In May 1924, a shocked nation learned two young men from Chicago, Richard Leopold and
Nathan Loeb, had killed 14-year-old Bobbie Franks. What made the crime so shocking, and
made Leopold and Loeb household names, was the reason for the killing. The two became
obsessed with the idea of committing the "perfect murder," and simply picked
young Franks as their victim. They were sentenced to life imprisonment, but Leopold was
killed in a prison brawl in 1936. Claiming he wanted "a chance to find redemption for
myself and to help others," Nathan Loeb became a hospital technician at his parole in
1958. He died in 1971.
Today in the Word, October 3, 1992.
Mahatma Gandhi is fasting to protest the riot killings that followed the partition that
created Hindu India and Moslem Pakistan in 1947. A fellow Hindu approaches to confess a
great wrong. "I killed a child," says the distraught man. "I smashed his
head against a wall." "Why?" asks the Mahatma (Hindu for "Great
Soul"). "They killed my boy. The Moslems killed my son." "I know a way
out of hell," says Gandhi. "Find a child, a little boy whose mother and father
have been killed, and raise him as your own. Only be sure he is a Moslem--and that you
raise him as one."
Reader's Digest, Feb 1992, p. 106.
A man entered a bar, bought a glass of beer and then immediately threw it into the
bartender's face. Quickly grabbing a napkin, he helped the bartender dry his face while he
apologized with great remorse. "I'm so sorry," he said. "I have this
compulsion to do this. I fight it, but I don't know what to do about it." "You
had better do something about your problem," the bartender replied. "You can be
sure I'll remember you and will never serve you another drink until you get help." It
was months before the man faced the bartender again. When he asked for a beer, the
bartender refused. Then the man explained that he had been seeing a psychiatrist and that
his problem was solved. Convinced it was now okay to serve him, the bartender poured him a
drink. The man took the glass and splashed the beer into the barkeeper's astonished face.
"I thought you were cured," the shocked bartender screamed. "I am,"
said the man. "I still do it, but I don't feel guilty about it anymore."
Charles Sell, Unfinished Business, Multnomah, 1989, p. 223.
I was once conducting a rap session with high school teenagers. I told them that they
could ask me any question on any subject, and I would try and answer it. Their questions
were typical of ones I had received in similar sessions scores of times before. As the
session drew to a close, one girl toward the back, who had not said anything, raised her
hand. I nodded, and she said, "The Bible says God loves everybody. Then it says that
God sends people to hell. How can a loving God do that?" I gave her my answer, and
she came back to me with arguments. I answered her arguments, and she answered my answers.
The conversation quickly degenerated into an argument. I did not convince her, nor did she
convince me. After a few more questions I dismissed the session. After the session I
approached her and said, "I owe you an apology. I really should not have allowed our
discussion to become so argumentative." Then I asked, "May I share something
with you?" She said, "Yes." So I took her through a basic presentation of
the gospel. When I got to Romans 3:23 and suggested that all of us were sinners she began
to cry. It was then that this high school senior admitted she had been having an affair
with a married man. The one thing she needed was forgiveness. When I finished the
presentation of the gospel, she trusted Christ. The reason she did not believe in hell was
because she was going there. In her heart she knew she had sinned. Her conscience
condemned her, but rather than face the fact of her guilt, she simply denied any future
judgment or future hell.
M. Cocoris, Evangelism, A Biblical Approach, Moody, 1984,
The scene was San Diego Superior Court. Two men were on trial for armed robbery. An
eyewitness took the stand, and the prosecutor moved carefully: "So, you say you were
at the scene when the robbery took place?" "Yes." "And you saw a
vehicle leave at a high rate of speed?" "Yes." "And did you observe
the occupants?" "Yes, two men." "And," the prosecutor boomed,
"are those two men present in court today?" At this point the two defendants
sealed their fate. They raised their hands.
Tom Blair, San Diego Union, quoted in Reader's Digest.
Guilt is like the red warning light on the dashboard of the car. You can either stop
and deal with the trouble, or break out the light.
In the Prison Fellowship newsletter, Jubilee, Charles Colson told of a young boy who
became excessively fearful during the great New York blackout of 1977. When his parents
questioned their son, he confessed that at the exact moment the lights went out, he had
kicked a power line pole. As darkness engulfed the city, he thought he was to blame and
would be punished.
A little boy visiting his grandparents and given his first slingshot. He practiced in
the woods, but he could never hit his target. As he came back to Grandma's back yard, he
spied her pet duck. On an impulse he took aim and let fly. The stone hit, and the duck
fell dead. The boy panicked. Desperately he hid the dead duck in the wood pile, only to
look up and see his sister watching. Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch that day, Grandma said, "Sally, let's wash the dishes." But Sally
said, "Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen today. Didn't you,
Johnny?" And she whispered to him, "Remember the duck!" So Johnny did the dishes.
Later Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing., Grandma said, "I'm
sorry, but I need Sally to help make supper." Sally smiled and said, "That's all
taken care of. Johnny wants to do it." Again she whispered, "Remember the
duck." Johnny stayed while Sally went fishing. After several days of Johnny doing
both his chores and Sally's, finally he couldn't stand it. He confessed to Grandma that
he'd killed the duck. "I know, Johnny," she said, giving him a hug. "I was
standing at the window and saw the whole thing. Because I love you, I forgave you. I
wondered how long you would let Sally make a slave of you."