Inmate Michael Sellers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California.
Our printed newsletters were provided to prison chaplains nationwide for the inmates. Presently, newsletter distribution to correctional facilities has been suspended due to poor funding. We would like you to visit our site regularly, so we will be updating this section whenever "The Good News Letter" is published.
Aside from the main article in each issue, we also include a section on the front page entitled "From Us To You." Many inmates have informed us that "The Good News Letter" was used as a Bible study and often passed from one prisoner to another. Old issues are still available to inmates.
Inmate Michael Sellers at the Federal Correctional Institution in Lompoc, California.
Not since the Civil War has America been so politically divided! This nation was founded by Christian men and women who based our government on the laws of God. But it has become so polarized that it reminds us of the prophecy of Jesus, who said, "At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people..." (Matthew 24:10-13 NIV).
Has God made you a special promise that has not yet occurred? If you love and serve Jesus Christ and have accepted Him as your Savior and Lord, you are His child (John 1:13-14). As such, God loves you (John 16:27). Therefore, He may have made you a promise of something He plans to do in your life. Has this happened to you? Do you worry that you might have misunderstood the Lord? If so, this message is for you.
As you grow closer to the Lord Jesus, it will get even harder. Satan will try every dirty trick and carnal temptation to stop you before you get to your goal. As hard as you struggle to live above sin, it will always be before you. You wait on line at the supermarket to pay for some groceries and there’s some sleazy magazine with a tantalizing caption just tempting you to look... suddenly you start feeling a sense of nostalgia.
Many people are too ashamed to come to Christ. They think that surely they are too evil for God to love them. Is there some sin in your life that you have struggled with for so long? Are you tired of the pain and shame? Have you tried everything else to no avail? Is your burden too heavy for you to bear? Perhaps you are at a crossroad in your life and you feel the tug of Satan trying to get you to do something drastic.
The point is that you can’t bargain with God. It has to be His will in your life, not yours. I had to learn not to be a backseat driver, and to let the Holy Spirit have control of the wheel and navigation. It doesn’t matter whether you know where you’re going or not. The Lord knows where He’s taking you! Remember, God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (Genesis17:4-5).
Have you ever felt like God has abandoned you? Do you often feel that you are all alone in your walk with Christ? That even your church and fellow Christians don’t know what you are going through? And you feel that they will never understand. You ask yourself, "Why is this coming upon me?" Perhaps you have been trying to live for God but everything you do seems to go wrong...
To show you how deceptive Satan and his demons (fallen angels) are, one of their favorite lies is that humans can come back after death as ghosts and haunt people. Some individuals have engaged in occult practices, such as a séance. This is strictly forbidden in the Bible (Deuteronomy 18:10 and Isaiah 47:13)! The Bible tells us that this is the only life we have on earth.
We all like to receive useful gifts. But did you know who is the greatest gift giver of all? It is the Lord Himself. Salvation alone is a gift beyond anything we humans deserve. However, after salvation, God gives even more gifts to those who love and serve Him. Unlike the clothes, flowers, candy, etcetera, that we mortals give, God's gifts never wear out or become obsolete.
For it is easy to become disillusioned as this world drifts further away from the light of Christ. One topic that seems to be on the minds of a lot of Americans lately is the controversy over the "Star Spangled Banner" being played during sporting events. What's scary for some is that this once united country has become very divided.
The question has been in the mind of people for thousands of years. "How can I please God?" The unsaved ask, "What can God do for me?" But the spiritually mature in Christ ask, "Lord, what is Your will for my life?" So it's not about what we can do for God, but what God can do through us... God wants good spiritual fruit from us, not carnal!
Now, let’s get to the root of the issue. All these problems boil down to one general fact. People don’t fear God anymore! And who is mostly responsible for this? It’s the purveyors of "secular humanism," that liberal propaganda that has reached its tentacles into vast segments of society! In other words, it is brainwashing the public to disregard any biblical teachings or moral values.
One of my favorite hymns is "Glorious Things of Thee Are Spoken" by John Newton. The music is so beautiful and the words are music to my ears. It’s because, for those of us who love and serve Jesus, it moves our thoughts away from the carnal things of this world. And it encourages our confidence and trust in God and His promises to us.
Let's face it, this is a very difficult world in which we live, especially in these last days before the Lord's return. Satan wants to weaken our faith and drown out every vestige of Christianity from our culture... Faith is the key to the whole thing! For, if the enemy can weaken our faith he weakens the church. For "...without faith it is impossible to please God..." (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).
There is nothing in all creation that is as special to God as repentant sinner. Those who condemn Trump the most for something that happened eleven years should look in the mirror of God themselves, the Bible, and see how they measure up. Who among us isn’t ashamed and embarrassed about something they did in their life that they would not want others to know about?
The problem is that as society continues to draw further away from the traditional Judo-Christian values America was founded on, the bad apple population increases. And Satan has added a new component to his recipe for the decay of society. We are told thru educational establishments, liberals, and modern entertainment that we are not supposed to criticize anyone...
How comforting it is to know that when we put the Lord totally first in our lives, God protects us even when we do not know we are in danger. And in this crazy world we live in today those of us who love Christ need His constant protection. We trust God to keep us safe. As believers, we all go through trials and tests of faith. However, if you want the Lord’s protection you must put Him first in your life!
The problem is that elevating Christian pastors up on a pedestal, and putting ones trusttotally in human wisdom is not good for the pastor. And it is not good for the congregation. For it can lure him into the sin of pride (Prov. 16:5). And there’s nothing that can cause a worse roadblock between humans and God! It was the original sin that caused Lucifer to think that he was smarter than God.
With all the gift giving we Christians do during the holiday season, there is usually one person missing from our gift list. That is the guest of honor, who is so often overlooked among the gaiety of festivities. With all the houses lit up during the Christmas season, one in particular caught our eye. In colorful lights on the front lawn of a home the message read "Happy Birthday Jesus."
As Christians we need to grow in our walk with God. The Born Again experience is only the beginning of our relationship with the Lord. Not the end! We were not saved from the power of this sinful world (1 John 2:15-17) so that we can continue to live as before (Ephesians 2:1-5). It is the job of the church to teach the congregation how to please the Lord (see 1 Peter 5:1-11).
Have you been having a problem with your walk with the Lord lately? Does it seem like something is missing? Were you once feeling so close to Christ that you felt joy and peace in your heart but now it’s as if something is blocking your way? That's a familiar problem many Christians go through in their walk with God. I went through it myself back in the 1980's.
Satan will dangle his bait right under your nose. Like the forbidden fruit, it will seem good to your senses (Genesis 3:6). But there’s a hook in there that the devil will use to reel you in! "...Each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death" (James 1:14-15 NIV).
Then the chorus comes again. "'Bye-bye, Miss American Pie’ drove a Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry..." Repeating the same theme that we as a nation were no longer attached to the Vine of Christ (John 15:1-8) and therefore, had no spiritual moisture to grow good fruit (Gal. 5:22-25). The consequences are a dead, spiritually lifeless nation that appears to God...
There is nothing that makes the Lord more proud of us than our faith and confidence in Him. And nothing displeases Him more than our lack of faith (Hebrews 11:6)! Nevertheless, the Lord often overlooks our fears and human frailties as long as we love Him with all our heart and try to please Him (Psalms 103:13-14). Many lies among God’s loved ones are committed out of fear.
Do you think that you have been suffering because God doesn’t love you? No! It is because He loves you so much (see John 3:16, Romans 5:3-8, 1 John 4:16)! He is a loving Shepherd to His sheep. He sees the wolves out there. He knows how they are devouring their prey (Ezekiel 22:26-28, 2 Peter 2:17-22, Galatians 2:4-6, Jude 1:10-13). And He is warning His precious flock to turn away from the things of this world.
Christ can deliver anyone from sin, no matter how vile that sin may be. But He cannot do anything with the proud hypocrites who, through their church attendance and social programs, think they can buy their way into Heaven! Pride was the original human sin (Genesis 3:1-6)! The only thing worse is hypocrisy added to pride! Nothing gets in God's way more than those who claim to love Him, yet do evil in His name!
There are many spiritual levels to reach as we live for Jesus Christ. How far any of us go depends upon whether or not we pass the preliminary trials and tests of faith (1 Peter 2:18-23). Everything will be going well for awhile. Then, the Lord begins to turn up the heat (Proverbs 17:3). When this occurs, most people wonder, “What happened? God was blessing me so much!” Life suddenly becomes a lot harder.
So if you love the Lord with all your heart (see Mark 12:30), but have been suffering all kinds of weird afflictions, take heart! For God is preparing, in you, an unshakable foundation! Consequently, if you have been feeling the Refiner's Fire, (Zechariah 13:9, Jeremiah 9:7, Psalm 66:10, Isaiah 48:10, 1 Peter 1:3-9, Rev. 3:18-19), you are in good company. All the prophets and apostles of God have felt it.
One of the greatest desires of those of us who love and serve Jesus Christ is to bring new souls into His Heavenly Kingdom. We want to lead them to Christ so that they will receive the same love (1 Peter 1:22), hope (Acts 26:6-7), peace (Phil. 4:7), and joy (Nehemiah 8:10) that we have in our Lord. It is a desire every Christian should have. In fact, it is a part of the Great Commission!
Peter was right. These things were definitely strange! But then, "...we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against... spiritual wickedness in high places" (Ephesians 6:12 KJV). You see, God allows attacks like this to occur so that, after He has accomplished the things He planned to do (see Isaiah 55:10-11), "...no flesh should glory in His presence" (1 Cor. 1:29 KJV).
As soon as we try to do what Christ tells us to do, every roadblock imaginable gets in our way. On the surface, it looks as if Satan is winning the battle. That obstacle seems like a mountain and we feel so tiny compared to it. So we look to Christ for our strength! The Lord will fight for us, as long as we remain in His will. God not only wants to win the battle, he wants to make the enemy grovel in defeat!
Our Creator is not interested in fancy cathedrals or beautiful buildings made by men. "'Heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool. What kind of house will you build for Me?' says the Lord... 'You are just like your fathers: You always resist the Holy Spirit!'" (Acts 7:49-51 NIV). That is the biggest mistake in the Christian church! People want to please God in their own way.
Remain in the Vine and do not be discouraged by the rumblings of the world around you (Psalm 37). For those who build their house on anything carnal will fall by the wayside (Matt. 13:4, 13:19, 7:24-27, 1 Corinthians 3:11, Ephesians 2:19-22). But when we build our house upon the faith and trust we have in Christ Jesus, "...the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it" (Matt. 16:18 KJV).
"Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam's error; they have been destroyed in Korah's rebellion" (Jude 1:11 NIV). The spiritual influence of these three men is very prevalent in the church today! None of these men were pagans! Each of them claimed to love God, and to be living for Him! Nevertheless, each one of them was self-righteous and rebellious.
When our faith is built on the Rock, the earth loses its power over us! As the prophet said, "He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings" (Psalm 40:2 KJV). When we rely on our own flesh, we will fail (Psalm 127:1). However, when we trust in Christ, His Spirit is there to guide us no matter how fierce the storm or how dark it may get.
The narrow path that leads to Heaven is a race for the finish line. You have to stay on the straight and narrow. Many people believe that they can sin a little now and then make up for it later by doing a few good deeds. It won't work! Jesus paid an incredible price for our sins 2000 years ago, but unless you love Him enough to live for Him on a daily basis, putting Him first in your life, you will not make it to Heaven!
One of the biggest problems the church faces today is the tremendous amount of false doctrine, not just on theological, but also on political issues as well. Doctrines of demons are usually promoted by the twisted scripture approach. That's where one verse is taken out of context and its meaning is totally changed. This has been used as a tool of Satan to manipulate Christians for years.
Like Nimrod, Cain, & Martha, there will always be those who feel they can get all the way into Heaven through man-made success. But Nimrod’s kingdom was destroyed, Cain's life was ruined, and Martha was reprimanded by Jesus in front of her sister! So, remember the words of the Lord, "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the Earth" (Psalms 46:10 KJV).
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