I was somewhat amused by the various reactions to Kanye West’s conversion. There were skeptics from the religious world and the secular world. The woke are in the dark when someone else has seen the light. They are as confused concerning someone’s turn-around as they are to the meaning and purpose of life.
Sure, Kanye has a past. Don’t we all? Some are not as colorful or as rebellious, but all are sinful. Anyone is redeemable!
Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee and met a demoniac man who was the scourge of the area. He was naked, he was a cutter, and made his home in the tombs. People had tried to bind him with fetters, but he would break them and run into the wilderness.
When Jesus stepped out of the boat, he was soon met by this scary monster of a man. I am sure his hair was long and tangled. Surely, he had festering sores where he had cut himself with stones and lay in filth. And no doubt, he had that “Charles Manson” wild, demonic look in his eyes.
Why did this man run to Jesus and say, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God” (Luke 8:28 NKJV)? Maybe that walking dead man was like a tree stump and at the “scent of water it will bud and bring forth branches like a plant” (Job 14:9 NKJV). This man living in death sensed the hope and life that was in Jesus.
Jesus cast the demons from the man and the results were recorded in scripture, “Then they went out to see what had happened, and came to Jesus, and found the man from whom the demons had departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid” (Luke 8:35-39 NKJV).
The man was set free and he went from a naked, mad man to a clothed, sane man instantly. And the people who once were afraid of the crazy man, were now fearful of the sane man and his liberator, Jesus. Jesus will change a man. Anyone is redeemable.
I still remember in the seventies when the Watergate Scandal hit resulting in the resignation of President Richard Nixon. There was a man amid the scandal by the name of Chuck Colson. He was Special Counsel to President Richard Nixon from 1969-1970 and known as Nixon’s Hatchet Man. Colson was charged with obstruction of justice and in 1974 served seven months in federal prison at Maxwell Prison on the Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama.
The skeptics were out in full force when Colson said he had become a Christian in 1973. I had a conversation with a man at the time and he scoffed, “People don’t change like that!” I’m sure he was not alone in that opinion. Time always tells!
After Colson was released from prison, he founded Prison Fellowship. In his lifetime he wrote thirty books. He also started The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Colleges honored him with fifteen honorary doctorate degrees. The Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion was awarded to him in 1993. President George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008. Colson died in 2012 at the age of eighty years old.
Chuck Colson left Washington in 1974 as a shamed, disgraced, and convicted bureaucrat. He left earth in 2012 as a respected, celebrated, and faithful servant of God. Anyone is redeemable.
How could we leave this conversation without mentioning Saul of Tarsus from the Book of Acts? He was a vile persecutor of the church of Jesus Christ. On his way to Damascus with the sole purpose of arresting followers of Jesus, he was arrested by Christ. He literally saw the light and heard the voice of Christ.
Today, we know Saul as the Apostle Paul. As fervently as he persecuted the followers of Jesus, he became an even more fervent follower of Christ. He wrote about one-third of the New Testament and planted churches across the Roman Empire. The man who once gave his consent to the death of Christians, laid down his life on the chopping block of Nero for the cause of Christ. Anyone is redeemable.
So, the next time you look at someone and think he/she is not a candidate for the Kingdom of God—think again. Anyone is redeemable. God calls the unlikely and the worst of sinners. Look in the mirror! Anyone is redeemable!
Harry L. Whitt