Chuck Foreman – Teaching / Missions Pastor
Throughout God’s Story, judgment and punishment were never an end in themselves and never the end of the story. Judgment and the resulting punishment or consequence is ALWAYS for the purpose of restoration. God is at work in every single one of our lives to bring about repentance so that he can restore us to each other and to himself.
God does wonderful things in a man or woman’s heart when they are in prison that they would never let him to do at any other place or time. Sometimes he puts us in Time Out so we’ll listen to him. When people are suffering, they listen to God like at no other time. That’s why, as Followers of Jesus, we need to extend compassion to the hurting because God may have allowed their pain so he can get through to them. I believe this is why God wants us to visit those in prison. They’re almost always ready to listen.
When Isaiah and then Jesus talked about setting the prisoner free (Luke 4:18), it was not about total amnesty— God wants to set the prisoner free from what got them into to prison in the first place!