"An Inside Perspective"

October 2013


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! A large portion of the men in prison will one day stand before the Parole Board. They will answer for how they lived their lives while in the prison system. Every single thing that they have done is recorded, from the first day they were locked up, until Lord willing, the day they walk out the door. It is a very serious issue because their release back into society, or denial thereof, is directly contingent upon the Parole Board’s ruling.

When first arriving into the prison system a man sometimes feels that he has to do what a man has to do. He may have to defend himself, taking no shorts as it were, until he is established and accepted. Trust me, at that point his parole hearing is the furthest thing from his mind. He has entered a combat zone where life and death are at stake and must work out his long term strategy with fear and trembling. The initial circumstances of his first few months, and how he handles all said situations will define him and his reputation for the rest of his bid. His reputation will be determined by how other prisoners perceive him. That reputation will always follow him.

Often, he will be labeled with a nick-name that will arise out of those circumstances. For instance, when Carlos was first locked up he ate too many honey—buns, got sick and was sent to medical. Seventeen years later, when some folks see him coming they still say, “What’s up honey—bun?” He now wears that moniker for the duration of his bid.

Once a man has settled in and begins to plot his future he realizes that he must work his way through the legal appeal process. At the same time, he also soon realizes that he must begin to establish his “parole history.” When a man stands before the Parole Board they will base their decision on the man’s history.

A wise man will come to this conclusion early and live in accordance with what the Parole Board will require. For instance, if your crime was alcohol or drug related you will want to do the 12 step programs and perhaps one on one counseling. Or perhaps you have anger issues, if so, you would then take Anger Management classes, etc. You get the picture.

Even if your parole hearing is thirty years away it is wise to always live in the light of it. All that you do must be ruled by that ever so important truth. You must always be working on your “parole history.” In the midst of all your daily circumstances, you must remind yourself of what is at stake in the long run; Lord willing, a place back at your families table. That principle is a huge deterrent of evil in prison.

Concerning parole, I have observed many men who have erred grievously. I can’t count the number of times that I have seen men come back from their Parole hearing totally devastated. They may have completed thirty years, but now, they must do ten more! Why? because they didn’t do their time in light of their parole hearing. They then say, “Brother Philip, what was I thinking?”

It is written, “For we [Christians] must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10)

Beloved, every single thing that we do is recorded, from the day we are saved until the day we walk out the door of this world! It is a very serious issue because our future Kingdom position for all eternity is directly contingent upon Jesus Christ’s ruling.

I know that in this world we may sometimes feel that we have to do what we have to do. At times, the Judgment Seat might seem like the furthest thing from our minds. God forbid! We must daily be ruled by that ever so important eternal truth.

Precious one, this world is a spiritual combat zone and life and death are at stake over the souls of men. Rise up then Christian and work out your long term salvation with fear and trembling!

Do you not know that our faithfulness on earth will be silently declared by our awarded positions in the Kingdom to come, and that, for the entirety of our Heavenly bid! We will also get a new name and perhaps it will be given in light of our earthly walk? If so, what would your moniker then be? (Rev. 2:17)

It is time to actualize that every single moment we are establishing our “Christian History.” When we stand before the Lord Jesus Christ at the Judgment Seat we will reap exactly what we have sown. It will be in direct proportion to our earthly works done as a believer. A wise person will come to this conclusion early and live in the light of it. Maybe you have obedience issues? The Holy Spirit gives one on one counseling classes daily but you must have perfect attendance. You get the picture.

I have declared to you what is at stake. Do you want a place at the Lord’s table? This principle should be a huge deterrent against evil in your life, unless of course you are reprobate? Do not err grievously beloved, most people don’t even realize these truths until it is too late. Make no mistake, there will be many devastated Christians leaving the Judgment Seat. Why? Because they didn’t live their earthly lives in light of it. God forbid I see you afterwards saying...