Does God forgive murderers?
Short summary – God’s forgiveness is limitless and extends even to murderers. The Bible teaches that God offers forgiveness to anyone who sincerely repents their sins, no matter how grave they may be. This includes murder, one of the most serious sins. However, repentance involves genuine remorse, a desire to make amends, and a commitment to change.
It’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card. While earthly laws still apply and consequences must be faced, divine forgiveness can offer spiritual peace and transformation.
It can be difficult to wrap our heads around the forgiveness and grace of God.
When there is so much evil around us in the world, sometimes we can wonder if God truly could forgive such terrible acts.
For instance, does God really forgive murderers?
We’re going to take a look at how the Bible views murder and whether God could truly forgive something as horrible as taking another person’s life.
What is murder?
The question of what murder truly is, probably seems like a simple question.
It’s the taking of someone else’s life. However, in light of the Bible, a murder takes on a whole new meaning.
The Bible views murder in a different light because of the way that the Bible understands humanity.
The Bible views humans as special, separate from the rest of God’s creation, for one specific reason.
In Genesis, we see that God created human beings different from the rest of His creation.
He created us in His image, meaning that we were created to represent God and portray His likeness to everything around us.
By the way, we live, we are meant to represent the image of God and be like Him in nature, spreading His divine life everywhere we go.
This, in fact, is what gives human beings their inherent worth.
Your worth is not determined by who you are or what you do, but rather by the image that has been stamped upon you from your inception: the image of Almighty God.
This is an amazing truth when it comes to the worlds of identity and self-worth because we no longer have to feel like we have to live up to a certain standard or be a certain way to have worth. However, it also has implications for this topic of murder.
Killing a human being is not the same as killing an animal or a plant.
Rather, when someone murders someone else, they are murdering another representative of God that bears His image on this earth.
This is why the Bible takes murder so seriously and why we should also take it as a very serious act.
Taking the life of someone else and ending the earthly existence of an image of God is not something we should be able to do, yet it happens because of sin.
This is the true weight of murder, according to the Bible.
Another kind of murder
Interestingly enough, although murder was considered one of the worst sins to commit, Jesus, while He was on earth, took the command not to murder to a whole new level.
He said that though you shouldn’t murder, you should also not hate someone.
Jesus equated being hateful towards another person to the act of murdering them.
That should be profound in our lives, considering how easy we find it to dislike and hold bitterness towards others.
Jesus says it’s as bad as murder.
How can this be?
Surely if we are weighing sins, God would rather me hate someone than actually go and physically kill them, right?
Although this may be true in the physical and practical sense, don’t forget that God is more concerned about the heart.
Reading the book of 1 John may shed some light on this issue.
In 1 John, we see how emphasized it is that God is love and that He is a God of love.
We also read extensively that those who follow Him should be characterized by love in all that we do.
Therefore, if followers of God hate someone, it is the very antithesis of what it means to be a Christ-follower.
This is why showing hatred toward someone is so warned against.
Instead, we should show love to all, including those who despise us. After all, isn’t that what Jesus did on the cross?
READ MORE: When Do We Go to Heaven?
Does God forgive murderers? Are they forgiven?
So, now that we have a better understanding of the concept of murder from a biblical perspective, does God forgive murderers?
The simple answer is that God forgives everyone if they come to Him, so yes, He does even forgive murderers.
The Bible tells us that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
There are no exceptions or rules that single out certain people that have committed certain sins.
Instead, it says that He who is in Christ becomes a new creation and everything that they did in their old life passes away.
Even murderers can be saved by the matchless and amazing love and grace of God.
After all, we must remember that it is not dependent upon us to be saved, but instead, it is based on God Himself.
Nothing we could ever do could separate us from the love of God, according to Paul. Therefore, every sinner can be saved, no matter what sins they have committed.
READ MORE: Is cutting your hair a sin?
A case study
A great example to look at in the Scriptures of this very thing happening is that of Paul himself.
Paul, when he was still called Saul, was actually a persecutor of Christians.
He would hunt down Christians, jail them, and even kill them for their faith.
In his eyes, their faith was blasphemy against the God that they claimed to believe in.
He felt that he was doing the work of God by killing them for it.
However, while he was on a journey, he encountered the presence of Jesus for himself and was saved by God’s grace.
Even Paul, a murderer, was saved by the grace of God, forgiven of his sins, and then was used as an amazing tool for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
If anything, Paul is one of the greatest testaments that we have to just how powerful God’s grace is.
Surely, if God can save Paul and accept him by the blood of Christ, he can save you and me, no matter what we’ve done.
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Bulgarea Anca is a devout Christian and the founder of Bible Wings, a comprehensive resource for Christians seeking to deepen their faith and understanding of the Bible. Raised within the Christian faith, Bulgarea Anca’s spirituality was nourished by her grandparents, who were cantors in their local church. Her Christian upbringing was further solidified by her education at a Christian school. Today, she uses her in-depth knowledge of the scripture to provide insightful and meaningful content through Bible Wings.