I've lived a pretty rough life, and finally last month I got out of jail. While I was in there, a kind chaplain told me about Jesus, and I invited Him to come into my life. I know I'm different now, but I'm afraid no church will accept me because of my background. What would you do in my shoes?


The first thing I would do is something you’ve probably already done: Stop and thank God for reaching down and saving me. After all, without Christ, you and I have no hope—and neither does anyone else, no matter who they are.

As I read your letter, I couldn’t help but think of Jesus’ words to the Apostle Paul about the Gospel’s power. He declared that the Gospel would “open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18). This is what has happened to you, and it happens to everyone who turns to Christ in repentance and faith.

It’s very important for you to link up with other Christians who can encourage and help you. Satan will do everything he can to discourage you or drag you back into your old ways—and one of our strongest defenses against him is other believers.

Visit churches in your area, and ask God to lead you to the one of His choice for you. If you feel it would be helpful, speak privately with the pastor and tell him what Christ has done for you. Don’t let the past hold you back, but with God’s help face the future with joy—and with the help of God’s people.