Ricky was executed on August 4, 1999. He wrote this open letter warning teens and others about the consequences of sin's rebellion, as well as the good news of his subsequent "repentance unto life." God can bring good out of tragedy, especially if this can help you or someone you know. "Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
I am writing to you from prison. In a way, I hope to help you live according to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
First, stop and think what it is that may or may not cause one of us to end up in prison. The same thing can cause us to end up in HELL. What is that? SIN (Rom 6:23)!!! And one of the sins I want to speak about here today is: "REBELLION"
Rebellion is what most of us don't think about very much: like not listening to our parents when they tell us something...like not listening to God when He tells us something...like not listening to governing authorities,and one of the greatest and easiest things that cause this rebellion is your friends. Yes, your friends will try to get you to do something wrong, and if you say "no," often they will say; "Come on, are you scared?" or they'll call you "chicken". Then most people will jump right in and do whatever it is, for most people don't like to be looked at like that by their friends. Or, you may only be running around with a crowd, and they do things that are not right. But consider this, if people see what they are like, and know that you run around with them, whether you partake of the things they do or not, people will think you are just as bad as they are. Some say; "birds of a feather flock together." If you don't pick your friends, like some pick tomatoes, you may pick a bad one. And take it from me, someone who has been there, that can cost you more than I think you are willing to pay. I know what I am talking about, for all I have said so far, landed me on death row. ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?????
Wild women, drugs, and fast living, was the road I took and look where it got me. Don't think it cannot happen to you, for if you find yourself on any of these roads, you will sooner or later run into a situation that may hurt not only you, but your loved ones as well. And when you say, "Oh, I know what I am doing," believe me, I said the very same thing, and see where I am.
I obeyed the gospel many years ago and fell away, and now I have come home to the Lord again. I feel the Lord allowed me to end up here to wake me up from the sinful life I was living, for who knows, had I not ended up in here, I might still be living that fast life. When I obeyed the gospel I was told through God's word what to do, and I fell away. Jonah was told what to do also, but he didn't do it, and ended up in the belly of a whale. If you have heard or read the story you know that he repented and God had the great fish spit him out on the beach to give him a second chance...PLEASE HEAR ME, clean up your life if you are in the wrong way of life.
In the back of your mind, you know who you are and the life you live. And if you say to yourself, like I said many times; "I know what I am doing", the TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE has a number for you. Mine is 000893. I am only one of 340 some odd people on death row here in Texas. And if you run with the wrong people, YOU could get the death penalty. For example, say you are riding around with a friend, and you pull into a gas station. Your friend goes in to pay for the gas, and robs and kills the gas station attendant. You are only sitting in the car, but under Texas Law, a District Attorney can get a jury to give YOU a death sentence as well as the guy that did the killing. And Texas will execute people like that as if they were the one who did the crime. There is a man down here who was hitchhiking and got into the car with a guy that had just killed someone and stole his car. When he was caught, the hitchhiker was not only arrested, but got the death penalty also, because the killer did not tell them he was only a hitchhiker. So he may die for something he did not do. Do you think you can say; "I know what I am doing" NOW???
It is my prayer that you will stop and think about your life, young and old, for we are all under a law, God's law. If we obey the Lord in loving faith, then we can have eternal life, even if life on earth throws us a curve, like it did me. But I was able to repent of my sins, but I also could have been dead before I had a chance to repent, and I know without a doubt, had I done so I would be bound for Hell. But I did repent, and have the chance to meet you in Heaven come Judgment Day. So please, let's work for the goal together, OK?
Your brother in Christ Jesus
Ricky Don Blackmon