I came across a social media piece when I was laying in bed one evening. The title was, “Death Row Inmates Final Words!” Well, I am not sure why that grabbed my attention so much, but I was interested enough to read the article. Here were just a few final words recorded from inmates:
- “Let’s do it.” - Gat Gilmore
- “How’s this for a headline? French Fries!” - James French
- “Where’s my stunt double when you need one?” - Vincent Gutierrez
- “I think that governor’s phone is broke. He hadn’t called yet.” - David Matthews
- “I’d rather be fishing.” - Jimmy Glass
I’m sure they had plenty of time to think in prison about what their final words would be when their final day came. So when the warden asked them, “Do you have anything you would like to say?,” their very lives were summed up in this worthless manner. What very sad lives, to say the least. But it got me thinking. First off, I hope to never be sitting in that situation physically. Secondly, I think about the billions that are sitting in this position spiritually, many not even knowing it, all around the world. They have not murdered someone, they have not done drugs, stolen things, or committed some heinous crime. Many are sitting on death row spiritually because the Lord plainly says you cannot enter heaven unless you go through the “Gate”- Jesus! “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved....” - John 10:9
“Jesus answered, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” - John 14:6
Death Row is real. Heaven is real. Hell is real. Jesus is real. Forgiveness is real. But what is also real are the words from the Bible: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” - Romans 10:13 No one, no matter what they have done, ever has to serve death row spiritually if they give their life to Christ. It seems too hard to understand. Even for the man on the cross next to Jesus, destined for death and hell. But Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” - Luke 23:42-43
So what is our daily response as a believer? “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven.” - Matthew 10:32-33 Let’s truly live and tell everyone about how He changed our life. I have to wonder if these men on death row ever got the chance to know the love of Christ? I ponder the fact when they got three squares a day if they ever said grace, or asked for God’s grace?
I want to leave you with a “final word.” Are you spiritually on death row? If yes, it’s NOT too late to be set free from the ONE who has the keys to eternal life. If no, then keep living. Jesus wants to use you in a mighty way.
I can only imagine when these men uttered their final sarcastic words, the heartbreak Jesus had. Just like the cross, freedom was still possible. So when they gave their last breath and went face to face with our Judge: Who really has the final word?
“And then I will declare to them, depart from me; I never knew you.” - Jesus Matthew 7:21-23
——Go Live! Troy DeFeo