On September 6, 2018, Amber Guyer—an off-duty patrol officer in Dallas—entered the apartment of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean. She later said she thought it was her own apartment and mistook Jean for a burglar, shooting and killing him.
One year later, on October 1, 2019, she was found guilty of murder. On October 2, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Botham Jean’s brother Brandt was allowed to give a victim-impact statement, and he addressed Amber Guyer directly.
The result was a beautiful Christian testimony—truly salt and light in a dark and twisted world.
“If you truly are sorry, I can speak for myself, I forgive, and I know if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you.
And I don’t think anyone can say it—again I’m speaking for myself—but I love you just like anyone else.
And I’m not gonna say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did, but I presently want the best for you.
And I wasn’t going to ever say this in front of my family or anyone, but I don’t even want you to go to jail. I want the best for you, because I know that’s exactly what Botham would want you to do.
And the best would be to give your life to Christ.
I’m not going to say anything else.
I think giving your life to Christ would be the best thing that Botham would want you to do.
Again I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you.
I don’t know if this is possible, but can I give her a hug, please?
“My father was a wise man and he always explained it like this,” my friend began. I had just finished sharing the way to Heaven with him, but it was clear that the philosophies of his father were deeply embedded in his mind. Unfortunately, those thoughts were not according to Divine truth.
He went on: “My father said that going to Heaven is like going to New York: there are many ways to get there, and it doesn’t really matter which one you take. As long as you sincerely follow the way you believe, it will get you there.”
“You are right,” I quickly replied, “about going to New York, but you are completely wrong about going to Heaven. The only map to Heaven, the Bible, clearly presents only one way to get there. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father but by Me” John 14.6. It is not true that there are many ways and He is just one of them. Nor is it true that Jesus plus something else is the way to Heaven.
Many people have formed various opinions and suggest there are many ways to reach Heaven. However, let us not forget that Heaven is God’s home, and He is the One Who decides who may enter and who may not. The opinions, philosophies, and religious systems which people have invented are not only uselessfor reaching Heaven, they are dangerous because they are sure to end in utter failure: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” Proverbs 14.12.
Philosophy presents a form of moral respectability, but ignores God’s solemn verdict that “All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3.23. Religions of human effort promise that Heaven can be attained through good works and accumulated merit, but God says otherwise: “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” Ephesians 2.8,9.
The Word of God presents Jesus Christ, and Christ alone, as the way for ruined, helpless sinners like you and me to enter into Heaven. To cleanse us from sin, He “put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” Hebrews 9.26, when He “suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God” 1Peter 3.18. The pouring out of His precious blood at Calvary atoned for sin and paved the way for guilty people like you and me to draw near to God. Through Jesus Christ we can be cleansed, forgiven, and made fit for His holy presence.
This way is still open, dear reader. Jesus has already entered into the Father’s house and wants you to be with Him in that place of eternal glory. To go to Heaven, you need to do nothing more than realise your hopeless condition, repent of your sin and trust Jesus Christ as the One Who died for you and rose again. This is salvation by grace through faith. This is the way to Heaven. Call upon Him today.
Following any other way, however plausible it may seem, however religious it may be, or however sincerely it is pursued, only leads away from God and is guaranteed to end in “the blackness of darkness for ever” Jude 13. Allow this article, as a signpost along the highway of life, to point you to the Lord Jesus, Who says: “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” John 6.37.
Life is constantly changing; nothing lasts for ever! This is a sad reality but one that we all have to come to terms with. It is often hard to accept that we will grow old, that loved ones will pass on and that children grow up and leave home. It’s sad but true! Please read on as I have good news for you. Your life will not end when you die! At first sight that sounds like a contradiction in terms but let me clarify what I mean.
I’ll start at the beginning. The Bible teaches that when God made us he did it in two stages. Firstly he made man ‘of the dust of the ground,’ that is he made a physical body. The second stage is that ‘he breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul’. God put life into the body and man was called a living soul. We are more than ‘flesh and blood’ we have emotions, personalities, consciousness and memories; in other words there is a spiritual dimension to people. The Bible constantly refers to people as ‘souls’, it states that the soul is precious, that we can lose our soul and that Jesus died to provide the ‘salvation of’ our souls. As a society we also believe in the value of one soul, we launch lifeboats, send out mountain rescues teams and halt whole motorways all to rescue or save one soul.
Initially, humans had a straightforward relationship with God. There were open lines of communication. God and Adam, the first man, it would appear, enjoyed daily contact and intimate friendship but an event took place that ruined that relationship and distanced humans from the creator. Bible students and Christians often call this event ‘the fall’. It’s not a popular notion but it’s still the only rational explanation as to why intelligent people constantly struggle with moral and ethical issues. The scriptures state ‘Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned’. But, here’s the point, death is not the end. Death in the Bible is about separation. We are familiar with the concept of death as separation from the physical world. The other dimension of death as separation from God is usually ignored. At ‘the fall’ man died to God. Unless a person has repented and accepted the gift of God, which is eternal life, then they are effectively ‘the living dead’. Dead to God, dead in sins. The Bible teaches that though the body ends in physical death, the soul lives on. The destination of your soul (I should really say ‘your destination’ as you are your soul) is determined by a choice made in this life. Most people don’t believe this any more. The late Stephen Hawking, British Physicist and author dismissed the notion of an afterlife. He once said ‘I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark’. This argument sounds very feasible especially when proposed by such an intelligent man. It does however ignore the fact that we are not just biological computers. It ignores man’s consciousness which the best of brains have grappled with but have to admit is beyond their explanation. Consciousness cannot be defined in purely physiological terms. People are not just a combination of physical and chemical properties they are people with the capacity to relate to God. Let me remind you of why my information source is the Bible. It is easy to dismiss the Bible as the purely the writings of men but that would not be doing justice to the information it contains, its origins and the consistency of its message. The Bible has an inbuilt testing system of prediction and fulfilment which either stands or falls on the substantive evidence of archeology, science, history, geography and social development. There have been no developments to date in any of these disciplines which have produced evidence which undermines the truthfulness and probity of the Bible. I suggest that we should pay more attention to what the Bible teaches. One of the books of the Bible (John’s gospel) specifically states that it was written ‘that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you may have life in his name’.
My prayer is that this will be the outcome for you if you choose to read the Bible for yourself.
Mark 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is foundational for Christianity. If He had not risen from the dead then we could not be saved. What great hope we have knowing that Jesus Christ is alive today. A man in heaven who one day we will see! Paul wrote in 1 Cor 15 that if Christ is not risen then our faith is in vain. He goes on to say that we would be of all men most miserable. The resurrection is at the root of all that we believe. Christianity is unique in this. Religion boasts in its dead leaders. They cannot take you to an empty tomb and say He is not here but is risen.
Belief in the resurrection is vital for salvation. Rom 10:9 tells us ‘that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.’ Great efforts were made to ensure that the body of Jesus could not be taken away by his disciples. A large stone with a seal and Roman guard however could not keep the Lord in the tomb. The stone was rolled away and the guards became as dead men at the sight of the angel. Of course it was only rolled away to show that the tomb was empty. No doubt rumours of the resurrection spread and the soldiers were paid to lie. Those rumours could have easily been stopped. All the authorities needed to do was to show them His body. But they did not because they could not because He had risen. No one has ever been able to disprove the resurrection. The evidence to support it far outweighs the contrary. What hope and joy we have because HE IS ALIVE!
Can your parents make you a Christian? Does the fact that you are born in a Christian country (so called) mean that you are a Christian? Does going to Church or reading the Bible make you a Christian? Did I just make these questions up – no, I was once asked them by a girl in Liverpool when I was “street preaching’. She had been told that you became a Christian when you were christened and that if you are born in England you must be a Christian because it is a Christian country (that’s debatable!).
The Bible actually says that a person is born into the family of God when they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the disciples of Jesus, John, wrote in his gospel ‘these things are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ: and that believing you might have life through his name,’ John. 20. 31. I would prefer to trust the teaching of a man who knew and loved Jesus than all the tradition that has built up over the years since then. What about you, are you a Christian in the Bible sense of the term? It’s vital that you have the right answer!
Are you frightened about the state of the world at the moment? Many people find it very scary, as every day seems to bring another disaster. Murder seems to be so commonplace! On a daily basis we hear of someone else going on the rampage and killing people! Individual acts of terrorism are on the increase resulting in the tragedy of people being deprived of their loved ones by an act of violence. Events of yesterday seem so long ago as we wake up to hear of another tragic evil act being perpetrated.
I find it all very distressing and yet I, sadly, can see the inevitability of the way the world is going. The Bible teaches that conditions in society will get worse and worse as time progresses. Paul, as an old man, wrote to Timothy, a young man – ‘This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away,’ 2 Timothy 3:1-5. I think what the Bible is saying in these verses is staring us in the face. Do you recognize a description of our society?
If we reject the moral compass of the Bible then ultimately there are consequences. In effect morality becomes subjective and personal. There is no absolute standard of right and wrong. Everyone does what is right in his or her own eyes. This is not a new problem. It happened in Bible times, and many times since but every time is happens the results are disastrous. The old book says ‘There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,’ Proverbs 14:12.
If we don’t get back to the Bible we can expect society to get worse and worse. We need to educate the next generation so that they don’t make the mistakes that we have made. The Bible says ‘Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it,’ Proverbs 22:6
I’m also glad to say that the Bible states that ‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound,’ Romans 5:20. This means that the gospel of Jesus Christ can meet the needs of a wicked society. Forgiveness starts with the individual. The promise of scripture is still true – ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness,‘ 1 John 1:9. Society will never change by enforcement but by the transforming power of God working in the each individual’s life through the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Are you fearful? Scripture says ‘perfect love casteth out fear,’ ‘the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
In the last week I have met a lot of people who are not prepared to think for themselves. They are following the current trend in our society to ‘rubbish’ belief in God and to ridicule the idea that there might be some validity to faith. If you are reading this blog you are probably not one of these people but you may come across them on a daily basis. Just remember that faith is only as good as the one in whom you trust. This is why it is so important to understand the integrity of the Bible and the historical basis of the facts stated therein.
The Bible states in Psalm 118:8 ‘It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man’. (incidentally this is the central verse to the whole Bible when you divide it up by the number of chapters and verses – interesting and significant!). The Bible also states that it is better that your faith ‘should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’.
Will you dare to be different? Read the word of God today (The Bible). Start in the New Testament and read the four gospels. Discover the truth concerning the Son of God (Jesus) becoming man and dying ‘for the ungodly’ (that’s all of us, as we did not know God by nature and were disobedient to Him). He (the Lord Jesus) is worthy of your trust and he died to be your Saviour. Pray to him today, search for him in prayer and in reading the Bible. Admit your guilt before God and ‘call upon the name of the Lord’ and you will be saved.