I WAS SENTENCED TO DEATH
IN THE ELECTRIC CHAIR
(A True Story told by Clyde Thompson)
The following article is the true story of
Clyde Thompson, once known as the meanest man in Texas.
It wonderfully relates how the power of the gospel of Christ
changed a vicious murderer into a great, soul-winning instrument
of evangelism on behalf of men behind bars. This narrative was
first published in a small tract (now out of print) distributed
by Star Bible. It is reproduced here (with some slight editing
and reformatting) for the benefit of our readers.
There are two motivating factors in a persons
life. One brings him to God; another is love for God. Fear brings
a man to realize the consequences of his sin and turns him to
God, and love for God will cause one to grow in Gods favor.
He loves God when he sees the love that was manifested in the Son
WILD YOUTHFUL DAYS
When people have committed great sins, they
sometimes feel that God cannot forgive them and therefore they
are fearful before God. But when they come to realize that the
blood of Christ is all-sufficient and can wipe away the guilt of
sin, then they commit their lives to Christ, and no longer do
they fear and tremble; they have put their trust where it ought
to be and they know that God can and will deliver them from the
power of darkness.
It is great and wonderful what God did for me. At
the age of seventeen, I was sentenced to death in the electric
chair -- the youngest man ever sentenced to death in Texas up to
that time. At the age of nineteen I was the youngest man ever
placed on death row at Huntsville in 1931. I had sixty days to
THE DEATH SENTENCE
There were three of us young men -- I was
seventeen, another thirteen, and his brother eighteen. We went
hunting one night down on the creek; we had borrowed the pistol
and shotgun of the brothers daddy without his knowing it.
Having reached the creek, we debated which way we would go. We
finally decided to go up the creek. We met two men, one of whom
had had some trouble with the older brother and his daddy. We got
into an argument and a fight with them, and shot and killed both
Young people, I want you to understand that
it makes no difference how good you are, how wonderful your
parents are (my father was a gospel preacher) or how wonderful
your elders and your deacons and your preacher are. If you are in
the wrong place at the right time you could be in serious
trouble, and it could take you a whole lifetime to get out of it,
if you ever could.
I was sentenced to death twice in the same murder
case within a years time. The first sentence was reversed; I
was again tried and sentenced a second time. A month after my
trial the eighteen-year-old boy was tried and sentenced to death
also. After I had received the death sentence the second time,
his case was reversed after about twenty months, and two years
after his first trial he was tried again in the same case and
received a five-year suspended sentence. You know, this is the
difference in what money can do. My folks had no money. I went to
death row while this young man was still waiting trial in the
second murder case. They had two cases of murder against us.
A COMMITMENT TO CHRIST
While I was waiting on death row, they dismissed
the second case against me. I heard brother P.D. Wilmeth
preaching the gospel over the only radio at that time in the
penitentiary. Now there are radios all over the prison system;
everybody has access to either a radio or a TV. The radio over
which I heard brother Wilmeth belonged to a guard; he had it out
in the corridor of death row and I heard the gospel preached
A HARD ROAD AHEAD
Here I am, nineteen years old, and I had
never made a commitment to my Lord. I sent for brother Wilmeth
and asked that he come up and baptize me, and he did. I was taken
off death row and baptized there in the Walls Unit at Huntsville.
That was six days before I was to be executed. Two days before I
was to be executed I received a stay of execution to await the
third trial of the other boy -- which was the second murder case.
Had that young man received the death penalty in that murder
trial I should not be here tonight, I assure you.
The governor said that he could not see
justice in letting one man die when there were two men equally
guilty and he wanted to wait until the young man was tried in the
other case. After the stay of execution, I had ninety days to
live. Well, I thought that this time it would be the end of it,
since I was sure the other boy would receive the death penalty
and I would also be executed. But six hours before I was to be
executed, the warden came in and told me that my sentence of
death had been commuted to life imprisonment. I didnt even
believe him. I had made up my mind that this was the end of life.
They had already taken me out of my cell and given me my last
bath; they had offered me my last meal. You can have anything
within reason you want to eat for your last meal when you are to
be executed, but I didnt have any stomach for it.
The governor debated about commuting my term to
twenty years, but decided, on advice of counsel, that he would
commute it to life. They took me off death row, and for a year I
lived as faithful to my Lord as I could in prison. Not one
Christian from the outside came in to encourage me in the way of
the Lord. Had Christians come in, and services been held in that
institution, I am sure that the horrible things which happened
afterward would not have happened and I wouldnt have spent
twenty-five more years in prison after I had already been in for
three. But I spent twenty-eight years in confinement.
TO THE DUNGEON
A year after I was released from death row
they sent me to the Retrieve Farm which is down close to Angleton
on the Gulf Coast, and this was a living hell on earth. They
worked us as high as seven or eight weeks (from daylight until
dark) without even one Sunday of rest. There was no time to even
wash our socks. We would come in so tired at night that we would
just fall in bed and not even remember that we had come into the
building or whether or not we went to supper; we would just fall
exhausted and then the next morning we were up and at it again.
I lost my faith completely. I didnt
believe that there could be a God who was merciful and could let
these things happen to me. My daddy came to see me after I went
to the Retrieve Farm, and I took the Bible that he had given me
on death row and handed it to him and told him to take it because
I didnt believe it any more, and I would not try to live it.
I know how that must have hurt my daddy, and it probably put him
in an early grave. In 1938, he died at the age of fifty-three.
The next six years I tried with great
determination to escape from prison. I made four major attempts
to escape, but I was always plotting and planning to escape. I
felt that if I was going to spend my life in prison it would be a
very short one. And I would make them kill me or I would get
away. At one time, trying to escape, a young man was shot down by
my side and killed, and another one was shot and wounded. The
guard rode up to within thirty feet of me and said, Stop or
I will kill you, too. I stopped and looked back and saw him
about to shoot me and I ducked my head. I had a high crowned hat
on and he shot it off with a load of buckshot. Had his intentions
been carried out I would not be here tonight.
I had two knife fights with fellow inmates on
that prison unit and killed both of those men. Because of my past
record of having been sentenced to death for murder (and this is
a good example of what a past record can do for a person) they
tried me for my life. Ordinarily a fellow would get five years or
maybe ten for a crime of that kind in the prison (for fighting
for his life and killing somebody) and yet they sentenced me to
life both times. I now had three life sentences in the
penitentiary and practically no hope of ever getting out, unless
I broke out.
Well, things went from bad to worse. The
officials soon realized that I was not a man who was afraid to
die, and that I was determined to get away, so they put me in
with other people of this kind so that we might be watched more
closely. This was at the Central Farm. Then they built what they
called Little Alcatraz out on the Eastham Farm,
Northeast of Huntsville, and they took me out there with about
twenty-five other fellows. They wouldnt even let us out to
work in the field without two guards over us because they knew
that we were going to break if we could.
Finally, over on the Eastham Farm, four of us
plotted and planned to take the arsenal and give guns to everyone
who would shoot one. We hoped to kill anybody who got in our way
as we escaped from that penitentiary. I had fallen so far that I
would have killed every official and every inmate in the
institution to escape from it. I was determined to get out of
We captured two picket guards, got their two
pistols, and with our knives and the two guards as shields, we
went up the stairs to the arsenal. But they had laid a trap for
us and we went right into an ambush. As I stepped out to open the
door where the men could go into the arsenal, I was shot with a
30-30 slug through my shoulder. The guard was shooting at my head
and missed. As I pulled this door open I looked around and saw
these two men, that were friends of mine, lying on those steps
dying. One of them still had his pistol in his hand. I ran over
and grabbed it, but I could only use my left hand and Im not
a very good left-handed shooter.
I stayed in the hospital forty days and forty
nights and they sent me back to Eastham Farm. I couldnt even
raise my arm. It was about two years before I could use it. I
went out in the field and worked with a hoe with one hand. About
six or seven months after I went back out there, a man was killed
in the wing where I was and they charged me with murder for the
third time in the penitentiary. (They were determined to sentence
me to death.) You know, if one of those guards had been killed
that I was shooting at, I certainly would have received the death
penalty again. But it was just fortunate they were not. All three
of those men who went up those stairs with me died, and it is
just amazing that I didnt -- or that I hadnt killed
somebody and been executed for that. So they charged me with a
stabbing though I didnt kill the man, and the only reason
they didnt try me for my life on that case is because they
couldnt find witnesses to testify against me.
The officials of the penitentiary finally gave up
on me. There was an old morgue behind death row that they had
abandoned. It was an old concrete building containing six slabs
that they had used to put caskets on. They put a steel door on it
and put platted bars over the door opening, which was about a
foot square. All the light I had came through those bars. The
small cell was sandwiched between two tall buildings, and about
five hours a day was the only time I could see my hand before me.
A HAUNTED EXISTENCE
All the time I was in that building, I was
allowed only a pair of shorts. They were afraid if I had anything
else I would hang myself. They wouldnt even let me have a
light, running water, or anything else. I didnt even have a
spoon to eat with, for they were afraid I would sharpen it and
kill myself or somebody else. Did you ever eat chili with your
fingers? I have! When you have just a little bucket of cold water
to wash your hands with, and you pour it over that chili with the
grease and grime, you can rub your hands together all you want,
but it wont come off.
Man is the crowning glory of Gods creation.
God made man in His own likeness and in His own image, and
thats why it is a sin to kill a man. Its not a sin to
kill an animal. If you just go out and shoot a dog, that is not a
sin; but if you kill a man, thats a sin. Why? Because man is
made in the likeness and image of God.
A TIME FOR REFLECTION
There are eight people in their graves
because I have lived, people who probably would be alive if I had
not gotten them into trouble or killed them with my own hands. It
is mighty sad to know that youve killed somebody and that
you cant do anything about it as far as giving back that
life. We teach that repentance involves restitution, and this is
true insofar as it is possible. But if youve ever killed
somebody, you cant restore that life.
The Lord knows that I would gladly take the
place of any of those people in those graves if he could stand on
the earth and be a child of God; but I cant take their
places. Then what is life for me? The mercy of God, the goodness
and the blessing of God, that He showed to us through the blood
of His Son. Sometimes we want to limit the power of the blood of
Christ. And we say, Oh, well, you can be forgiven of this
sin or that sin, or some other sin, but the Lord just cant
forgive this one. Beloved, if He can forgive one sin He can
forgive them all, and if the blood of Christ is sufficient for
one sin, it is sufficient for all sins. I didnt realize this
In this isolation cell I had three steps to
make from one end to the other, and I walked back and forth in
there like a wild animal for five and one-half years. I wore
holes in that concrete floor where I made the turn at each end
(with my bare feet). My feet got as hard as rocks.
After I was there two or three months, I asked the
guard who brought my food if he would bring me a Bible. I knew
they wouldnt give me anything else to read. He went to the
warden and received permission to bring me a New Testament with
Psalms. At the time I didnt think much about it. I just
wanted something to read to keep from going mad in that place.
A CHANGED LIFE
I had trouble reading it since I had only a
fourth-grade education. The King James Version was quite
difficult then, though now I love it since I have educated myself
in it. Somewhere Id heard that the Bible was a book of
contradictions and so could not be the Word of God. Having
nothing better to do, I decided I could prove that. So I started
studying to prove the Bible was a book of contradictions.
The more I studied it, the more it convinced
me that it was a book of truth and I was false. When I came to
realize that this was actually the word of God and the only hope
for man in this world, I repented in tears, on my knees day and
night for months. I read the Bible and kept asking God if He
could and would forgive a wretch like me, and take me and use me
to His honor and glory. He did. I began to write articles for
Christian papers -- some of you may remember reading them many
years ago. Christian friends would write me and send me
literature, and I would take that literature and hand it to other
I wasnt a hippie, but I must have looked
one, because they only gave me a bath and shave once a week. They
would take me out of my cell and down a corridor where there were
men on each side, and here they would bathe and shave me, and I
would pass out literature. The guard was very lenient with me. He
would let me talk fifteen or twenty minutes. It wasnt long
until I had three fellows wanting to obey the gospel.
I wrote to a preacher in Dallas and asked him
to come down and baptize these three men. He came and the warden
came around and got me and the three men and they were baptized.
They had built a new chapel in the Walls Unit since they baptized
me. In the old chapel they had a baptistery, but when they built
the new one they conveniently forgot the baptistery. So they
didnt have a place in the Walls to baptize anybody. Somebody
remembered this old deep bathtub around on death row and
suggested we use it.
We went down the corridor of death row where
men were waiting to be executed and where I had been waiting
once. There I saw these three men buried with the Lord in baptism
and raised to walk in newness of life. I was there to greet them
and to say a prayer for them when they came out of that old
bathtub where I supposedly took my last bath. You think that
wasnt a thrill to me? It sure was! A number of other people
were baptized in that bathtub, too.
I continued to study the word of God. They
finally let me begin to get other things in there to study, and
they even let me have a light in the place; finally they put
running water in there, too. They just fixed me up to stay! Well,
I had turned back to the Lord and I didnt care any more
about my freedom. I already had changed my attitude toward man,
and it wasnt too hard to get this hatred of people out of my
The hardest thing for me to overcome was
cursing and bywords. I had lived about six years with every-
other-word I said being a curse word or a byword. For about two
years after I turned back to the Lord these things would pop up
in my mind, but I would say in my heart, They wont come
out of my mouth, and they didnt. It took about two
years to overcome this. I understood what James meant when he
said, Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
I studied diligently in that cell to educate
myself. Among other courses of study, I took a two-year Bible
course from Lee College in Tennessee. When I began studying in
that isolation cell I couldnt even speak or spell the most
common words correctly. Your little seven or eight-year-old
children can spell better than I could spell at that time. When I
quit school in the fourth grade, I was fourteen years old, the
oldest and dumbest kid in my class -- and the most embarrassed.
My daddy always planned for my younger
brother to be a preacher, but he didnt become one, and
neither did my older brother. But the ugly duckling
became a preacher. My daddy died before I came back to the Lord,
though, and Im sad about this, because I wish he knew that I
am a preacher -- for that would please him very much.
I think that my life is a testimony to the fact
that a person who has committed murder can be saved. I committed
murder, and there are a lot of people saved in this world today
because I have lived in it -- even though there are eight dead
because of me. I thank God that He used me for His cause, but I
dont thank God for sin. I thank God that He brought me to a
sense of understanding that I couldnt save myself, and the
only hope was His mercy through Christ Jesus.
When one finds out that he is a sinner, lost,
undone, and without hope, and he turns back to God, God will help
him, and use him in this world. If we have committed sin, we need
forgiveness of that sin, and until we realize that we are lost
and undone, and unless we have repented of sin, we wont be
Finally they sent me out to Ramsey Farm and I
did real well. I put the Christmas play on for Captain McAdams
the last two years, and Im real proud of those plays and the
men who worked with me. Those men were from the Bible class I was
teaching on the farm. When I left Ramsey Farm, I had eighty-one
men in class and sixty of them had been baptized into Christ. We
baptized nine out there at one time in a stock pond.
Later, my case came up for consideration for
parole. The parole officers decided they would put it off for
three years, and they wrote me a letter to that effect. Id
been in prison twenty-eight years, but they said they would
review my case again in three years.
MY CONCLUDING WORK
I had gotten acquainted with a Christian lady
through a preacher friend who had been coming to see me. After a
year of knowing one another, she and I fell in love and planned
to be married as soon as we could. She worked and would not give
up. She went to everybody about me -- trying to get me out of
isolation and then out of prison. Mr. Ellis, the manager of the
prison, told her one day about four or five years before I got
out, Young lady, you might as well go on and forget this
fellow. Hell never get out of prison. Well, that was
the opinion of most of the officials down there and most of the
inmates -- and me, too. I just thought there wasnt much hope
of getting out of there. But all of these people underestimated
the power of God and the influence of a good woman. The board
turned me down, but two months later they released me on
I was released from Huntsville prison after
being in two months past twenty-eight years. My wife was there
with a suit of clothes, a borrowed shirt, and a necktie. I was an
old country boy and I had never owned a suit of clothes, and had
never even worn a necktie.
My work now involves meeting those released
inmates. When those boys come out, I invite them to my house and
dress them in a suit of clothes so they will have something
decent to wear when they ask somebody for a job. Before I send
them on their way, I try to teach them the gospel of Christ and
bring them to the Lord.
I have counseled with a number of men on four
units of the prison system, but the doors are practically barred
to me now because there were too many of them wanting to be
baptized, and the denominational chaplains and the manager of the
prison did not want those people baptized. It was all right to
teach them and encourage them to live right, but not to baptize
them. The devil is pretty smart; as long as he can keep a person
from being saved he is real happy, and he has a lot of people
working for him in this world today.
Beloved, the possibilities of teaching people
who have been in trouble are tremendous. These people are really
open-minded. They know they need help, and all it takes is
somebody to guide them in the right way.
I want you to know how glad I am to tell you
that there is a God in heaven who is a merciful God. And Jesus
Christ His Son died for your sins. It makes no difference how
great your sins or how small, the blood of Christ is the answer.
And then a faithful life unto death will bring eternal life to
If you havent obeyed the gospel of
Christ we would encourage you to do so while time and opportunity
are given you. If you have fallen short of Gods will,
wont you make it right with Him and live for Him in full
dedication of life that He may bless you here and hereafter?
[NOTE: Clyde Thompson died of a heart attack July 1, 1979. His
life story has been recorded in a book by journalist Don Umphrey
(The Meanest Man in Texas, Quarry Press, P.O. Box 181736, Dallas,
Reprinted from Christian Courier, 8/14/07
used by permission
Table of Contents
THERE IS HOPE
Garland M. Robinson
The story Clyde Thompson tells about himself is
one I first heard many years ago on audio tape. While reading his
story in preparation for this issue of Seek The Old Paths,
I could not hold back the tears. On the one hand, it is
amazing to read and learn of such a man that Clyde Thompson once
was. But, on the other hand, it is also amazing to be reminded of
the wonderful grace of our heavenly Father and the power of his
glorious Gospel to change lives.
The Scriptures, the Bible, the Word of God is
the power of God unto salvation (Rom. 1:16; I Cor. 1:18). It has
the power to convict and convert the vilest of sinners -- if they
will take heed to it. Before his conversion, Saul of Tarsus
persecuted the saints with a vengeance (Acts 26:9), but years
later he wrote Timothy and said, This is a faithful
saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came
into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief (I
Tim. 1:15). No sin is too great that God will not forgive. But
one must want forgiveness and then humbly submit to the will of
the Father in complete obedience.
Im reminded of how many men and women
find themselves in trouble with the law or otherwise are living a
wild and reckless life. How many of this number even care? How
many have an attitude of gratifying their lusts to the fullest
and never once consider where such a life leads. What is the end
of such a life? Its not heaven. Its not eternal bliss,
comfort and reward. Its an eternity with the devil and his
angels (Matt. 25:41). Its a place where a certain rich man
said, I am tormented in this flame (Luke
16:24). Its a place where ...the smoke of their
torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day
nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever
receiveth the mark of his name (Rev. 14:11). Its
a place of everlasting punishment (Matt.
25:46) where sinners will be cast ...into the furnace
of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth
(Matt. 13:50), where their worm dieth not, and the fire
is not quenched (Mark 9:44). II Thessalonians 1:9
makes it clear they ...shall be punished with
everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from
the glory of his power.
The families of wayward souls know full well
of the heartache and anguish their loved ones put them through.
How many mothers and fathers have spent countless nights without
sleep over the wayward direction of their precious son(s) or
daughter(s)? God only knows the hours of prayer that have been
offered on their behalf, the begging and pleading for them to get
their life turned around, the longing for news that they are safe
and not in a ditch or back alley somewhere dying or dead.
The devil uses the works of the flesh as one
of his major tools in destroying the lives of those who indulge
themselves to the fullest. By heavens decree we learn,
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these;
Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry,
witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife,
seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,
and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also
told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not
inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21).
There is HOPE. There is FORGIVENESS when one
repents and turns to God in living His way.
Some in the church at Corinth (I Cor. 6:9-10)
had been fornicators and adulterers (sexual
conduct outside of the God-ordained marriage of one man and one
woman), idolaters, effeminate (having feminine
qualities untypical of a man), and abusers of themselves
with mankind (homosexuals, sodomites, gays). The practice
of men with men and women with women is defended by those who
condone it as an alternate life-style -- one that is
acceptable. However, the Lord calls it sodomy and condemns it
(Rom. 1:26-27). It is such a perverse transgression against
nature and Deity that God wiped the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah
off the face of the earth (Gen. 18-19) because of it.
Some had been thieves, covetous
(craving possessions, especially of others), drunkards
(alcoholics), revilers (abusive language), and
extortioners (gaining others possessions by force,
intimidation, undue or illegal power). While they lived in these
sins, they would not inherit the kingdom of God (go to heaven).
But in repenting and being baptized they had been washed,
sanctified, justified. Now, they were children of God --
redeemed, forgiven (I Cor. 6:11). Friend, if youre involved
in these things, you too can enjoy forgiveness if you will turn
away from them and obey the Gospel.
There is hope. There is always hope, as long
as an individual has conscience enough to be pricked in their
heart. It has long been said that a preachers work is to
afflict the comfortable and comfort the
afflicted. The wayward, the lost, the undone in trespasses
and sins, can turn their life around and obtain forgiveness for
all theyve said and done. The Lord in heaven above is a
loving and merciful God. The account of what we call the prodigal
son in Luke 15 illustrates this so well. When the boy had hit
rock-bottom and had his fill of riotous (rowdy, disorderly)
living, he came to himself and decided to go home. His
father received him back with open arms. Our loving heavenly
Father will likewise do the same when sinners repent and obey.
Its not too late for you if youre
an alien sinner or you once were a faithful child of God but have
wondered far from home. The way to God is explained in His Word.
For those outside of Christ, one must
BELIEVE, for ...without faith it is
impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must
believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that
diligently seek him (Heb. 11:6). Jesus said,
I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins:
for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your
sins (John 8:24).
One must REPENT of their sins. Our
Lord and Saviour Jesus the Christ said, I tell you,
Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish
(Luke 13:3). ...Repent, and be baptized every one
of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of
sins... (Acts 2:38). ...But now commandeth
all men every where to repent (Acts 17:30). Repentance
is a change of mind, a change of attitude. Without it, there will
be no change of life.
One must CONFESS faith (belief) in
Jesus, that He is the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. Jesus
said, Whosoever therefore shall confess me
before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in
heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also
deny before my Father which is in heaven (Matt. 10:32-
33). The man from Ethiopia wanted to be baptized after learning
that he could be forgiven in becoming a Christian. And
Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.
And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the
Son of God (Acts 8:37). Paul wrote,
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 with the heart
man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation (Rom. 10:9-10).
One must be BAPTIZED in water to be
born again (John 3:5) -- become a child of God. Thousands on
Pentecost wanted to know what to do to have forgiveness of their
sins (Acts 2:37). They were told, ...Repent,
and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus
Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift
of the Holy Ghost. ... Then they that gladly received his word
were baptized: and the same day there were added unto
them about three thousand souls (Acts 2:38,41). Saul
of Tarsus was told, And now why tarriest thou? arise,
and be baptized, and wash away thy sins,
calling on the name of the Lord (Acts 22:16).
Being then made free from sin, ye became
the servants of righteousness (Rom. 6:18).
...Baptism doth also now save us... (I Peter
3:21). In water baptism, one contacts the saving blood of Christ
(Rom. 6:3-6) that washes sins away (Rev. 1:5).
For those who have already obeyed the Gospel
but are now unfaithful children of God, there is a second
law of pardon. A Christian named Simon once sinned and was
told, Repent therefore of this thy wickedness,
and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may
be forgiven thee (Acts 8:22).
Friend, dont give up on God. He has not
abandoned you. He is still where He has always been. He is not
far from any one of us (cf. Acts 17:27). You have wandered away
from Him. He has not wandered from you. You need to come back. He
cares (I Peter 5:7). He loves (John 3:16). He forgives (I John
1:9). Wont you come unto Him and receive His forgiveness by
obeying His Word?
In Matthew 7:21, Jesus said those who go to
heaven are they who do the will of the Father in heaven. The Lord
and Saviour is standing at the door of your heart and gently
knocking. In Revelation 3:20 we read, Behold, I stand
at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the
door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with
Are YOU ready to obey? You who have strayed
away, are you ready to come home? Why not today?
Table of Contents
Voices from the past...
Six Searching Questions
Fred E. Dennis
1. WHAT ARE WE?
We are beings endowed with a moral conscience,
therefore responsible for our conduct. Animals have no moral
conscience, hence are not responsible for their conduct. Our
consciences should be educated in conformity to the teaching of
Gods word. Conscience is a matter of education. Conscience
by itself does not attest to the right or wrong of a thing. Paul
never violated his conscience, but he committed some terrible
sins (Acts 23:1). We should strive for a good conscience, and in
all things be willing to live honestly (Heb. 13:18). So
then every one of us shall give account of himself to God
(Rom. 14:12). We are responsible to God for our actions.
2. WHENCE CAME WE?
Much has been said about the origin of the
species. There is just one satisfactory explanation. We came
from God. Hear it: And the Lord God formed man of
the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath
of life; and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7).
In him we live, and move, and have our being
3. WHITHER ARE WE BOUND?
The body is destined to return to the earth,
and the spirit shall return unto the God who gave it.
Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was:
and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it
(Eccl. 12:7). God made our bodies of the dust of the ground. The
body goes back to the dust of the ground. God breathed into our
bodies the breath of life. At death, the spirit returns unto God
who gave it.
4. WHAT IS OUR DUTY?
We are all bound for the judgment bar of
God. This is a serious, solemn thought. And as it
is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the
judgment (Heb. 9:27). For we shall all stand
before the judgment seat of Christ (Rom. 14:10).
For we 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.
We are bound for eternity. Jesus
said: And these shall go away into everlasting
punishment: but the righteous into life eternal (Matt.
25:46). We are on our way to judgment and eternity.
Our duty is to hear God. At the
transfiguration, God spoke from heaven, saying: This is
my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him
(Matt. 17:5). There was a time when folks were to hear Moses and
the prophets, but that time has passed away. God speaks to us by
his Son. God, who at sundry times and in divers manners
spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in
these last days spoken unto us by his Son (Heb.
1:1,2). Our faith comes by hearing God. So then faith
cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God
5. WHAT IS OUR DANGER?
Our duty is to believe the Gospel.
Jesus said: He that believeth and is baptized shall be
saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned (Mark
16:16). Virtue does not lie in simply hearing, but in believing
the truth when it is heard.
Our duty is to obey the Gospel.
Jesus became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that
obey (Heb. 5:8,9). God will not save us and God cannot save us
unless we obey. For this is the love of God, that we
keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous
(I John 5:3). The Bible ends with a blessing pronounced on
the obedient: Blessed are they that do his
commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and
may enter in through the gates into city (Rev. 22:14).
There are two great dangers confronting all. One
of these is that we will neglect the great salvation.
Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the
things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them
slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, a every
transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of
reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;
which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was
confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them
witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles,
and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will
(Heb. 2:1-4). How shall we escape if we neglect? There is no
escape. However, the Lord is not slack concerning his
promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to
us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should
come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). If we perish
eternally, it will not be because God willed it so. He wills just
the opposite of that, but he cannot save us against our stubborn
6. WHAT IS OUR DESTINY?
We are in danger of losing our souls.
The devil would have us to believe that we are in no great
danger, but such is a lie. Jesus raised this warning:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and
whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what
is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his
own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul
(Matt. 16:25,26)? Jesus would not talk about losing our
soul if we were not in very great danger of doing that very
There are two destinies before us. One is
heaven and the other is hell. The writer of this
article and each reader thereof are facing one of these
destinies. Which will it be? May God grant that we may realize
that we are beings endowed with a moral conscience; and,
therefore, responsible for our conduct. May we appreciate our
high and holy origin. May we think of the solemn, serious fact
that it will not be long until these perishing bodies will go
back to the earth and the spirit will return unto the God who
gave it. May we hear, believe, and obey the truth, and thus be
made free from our old sins. May we keep right on hearing,
believing, and obeying. By doing this we are not neglecting the
great salvation, and neither shall we lose our souls. May heaven
be the happy lot of each one of us in the sweet afterwhile.
Jan. 30, 1941
Table of Contents
I have enjoyed STOP for awhile and appreciate you taking
your time and talents to portray the whole truth as revealed in
His word. I attended Lipscomb in 1943-45 and your write-up in the
April 2008 was so very sad. Ive been knowing for a good
while they seemed to be going off the deep end and I havent
helped them in a long time. Please continue the good work for
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years. As a child I went through two church splits, another
church in town has a gay preacher that left town in the middle of
the night. Well, when you think you have heard it all, here is a
new one. A congregation we just had to leave had not had elders
in about 30 yrs. In their desire to appoint elders, only one man
was qualified, two others negotiated their terms for agreeing to
become elders. One still goes to his cabin at least one Sunday a
month, missing church to go to a pro football game, not attending
mens meeting because his wife does not want him too, wears a
baseball cap and shorts while leading singing during VBS because
it is not a worship service. When someone objects they
are told repeated lies and ignored. The Lords church in
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whats the use kind of world. Its good to know
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