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1 “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps [torches] and went to meet the bridegroom [and the bride]. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants [bondservants] and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents [talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer], to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master's money. 19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 30 And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers [brothers and sisters], you did it to me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”
There once was a man who went to an ivy league college and graduated with honors. Then a good law school, graduated with honors. He served his country, in the military for six years and rose to one of the highest positions in administration. He then founded a law firm and was joined by an SEC Chairman. Then they were joined by Counsel from a Fortune 500 Company. A marriage with three children ended in divorce.
The man then joined the President of the United States' Administration.
Charles "Chuck" Wendell Colson was appointed as Special Counsel to President Nixon. Known as the genius' of an evil administration, Colson has written he was "valuable to the President ... because I was willing ... to be ruthless in getting things done." A quip that "Colson would walk over his own grandmother if necessary" mutated into claims in news stories that Colson had boasted he would run over his own grandmother to re-elect Nixon. Plotz reports Colson sought to hire Teamsters thugs to beat up anti-war demonstrators. Colson proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing politically damaging documents while firefighters put the fire out.
Colson also became involved in the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP or CREEP). At a CRP meeting on March 21, 1971, it was agreed to spend $250,000 on "intelligence gathering" on the Democratic Party.
Colson was indicted for conspiring to cover up the Watergate burglary. On June 21, 1974, Colson was given a one- to three-year sentence and fined $5,000. He was subsequently disbarred in the District of Columbia, with the expectation of his also being prohibited from using his licenses from Virginia and Massachusetts.
Colson served seven months in Maxwell Correctional Facility in Alabama. During his time in prison, Colson had become increasingly aware of what he saw as injustices done to prisoners and shortcomings in their rehabilitation. He called prison the "lock 'em and leave them system."
This is also the story about how God can change the life of a man caught up in the corrupting influence of political power and bring great good out of evil. Since he was not directly involved in the Watergate doings, Colson probably could have easily avoided being convicted and sent to prison. But his encounter with Jesus Christ and conversion to Christianity strengthened his conscience and led him to plead guilty to an unrelated crime that he did commit. He went to prison and saw a different side of the "law and order" society that the Nixon Administration sought to promote. Even through the fear and despair of those times, the power of God became even more evident to Chuck Colson while in prison.
Tom Phillips, a colleague, had been converted at a Billy Graham crusade. Phillips read Colson the Gospel and read him a portion from CS Lewis’ "Mere Christianity." "A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you.”
"...while I sat alone staring at the sea I love, words I had not been certain I could understand or say fell from my lips: "Lord Jesus, I believe in You. I accept You. Please come into my life. I commit it to You." With these few words...came a sureness of mind that matched the depth of feeling in my heart. There came something more: strength and serenity, a wonderful new assurance about life, a fresh perception of myself in the world around me. In the process, I felt old fears, tensions and animosities training away. I was coming alive to things I'd never seen before; as if God was filling the barren void I'd known for so many months, filling it to its brim with a whole new kind of awareness.... I could not possibly in my wildest dreams have imagined what it would involve. How fortunate it is that God does not allow us to see into the future."
– Charles Colson
After Charles Colson's conversion, others had an initial disbelief in Colson's heart for Jesus Christ. He also had the opportunity, during a three-day furlough to attend his father's funeral, to pore over his father's papers and discover the two shared an interest in prison reform. Colson began to believe God called him to aid in prison reform.
After his release from prison, Colson founded Prison Fellowship. All of Colson's book royalties are donated to Prison Fellowship.
The faith-based initiative, InnerChange, at the Carol Vance Unit (originally named the Jester II Unit) prison facility of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice in Fort Bend County, Texas. Colson led a small group that includes Dr. Byron Johnson of the University of Pennsylvania, who was the principal researcher of the InnerChange study, a few staff members of Prison Fellowship and three InnerChange graduates to the meeting. In the presentation, Dr. Johnson explained that 171 participants in the InnerChange program were compared to a matched group of 1,754 inmates from the prison's general population. The study found that only 8 percent of InnerChange graduates, as opposed to 20.3 percent of inmates in the matched comparison group, became offenders again in a two-year period. In other words, the recidivism rate was cut by almost two-thirds for those who complete the faith-based program. Those who are dismissed for disciplinary reasons or who drop out voluntarily, or those who are paroled before completion, have a comparable rate of rearrest and incarceration.
50,000 volunteers later, 88 countries, a changed heart for Jesus Christ has led a new, bright light.
In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."