Can a Murderer go to Heaven?

1 John 3:15 “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life residing in him.”
Acts 7:57-58 “At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.”

*This is the question of the ages. The Word of God gives us a very clear answer. Murder is sin. A murder that is not repented of and forgiven will be held against an individual on judgment day. Like any other sin, if it is not forgiven by God, it will keep you from heaven. While God views murder very harshly and the consequences of murder while on this earth is treated seriously by society, any sin can be forgiven according to scripture. Murder is not the unforgivable sin. When Christ died on the cross, He died for all sin and not just select sins in our lives. If He only died for select sins, few of us would ever get to spend eternity with Jesus in heaven. Did you know that scripture likens hating people with murder? Not only do we find this truth with John, we find Jesus speaking about it as well in the gospels.

*The key to being forgiven for murder or any other hideous crime is found in God’s forgiveness. Many people mistakenly believe that walking to the front of the church or asking God to forgive you is all you do. The second part of this sentence is very true if you do it correctly. Asking for forgiveness is more than talk; it must be accompanied by action. In particular, forgiveness of sin, no matter the sin, involves being sorry for the sin which is called Godly sorrow or contrition, and the repentance or turning from that sin. This is biblical forgiveness that leads to eternity with God. Please remember that Moses murdered an Egyptian slave master. Yet, forty years later, God used him to lead the children of Israel out of the bondage of Egypt and eventually, into the Promised Land.

*The first Christian martyr was Stephen. In the book of Acts, we find the grisly death of this fine man of God. Do you know who orchestrated the execution? His name was Saul who later was renamed Paul by God Himself. Before Paul became an Apostle, He was persecuting Christians like a crazy man. He was a sick, demented, religious zealot who would stop at nothing to close down the new blossoming Christian religion. How in the world could God choose this man to be His primary spokesmen in the New Testament? It simply makes no human sense except for the fact that God knows better. When Paul was a changed man through the power of the Holy Spirit, He became the greatest Christian the world has ever seen. We all have a past. God wants us to put that in the rear view mirror of life and move forward new, changed, and empowered by Him. The greatest sinners oftentimes become the greatest Christians.

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