By Dr Jim Denison
Kenneth Williams was serving a life sentence for killing a cheerleader. He escaped in 1999 and was involved in a traffic wreck which killed a man named Michael Greenwood. Williams then killed another man, Cecil Boren, while on the run. He was executed recently by the state of Arkansas for murdering Boren.
Michael Greenwood's daughter, Kayla Greenwood, learned a few days ago that Williams had a twenty-one-year-old daughter he had not seen for seventeen years and a three-year-old granddaughter he had never met. Kayla's mother then bought plane tickets so Williams' daughter and granddaughter could fly from Washington state to Arkansas to see him a day before his execution.
Kayla Greenwood sent a message to Williams through his attorney: "I told him we forgive him and where I stood on it."
When Williams found out "he was crying to the attorney."
Williams told an interviewer that he has been "stabilized and sustained by the inner peace and forgiveness I've received through a relationship with Jesus Christ."
He chose to appear before a prison review board, not because he expected to receive clemency but "so I could show them I was no longer the person I once was. God has transformed me, and even the worst of us can be reformed and renewed. Revealing these truths meant more to me than being granted clemency. I'm still going to eventually die someday, but to stand up for God in front of man, that's my victory."
No one is beyond the reach of God's forgiveness: "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). Do you see any loopholes or ambiguity here?
If "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15), no sinners are exempt from His grace.•