As Leon Wilder walked through the prison doors for the first time in nine years, he had the strange feeling that he would not be out for long. Other than the clothes on his back, the large muscular man carried a small suitcase and a wallet in his back pocket containing one hundred dollars. Unfortunately, financial and material prosperity was not a result of being a convicted criminal. Walking out to the end of the parking lot, Leon stepped onto the bus that was to bring him to the nearby town of Mineral Springs, Idaho.
The motel clerk was less than hospitable. Tossing down the keys roughly, he muttered, “First door on the right mister...and no trouble out of you, okay boy.” As Leon went towards the room, he heard the clerk say to another man, “Another convict! Prison gives “em a free room their first night out. Figures most of “em will be arrested ‘fore long and be thrown back into the slammer. One violation and they’re incarcerated for life!”
Leon closed the door. He couldn’t believe his eyes! It was like they wanted him to fail, to be a lawbreaker again. The whole room was one big temptation. There was a bottle of wine on the small table and many containers of stronger drink on the counter. They knew his weakness, that was for sure! Perhaps if he got something to eat, Leon could get his mind away from the inevitable choice that he knew he would have to make.
The big man ordered steak and potatoes along with a salad and a glass of milk. He pondered over the situation that one offense would totally destroy any hope of ever seeing the outside world again. It was difficult. There was something inside him that he knew would almost force him to make the choice that would cause him to be handed over to the authorities. Casually, Leon glanced around the room. The majority of people in the restaurant were eyeing the big man. They knew him, or knew of him at least. Once a criminal, always the look of a criminal, as some say. The same clerk that gave him his room key stared at Leon with a smug look on his face. In the distance could be seen the gambling room, with it’s liquor-filled participants speedily placing coins into the various machines that were present. The voice inside him was encouraging Leon to get up and enter that room but he knew it was best for him to go nowhere near that amusement center of vice and sin. Stronger came the influence from within, but Leon suppressed it. His thoughts and temptations were ended; or at least interrupted, when the waitress stopped at his table and spoke. “Free drinks tonight with dinner honey...what’ll it be...we got it all here, all the popular brands and it won’t cost you a dime. Just tell me your drink and I’ll come back in a little for your order?” Leon could sense that all eyes were upon him. He was the center of attention. He began to break out into a sweat and eventually answered, “Just give me a milk please.” Immediately, the young woman loudly repeated his response. “Milk.
Did you say milk, mister?” Nearly all in the place burst into laughter. The customers as well as the clerks and other employees. Boy, did they want him to mess up! Restraining himself even more, Leon pulled a small black book from his pocket and opened up his Bible.
A few minutes later, after his order was taken, the waitress delivered his salad. This was simultaneous with three men taking a seat at the round table next to him. They were tough types, the first one was bald with tatoos all over his arms. The second man was bearded and looked like a lumberjack and the third was an obvious weightlifter, taller than his friends and even more muscular than Leon.
As the lone man bowed his head to pray silently, the trio of toughs gave a chorus of laughter. Leon continued anyway until he was through. The bald one spoke first with, “Only sissy’s pray” while the others joined in similar comments. “Yeah” said the lumberjack type, “and only sissy’s drink milk instead of ale.” Leon was getting tense. Oh, how they all knew his weakness. They were obviously setting him up. The problem was that Leon knew that he could not make it much longer. He would give in under the pressure and live the rest of his life in some prison cell. Would it be worth the price? The bodybuilder nodded to his balding friend, who in turn got up and pulled up a chair right next to Leon. He grabbed a bottle of one of the most popular brands of alcohol on the market and sat down with a smile on his face. “Here you go friend,” he said, waving it directly under Leon’s nose. “Just smell it sissy, it’s much better than milk!” Leon was giving in. He was going to yield, he knew it. The tough held out the bottle to Leon. “Just take it buddy, it’s all yours!” The other two laughed and again Leon could tell that every eye in the restaurant was upon him. The power inside was too strong and finally Leon gave in. He reached out his hand and stood suddenly! The outstretched hand did not touch the bottle, but became a closed hand with one finger pointing. “The Holy Word of God says to touch not the unclean thing.” Leon’s voice rose in volume as he yielded to the urging of the Holy Spirit within him. “Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise. God condemns drunkenness according to First Corinthians chapter nine and you reject Jesus Christ who can deliver you from that accursed drink!” As Leon took a breath, the balding man yelled over to the clerk, “You heard him with your own ears Joe, call 911 right away, I knew we would get him!” The crowd of onlookers cheered as the toughs stood up with their hands in the air to display victory. The lumberjack clenched his fists, “I knew we’d get ya, lawbreaker. You are going back!”
Minutes later, three uniformed policemen came in and after handcuffing Leon Wilder, they escorted the quiet and cooperative man back to the prison. You see, the time is somewhere in the near future and the most intolerant, vicious criminal act that a person can commit is rebuking the sins of others and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
2 Timothy 3:12


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