What Does God Think of Murderers, Rapists and Paedophiles?

What Does God Think of Murderers, Rapists and Paedophiles?

Many world leaders and other important people have only been able to describe the Nazis as “evil”. Adolf Hitler’s rule caused terrible suffering. His Nazis killed around 19.3 million civilians and prisoners of war, including nearly 6 million Jewish people and almost 275,000 adults and children with mental or physical disabilities. Such butchery makes most of us feel sick. It seems obvious what God must think of the really terrible people who take lives, ruin innocence, abuse, neglect and hate.

So what does God say?

The wicked and the one who loves violence [God’s] soul hates. Upon the wicked He will rain coals; fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. —Psalm 11:5-6

That makes sense, doesn’t it? God promises to punish the “wicked” because He hates their violent ways. We can be satisfied that God hates the acts of murder, rape, racism and so on. Such things will be judged by Him. But, that isn’t all God has to say:

There is none righteous [right with God], no, not one; there is [nobody] who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside; they have together become unprofitable [worthless]. —Romans 3:10-12

It is natural for us to compare ourselves with others. So we might say “I’m not as bad as Hitler,” or “I’m much better than a paedophile.” But the Bible tells us that none of us are seen as good by God, “no, not one”.

We are all in the same group, together with murderers, rapists, paedophiles and even Hitler. God says we are all guilty; we are all “wicked”.

How is that fair?

While it is true that we haven’t done anything as bad as Hitler, that isn’t how we are meant to view ourselves. When we say we’re better than Hitler, we are comparing our actions with his. But God isn’t just looking at our actions (although they are very important to Him). He is also looking at our attitude towards Him.

The Bible refers to this using the word “sin”. Sin is not a word we hear much these days. And when it is used, it’s often misunderstood. If we call something “a sin”, we normally mean it is something we like doing, but know we shouldn’t. But that’s not really what sin is.

God created us to live with Him. But we prefer to live without Him, doing our own things, living our own lives, setting our own priorities and valuing ourselves above Him. That is what the Bible means when it uses the word “sin”. And we are all guilty of sin, from the Pope to Hitler, “there is none who does good, no, not one” because we all ignore God, our Creator.

Even if we think our attitudes and actions are pretty good, God says we’re still falling short of who He made us to be. We were created to love God with everything we’ve got. Anything less than that is sin.

What next?

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. —Romans 6:23

God makes it very clear in the Bible that the result of our sin is death. That is the correct punishment for ignoring God. But the Bible also tells us about the rescue mission God went on to save us. Jesus Christ, who is God, became a man on earth (over 2000 years ago) to save us from sin and bring us back to God.

He did this by dying for us on the cross and then coming back to life three days later. When He died, He received the judgement we deserve for our sin, removing the label of “wicked” from us. By coming back to life, He beat death and can offer new and unending life to anyone who trusts Him.

It’s not just that we can be forgiven by God; when we trust Jesus, we become God’s own children! God then lives in us through His Holy Spirit, meaning we are 100% joined to Him every day. And the promise of a place in heaven is so certain that the Bible says it’s like we are already there with Him!

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in [sin], made us alive together with Christ (by grace [God’s gift] you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. —Ephesians 2:4-6

So what does God think of murderers, rapists and paedophiles?

God hates all sin and all the selfish actions of sin, including ours. But His love is for ALL people. So Christ died “to do away with sin by the sacrifice [death] of himself” (Hebrews 9:26 NIV). That means sin in total. So anyone can trust in Christ and be made right with God. Whether that person is a murderer, rapist, paedophile or even Hitler, all can be forgiven through Jesus Christ.

Is it strange that God loves murderers enough to offer them a new life in Christ? Does it upset you to think that God would have accepted Hitler if he had genuinely said sorry about his sin and trusted Jesus?

It is important that we view ourselves through the eyes of God, rather than from our own limited point of view. Then we will be able to understand both how terrible sin is (that we all ignore our own Creator) and how amazing God’s love is. In His love, God provided His Son to take our punishment, allowing everyone the chance to receive His forgiveness and a place in His family.

So really, the important question we need to ask is: “What does God think of me?”

If we are Christians, God thinks of us as “His own special people . . . who once were not a people [who belonged to Him] but are now the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10).

If we are not Christians, God warns us: “Whoever believes in [Jesus] is not [judged], but whoever does not believe stands [judged] already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son” (John 3:18).

So which one are you? If you’re not a Christian, are you ready to give your life to God and receive His forgiveness? A prayer like this is a good place to start:

Thank You, God, for sending your Son, Jesus, to die in my place. Thank You that Jesus paid for all sin and rose again, so that I can be forgiven for everything—even the things I am most ashamed of. I give my life to you now, knowing that You love me and will never leave me. I know that You will bring me safely into heaven to be with You forever. Amen

If you have prayed this honestly, then please share this with your chaplain or SASRA worker. They will be delighted to talk to you about what it means to be a Christian.