I was having a discussion with someone telling them how Jesus forgives all our sins, not just some, or only up until a certain point in our life, and once we are baptized by the Holy Spirit salvation cannot be lost. This objection was raised:
“Yea, but what if a believer commits a murder?”
This is good objection and one that is raised not just by non-believers but by believers as well. After all how could a professing Christian who murdered another human being in cold blood possibly be forgiven? Even if He/She went through their entire life devoted to Christ.
When we look at scripture we see that Moses, a believer; committed murder. Exodus 2:11
12 He looked all around, and when he didn’t see anyone, he beat the Egyptian to death and hid the body in the sand.
Not only did he murder, he tried to hide it! Yet moses was saved. So you may be thinking, yea but I’m not Moses and I didn’t do what he did so there’s that. O.k. so let’s jump forward and see what Jesus has to say about murder. In Matthew 5:21-22 we read
1 “You have heard that [a]the ancients were told, ‘You shall not commit murder’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be [b]liable to the court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be [c]guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘[d]You good-for-nothing,’ shall be [e]guilty before [f]the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be [g]guilty enough to go into the [h]fiery hell.
As you can see, simply being angry with your brother, or calling them a fool, makes you guilty of condemnation. So unless you can spend you’re entire life loving everyone perfectly and never having any hatred of others in your heart then it makes no difference to Christ if you commit a physical murder, have murderous thoughts, or just call someone an idiot.
In the world we have different laws and punishments for different sins against our fellow man. It’s only natural and reasonable for us to think that the act of murder is far worse then just hating someone with our hearts. Stealing deserves a lesser punishment then murder certainly. Under our law system you are exactly right! But when it comes to the kingdom of heaven this is not true.
God doesn’t measure sin on scales to determine your salvation.
1 Corinth 6:9-10
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor [f]effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
When it comes to God’s judgement, and inheriting the kingdom of heaven, all these sins are on a level playing field. No where in scripture does it say the physical act of murder is worse than lying, getting drunk, or having sex outside of marriage.
Once you understand the scripture it’s clear that we’re all guilty of condemnation in the eyes of God regardless of the amount or sins, or type of sins we’ve committed.
So can a believer who commits murder lose his/her salvation?
Simply put. No. If you’re reading this you may be getting stirred up thinking, yea I don’t think so. Stick with me. Remember the verse above in 1 Corinth 6:9-10. Right after all that in verse 11:
11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.
Paul uses all past tense language. Notice how he says you ‘were’ a liar, a murder, a drunkard, a homosexual but you ‘were’ washed, ‘were’ justified. How? In the name of the Holy Trinity 1. Lord Jesus Christ, 2. in the Holy Spirit, 3. of our God.
Yay! I’m a saved believer. I get a free pass to just sin! ummm. no.
In Romans 1:3 Paul addresses this issue as well:
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
And in Romans 6:8-11
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Yes, Christ died to sin once for all. We are to count ourselves dead to sin and expected to be obedient to God’s law.
So when you say “what if a believer commits murder” I want you to ask yourself; how many times have you been so angry with someone you wished them harm? How many times have you been cut off in traffic and shouted you stupid jerk! How many times in your life have you maybe had too much to drink? How many times have you looked at another person in lust committing adultery on your spouse? How many lies have you told? How many times have you taken the Lord’s name in vain?
In God’s court you are just as guilty as a mass murderer. If you live you’re entire life faithful to God, and at the very end go on a shooting spree (which I highly doubt a truly transformed born again Christian would do), then lose your salvation as a result; confess that sin and get re-saved, then….. who saves? You? Or Jesus? You’re saying “you” because your actions now determine your salvation. You’ve taken the power away from Christ’s finished work and put on yourself.
Jesus doesn’t save and fail. Jesus didn’t die for some of your sins, or only sins up until a certain point, or only the sins you asked forgiveness for. Jesus died once for all. The penalty for your sins was paid by Christ before you were born. This is hard for many of us to grasp but it is true.
When I was praying about this to God I asked him, is this correct? Am I speaking the truth? And I heard very clearly: “What is revealed, has been revealed.” I was led too Titus 2
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. 12 And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, 13 while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. 14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
As Christians we are called to turn from sin and devote our lives to God. To put all of our faith and trust in Him and Him alone. We will still sin. We will fall short time and time again and He will be there to pick us back up. Our salvation is in Christ. Because of Him we believe, because of His free gift of grace we are saved, because of His perfect work we are made righteous. Christ frees us from EVERY kind of sin, including murder.
For my Christian friends I implore you to believe this otherwise you are not putting your full trust in Christ’s power and work. You’re putting this on yourself. Trust in Christ today. Accept that He died for all of your sins, future, past and present and start being the person God calls you to be!