying, "Are
you guys sick of religious crap? Do you
want to LITERALLY AND PERSONALLY KNOW
the Real Jesus who loves you with total
and unconditional committment? Do you
want to be one of those deliverers He is
now raising up to set creation free? Are
you sick and tired of being a part of
the problem and ready to be part of the
Solution--Jesus Christ Himself?"
And the response?
125 of those tough looking dudes got up
out of their chairs and came forward
crying like little kids to receive Jesus
Christ as their Lord and Savior. I then
invited the Christians already present
(along with the scowlers who were now
beaming and all teary-eyed themselves)
to come pray with any of those men who
had come forward to receive Christ.
Yep, those hard-core traditionalist
Christians SURE LIKED THE RESULTS of the
I find myself constantly praying that
the Lord will protect those men (and
others since that day whom the Lord has
led me to touch) from religious folks
who might come to "spy out their liberty
in Christ." There are many who would
seek to contaminate these newly born
again guys with churchianity's eternal
punishment "winners and losers" toxin of
conditional love. Many would like to
convince them to believe that THEY sure
were lucky they found the Lord before it
was "eternally too late."
These men are in process of HEALING from
the lie of conditional love--the lie
that got them shut up in prison in the
first place. Know what I'm saying folks?
They don't need this religious garbage.
These men were not saved by luck--nor
were they saved by their wisdom. It was
not their cleverness, nor was it mine,
and neither was it "luck" that drew
these hurting prisoners to Christ; it
was the unfailing love and grace of God
So thanks for joining your prayers with
mine for these guys (and other new
Christians like them) as the Holy Spirit
brings them to mind.
Love to all,