The Imprisoned Soul

J. D. Conley
April 6, 2014

Alcatraz, Sing Sing, San Quentin, Angola: the names alone conjure up cold isolation and dark despair. The souls incarcerated were placed there due to the violation of human imposed laws. Some of the inmates served their allotted sentences and have been released back into society. Others will die behind the grim barriers never again enjoying the freedom that lies beyond.

The physical imprisonment of a human being is a sad thing to witness. For nearly eight years I taught a Bible class one night a week at the Huttonsville Correctional Facility, in Huttonsville, WV. The "hut," as the inmates referred to it, was a medium security prison when I began teaching there. A few years later it was converted into a Maximum Security Prison, and ultimately upgraded to "Super-Max" status. In those years I was able to baptize over forty men into Christ Following their baptism, more than one told me words to this effect, "I may be physically behind these walls, but I'm free in my spirit for the first time in my life." I had no reason to believe that those words were not sincerely spoken. As time went on, and I saw their spiritual growth, I was convinced of the truthfulness of their statements. Upon being released, some of these brothers are still faithful in their service to the Lord, one is even a gospel preacher. Now they are free in every sense of the word.

But a person doesn't have to be incarcerated behind bars, razor wire and walls, to be imprisoned. Physically speaking the majority roam freely, and yet spiritually, they are on lockdown 24/7, caged in the dark cell of sin. They might laugh and smile on the outside, but on the inside they feel sad and hopeless. In the light of day they're good at covering their inner feelings with mundane pursuits, but in the quiet of night those feelings comes stomping in to haunt them.

If we had to pick, would we choose a life spiritually free but confined physically? Or would we prefer to be physically free but imprisoned spiritually? Tragically, many have chosen the latter. Honestly speaking, which state would you choose? Be assured, nominal Christianity and the imprisoned soul walk hand in hand. In fact, they are one and the same. Even though one may be a "Christian" they can be spiritually dead, (Rev.3:1). Baptism does not prevent a soul from being imprisoned again, (Heb.6:4-6; 2Pet.2:20-22).

Don't allow Satan to get you in his clutches. Break free! You are stronger than he is (1Jn.4:4, Jas.4:7, Eph.6:10, 2Tim.1:7). Fight Satan to get your freedom in Christ back! Let your prayer be "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name" (Ps. 142:7).