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In October and November, three Americans who were held captive in North Korea were freed and sent back home to the United States.
Jeffrey Fowle, a city worker from Moraine, Oklahoma, who was arrested after leaving a Bible in a nightclub in North Korea, came home on October 21st after being held for six months. Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American missionary, was released on November 8 after being held for nearly a year. And Matthew Todd Miller, an English teacher from California, was also released on November 8th after being held for seven months. Each of these men faced long sentences of hard labor in North Korean prison camps.
As you can imagine, the families of these men were ecstatic with joy and relief when their loved ones came home after being held for so long by a government that is not known for its kindness toward outsiders. The men, themselves, also must have felt good knowing that family members and friends from their home country had been praying for them and working hard for their release.
As I think about the human condition, I would like to point out a parallel in the stories of these three men released from bondage in a hostile country and the broader story of mankind. You see, the Bible speaks of us humans as being in bondage to our sins and wrongdoings. Jesus Christ said in John 8:34, “Verily, verily (truly, truly), I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.” Acts 8:23 speaks of people as being “in the bondage of iniquity.” This slavery to sin is the cause of our decay and the cause of our eventual death.
Have you ever felt as if you couldn’t help but lie or steal or lust or do something you knew was wrong? That is what it means to be in bondage to sin or to be a slave to sin. So, if we are in bondage to sin, it is natural to wonder how we can be freed from that bondage. Thankfully, Scripture provides us the answer to this question.
Hebrews 2 tells us that Jesus Christ “took part [in our humanity]; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Jesus Christ is not just a historical figure who lived and taught in Israel two thousand years ago. He is the Son of God, a divine being who came into the world for the express purpose of dying on the cross to save us from our sins and deliver us from our bondage to sin and the devil. That is what this verse means when it says that “through death” Jesus “destroyed him [that is the devil] who had the power of death.”
Jesus Christ did what was necessary for us to be free from this bondage. No longer do we have to feel as though we cannot help but sin. And, no longer do we have to fear death because Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, rose from the dead three days later. He broke the power of death on the human race.
Because of Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, we can be free from sin and the punishment of sin, and we gain a new home called Heaven. The Bible says of those who take advantage of Jesus’ saving work on the cross that God has ‘delivered them from the power of darkness, and has translated them into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.”
Would you like to be forgiven of your sins today? Would you like to be freed from slavery to sin? Would you like to know without a doubt that you have a home in Heaven and that there are millions of people who have gone before you who are eager to welcome you there?
If your answer is yes, then all you have to do is place your faith and trust in Jesus Christ today. Accept Him as your Savior from sin and sin’s consequences by believing that He died, was buried, and rose again, and receiving Him into your life by faith. Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” It is as simple as that.
If you accept Jesus Christ into your heart, you will begin a relationship with God that will last for eternity. If you place your faith and trust in Him, He will enter your life as the solution to your sin problem. He will give you a new heart and a new mind. You will no longer be bound to your old, sinful ways, but you will be enabled and empowered to do good through Jesus Christ. On top of that, your eternal future will be secure; you will go to Heaven to be with God when you die.
If you want to begin this relationship right now, you can pray a short prayer to let God know that you have decided to trust Jesus Christ as your Saviour. Please repeat after me and mean it from your heart.
Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today and forever so that I can have your peace and assurance about my life today and my eternal future. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”.
Believe by faith. Share the faith. And keep the faith! God Bless You!
+ MUSICAL SELECTION: “There is Power in the Blood” by Selah
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of thirty-four books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master’s degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3 or on Facebook.