Drug Dealers. Murderers. Thieves. All have committed crimes against society. All may be tried and face possible conviction in a court of law. All can be placed in prison for the crimes they have committed. We know of prison ministries and may know of converts who once may have been one of these types of criminals. Generally, we are pleased when a convict accepts Christianity and serves the Lord. Some of us may be willing to teach a criminal about Christianity in hopes they accept God and salvation, but how willing would you be to follow a murderer to righteousness?
We know Moses. He is the great leader of Israel, the man who received the law from God. He is so important and influential that when referring to the Jewish national law, the law that Christ Himself lived under, it is called the Law of Moses. The book of Hebrews (11.24-29) upholds Moses as a man of faith, it says of him that he willingly gave up the “pleasures of sin for a season” or as the ESV states, he gave up the “fleeting pleasures of sin.” The question is, how can a man who is willing to commit murder be extolled as a great national leader and be described as a man of faith? The answer lies within Jesus’ explanation of how the wealthy can enter into heaven, but being applied to the example of Moses: with men it is impossible for murders to enter heaven, but with God all things are possible.
Now we return to the question that was asked in the beginning, how willing would you be to follow a murderer to righteousness? Murderers make us nervous and uncomfortable. It does not matter if the murderer is a convicted felon serving time on death row, or a homicide killer who served his time and was released, or an alleged murderer that is pronounced innocent by the judicial system. Let’s face it, most of us would be hesitant to speak to a murderer, let alone associate with a murder. Though some would dare to teach him the Gospel, how difficult would it be for us to follow him if he was to be preaching God’s Word?
God is merciful and powerful enough to save anyone. He gave salvation to Moses. He gave salvation to David. He gave salvation to Paul. God has used men of ill repute to lead many to righteousness. We are much more comfortable with Christians like us. Those who look like us, think and feel like us, and in our human measurement have done the same or lesser sins that we have. Galatians 5.19-21 provides a laundry list of Christians’ past sins, including murder. Yet, it is always easier to accept and associate with those similar to us, but God wants to save all sinners.
Our communities are filled with sinners; some will have lead what humanity considers an average life and in human judgment would have done nothing remotely or even spectacularly sinful. On the other hand, there are going to be those who, in human judgment, are spectacularly sinful. The question is: are we going to help them, and teach them God’s truth with the prayerful hope that they will become the person God knows they can be? Who is the next murderer that God will use to lead many to righteousness? Will you help teach him? Will you be lead by him? God makes anything possible.