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Gospel Presentation for the Incarcerated

In Blog, Jail Happenings, John's Blog | on September, 19, 2018 | by

Gospel Presentation for the Incarcerated

Presenting the Gospel to the incarcerated can be a very fulfilling event. Many encountered inside have never heard what it is to be “saved”. Likewise, many of these have reached a point where they realize their lives need to change-they need to take a different route or face being locked in cages for the rest of their lives.

From the vantage point of the bottom of the pit, all one can do is look up. As believers, we are given the responsibility to share the vision of what it takes to escape the pit.

Surely there are multiple effective ways to present the gospel and what follows is not a “take-it or leave-it” or “this is the only way” method. It is, instead, a simple “script or track” that has proven to be effective in the jail. It, therefore, is presented as an easy to follow method for the person new to the venue. Or, to put it another way, it is a track to follow.

In what follows, the reader will see a certain sequence which takes the “newbie” through a simple learning procedure. It is important to get the individual involved by asking questions and being conversational with them. Their participation is absolutely necessary to the presentation.

And so, let’s begin: (Make sure they have a Bible to read from and it is best to have them read the scripture…”let’s see how your translation says it”)

1)Find out about their family. (If there are children)….”Do you love your children?”

“Yes” (is the usual answer)

2)“Is this book true?” (Refer to your Bible and be sure to wait for an answer) “Yes” (usually)

“Then, let’s take a look at something….Exodus 20:5” (Have them read the passage)

Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

Or (as an alternate)

Exo 34:7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by

no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

3)“What is that saying to you?” (Usually, if they care about their kids, you will get a solid response similar to, “I’m cursing my great-grandchildren!” Other responses have included, “That is true. That’s my family…my father…my uncle. Etc.”

4) You can then add, “This has been proven scientifically…in the early 1900’s. They researched two families from Colonial times to then. One family had around 1300 descendants during the period of the study. They started out in trouble with the law and, throughout the family line, they were always in trouble with the law. The second family didn’t have as many children…somewhere under 1000; and they were consistently preachers and teachers, and that sort of thing. You are right, the Bible is true.”

“Do you want to pass a curse on to your children and grand-children?” (The usual answer is No!)

5)“Would you like to see how simple it is to become part of the family of God, and leave that all behind you forever?” (Make sure to use the phrase: Family of God; The usual answer is Yes.)

6)“OK then, let’s start with this. Suppose our legislature makes “XYZ”, whatever that is, illegal here in our state. But, let’s suppose you go across the state line and do “XYZ” there because it isn’t illegal there. Can our state prosecute you?” (They will usually answer No.) “Why?” (You ask) Their usual answer is: “Because it is out of our state’s jurisdiction.”

“Right. And this is what you have to consider when you join the family of God. You are turning over jurisdiction to God and His jurisdiction covers the entire world. You can’t escape it.”

7)“If you are OK with that, then the next thing to understand is that He has a set of rules He expects all His family members to follow…the way He wants you to live. If you follow them, He promises great blessings and if you don’t it gets really dicey.”

8) “Let’s have a look at the blessings…” (Lev. 26:3-13) “Notice right off He starts off with IF. He knows human nature. But also notice, the concept of not just knowing what He wants, He expects you to DO it. Going on…the society was mainly agrarian and so the blessings are about good crops and peace and power over adversaries. Pretty good blessings, right?”

9) “But what happens to the other side of the coin…IF you walk away from Him…” (Have them read 26:14-17) “At this time point out the goal of these punishments is to bring the person back into the fellowship. Notice how He says, “and if you don’t return etc.” See, once you are in the family of God, He’s not willing to lose you. He’ll continue to make things pretty tough until you return to him.”

At this point we have had several who have said, “That is/has already happened to me.”

10) “But now, let’s return to that curse on families. Turn to Deuteronomy 23 and look at verse 3.” (Have them read it.)

(Deu_23:3 An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever:

“Now turn to Ruth, the first chapter. What nationality was Ruth?” (Moabite) “Now keep your finger in Ruth and turn with me to Mathew 1:5.”

Mat 1:5 And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse;

“This is the blood line of Yeshua/Jesus. How could he have legally entered the Temple? How could God break his own rules?” (Wait for an answer…)

“God has provided an escape clause in his rules. Let’s look back at Ruth 1 again and read verse 16. Ruth made a vow and left her old life behind at this point.”

Rth 1:16 And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God:

“Simply put, this is being adopted into the family of God. Easy isn’t it?”

(Sinner’s prayer at this point.)

Understanding the two laws

“Have you ever heard someone say, ‘the law is done away with’? If you haven’t you probably will.”

“Many of the volunteers here haven’t studied the first century and don’t understand there were two laws then…and now for that matter. They think there was and is just one law and the only one they know about is the Torah, the Law of Moses. However, Paul clearly talks about two separate laws. You need to understand his teaching so you won’t be misled.”

(It is important to check to see which translation they have. Marcion, a bishop, gnostic, and heretic of the 2nd century who edited Paul, blending the two laws into one. Some modern translations reflect his teaching of one law which is in opposition to grace. The NLT is one that sometimes does this…very confusing to newbies.)

“Turn first to Galatians 1. In verses 13 and 14, Paul mentions “the Jews’ religion and indicates (14) it is “traditions of my fathers. Yeshua/Jesus also mentions traditions in Mark 7.”

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition….

“Notice Yeshua/Jesus is saying, in effect, “Your traditions are in opposition to the Word of God.”

“Now back to Paul. In Galatians 3:10 it says, ‘one who is under the works of the law is under a curse.’ Many churchmen stop here and miss the contrast in the same verse, where Paul goes on to quote Deuteronomy 27:26 but adds to the quote one word…written. Why? Because he wanted to make sure the first century readers of his letter saw the contrast between the traditions, which the Jews called the Oral Torah, and what is known as the Torah of Moses or the Written Torah.

Here is the entire verse as presented in the King James, “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.”

“And so, you can see that, if one has a Marcion inspired translation, or thinks there is only one law, they will totally confuse the curse Paul writes about.”

If more evidence is necessary, go to Acts 24:14 where Paul says he follows what is written…

Also, in his letter to the Romans (3:27), he mentions the two laws again…the law of works or the law of faith.

Torah’s relevance

“The Torah is the list of rules for God’s people to follow. These rules are what He means when He expects His people to “do them. Torah means teaching and it is found in the first 5 books of your Bible. Notice, at the beginning you will find the history of the family you are adopted into. It’s a dysfunctional family but God chose it just the same. His rules are not hard…things like, if you build a house with a flat roof and put in stairs so you can have friends up there, put a railing around it so no-one falls off. Most of His rules are simply common sense.”


Most inmates have never thought of things in this light…the common sense approach God gives his people in Torah. Many have been led astray by incorrect teachings. When presented in this, or a similar manner, the Father becomes crystal clear in his intent and meanings.  Once an inmate asked, “I want to be part of God’s family, but how do I do it?”  Remembering they have hours and hours to study, the Torah is the answer as God’s rules for life are presented in a simple and easy to understand way.  As He says, “My word will not return void!”

We cannot take credit for the systematic method presented here. It came from the Ruach (Holy Spirit).

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