Last week in my journey class we got into a slight discussion about Jeffrey Dahmer, not about the vile and heinous crimes he committed, but about what he did. While he was in prison Jeffrey Dahmer became a Christian, repented of his sins, he was a new man in Christ, doesn’t seem fair does it? That he was allowed to walk this earth feeding his flesh with lust, doing whatever he pleased, and then at the eleventh hour he repented and asked for forgiveness for his sins. Now, no one really knows for sure if he was truly repentant in his heart and we will never know until we get to heaven.
To the world he was a disgusting and vile human being that deserves to rot in hell, but to his parents, he was a beloved son, to God he is a beloved child. It seems as if evil is winning, missionaries are being murdered and their killers walk free. Why would God allow such things to happen, look at all the good those people were doing, and all the good they could have done had they lived, it isn’t fair, and I agree no it is not, but there is a reason for it, far beyond our human comprehension.
I heard a story recently of some missionaries that were killed, just a few more seconds and they could have gotten away. We can lament that God could’ve done something, anything to give them the few extra seconds they needed to escape, but He didn’t for reasons unknown to us. The story ends like this, a few years after the men who killed those missionaries for being Christians became Christians themselves.
We trudge through this world living by sight that evil is winning, but God doesn’t want to send anyone to hell, we know that. Maybe, just maybe what looks like God dragging His feet is His mercy in giving each of us every possible chance to come to Him and repent. Jeffrey Dahmer was killed just two months after becoming a Christian, after all the years he spent in prison why wasn’t he killed before that? Maybe it was God giving him a chance to repent for his sins. Don’t think he deserves forgiveness? Neither do you, neither do I, we are all sinners, and sin is sin. What Jeffrey Dahmer did is no worse than the little white lie I told my plumber last week even though I felt thoroughly justified in doing it, in our human perspective it is but to God’s ultimate standard of perfection it is not, He has no sliding scale all sin is vile to Him, regardless of what the sin is.
So what is the point of living as a Christian if all we have to do to stay out of hell is repent in the eleventh hour? It doesn’t work that way, you have to be truly repentant in your heart, if you think you are going to fool God and pay him lip service to avoid hell you would be wrong. If Jeffrey Dahmer is heaven he didn’t get off scott free he still had to face judgment. Shoot, for all we know he may still be standing before the throne answering for his life, as we all are going to have to, regardless of how good we think we are.
Ask anyone who has lived both sides of that coin, who have walked hand in hand with the depths of their depravity, they will tell you, your worst day with God is still far better than your best day without him. They will tell you, it is only through the love and mercy of Jesus Christ that they have been saved from their wretched life.
They know that is not by anything they have done but what was done for them. They know better than to so arrogantly undermine redemption and salvation that way. Because when we start to believe that what we have is because of what we have done, through our own hard work and good choices we make ourselves our own personal savior, in a way a savior to the world, do as I do and you can be successful like me, and we undermine all that Jesus came to do. We start to judge and look down on those who can’t get their act together like us, because that only helps feed our prideful egos, and we forget. We forget that we are not judge and jury, the only true and perfect judge sits at the throne for which we will all stand before, not just the Jeffrey Dahmer’s of the world, but you.me.everyone, it makes our own personal brand of justice look pitiful, because you see God is God, and we are not.