Street Gangs

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Street gangs! Everybody is talking about "street gangs"—as though it was some new thing. It is not! Over a hundred years ago a forerunner of today's youth gangs was out in the street one night. One of them tells his story: "We waylaid a man in the street about midnight. I grabbed a knife from my brother's hand and plunged it into his heart. We ran off, but my brother and I were soon taken and they found the knife in the road. The others were also taken and we were all tried, but there was nothing but circumstantial evidence against us. My brother (it was his knife) was sent up for life—but, you see, I was the murderer. The others got some time and left town, but God knew I was the murderer. I helped support my brother's family to ease my conscience, but I could find no peace anywhere. I just lived for the devil!
"I was working with a construction crew and one day as I looked down at a pile of stones lying below, I thought: 'Better to die and be done with it! Here goes!'
"I took the leap, but a power stronger than the devil let me drop into a heap of sand instead, and I lived.
"While in the hospital a visitor came and asked, `Do you know anything about Jesus, the Savior of sinners?'
"I didn't, but turned my face to the wall.
"The visitor came again and again, reading to me about the Lord Jesus who came into the world to save sinners. At last one day I turned to face the visitor and said, 'I want to know: is it murderers He saves?'
"He assured me that even murderers can be saved, that 'the blood of Jesus Christ His [God's] Son cleanseth us from all sin.'
"Someone hung by my bedside a little framed verse from the Bible: 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' The truth of it sank deep into my heart and I did believe and knew that there was salvation even for me. Over and over I exclaimed: "That did it! It was that that did it! I'm clean enough for heaven now. 'Blessed Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of my soul, what a wretch you saved when you saved me!' "
This was over a hundred years ago, so we can be sure that long ago he went to be with his Savior in heaven, "clean every whit."
Why? Not because he "got away with it"—not because he claimed, "I didn't mean to do it—I don't know what happened—something just snapped." No, he simply accepted the fact that he had sinned, he needed a Savior, and the Lord Jesus Christ was able to save "to the uttermost" one that came to Him in faith.
A hundred years have passed, but are there still murderers in the world? Take a look at today's news, and then answer. But the door of salvation is still open, and the Lord Jesus Christ is still the same, "yesterday, today and forever."
God's laws are the same too; they do not change. It is still true that "the wages of sin is death." Equally true it is that "the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Ask yourself: "Why should I refuse the gift of God, eternal life? Do I really want the wages of sin death?"
Honestly now, which will it be?