Chris shares why he is a completely different person to the man he once was
The nasty person filled with anger and lust is no longer the Chris Matlala you will meet. Now he able to smile joyfully even behind bars.
"Life was difficult on the outside as I was full of anger, fighting with other people even those who were a lot older than me," Chris recalls of the life he lived.
"I used to swear a lot. I would fight a lot, like a horse about to be killed. I also felt entangled in the sin of sexual immorality."
Chris heard about God at Sunday school when he was younger but says he did not know what Christianity was all about.
"I thought as long as I went to church I was a Christian," he says.
Yet Chris had not become a born-again Christian because he did not want to surrender his life to Jesus at the time and live for Him.
As a consequence he was arrested under charges of bribery in 2012 and sentenced to four years in prison.
It was here Chris remembers taking the opportunity to attend a Christian Bible program.
"At the end of the program the pastor made an alter call and I gave my life to the Lord," he shares joyfully.
"The pastor took us through the Word of God and explained that Jesus is the Son of God and died on the cross as a ransomed price so that we could be brought back into a right relationship with God. I knew Jesus died for me and that in return I needed to surrender my life to Him."
As the pastor was preaching, Chris remembers there was a particular verse that touched him from 2 Corinthians chapter 5, verse 17 which says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
As a new born-again Christian Chris says this verse transformed his thinking.
"At first I did not feel worthy to stand before God on my own because I know I am a sinner but I realized God has made me a new person from the inside out," he explains.
"I want to live a righteous life in this world and have eternal life. I know that because of Jesus my sins have been forgiven and I am clean."
To live a life pleasing to God, Chris went straight to the Bible for answers and says through prayer and fasting his passed addictions and habitual sins were overcome.
"After I gave up my life to God I started reading the Bible and fellowshipping with other Christian inmates, praying daily and I felt the Holy Spirit guiding me within," he adds.
To other he concludes saying, "I want to tell you that it is a marvellous happy life when you surrender your life to God. If you want to live the kind of life God wants from you, all things will be well with your soul. Unless you are born-again, no peace, no joy and no eternal life will be yours." •