Offended by God’s Mercy

When it comes to receiving God’s mercy for ourselves, we are all in favor of it.  Most of us don’t see ourselves as “that bad”.  Some people, however, are unconsciencably evil.  They have done things for which we may literally hope they “burn in hell”.  And they might.  But God’s grace is very large.  If God can reach a person and create faith within them, then some pretty deplorable people will find themselves among the saved.  Are you OK with that?

Your ability to be at peace with God’s amazing grace, may have much to do with what you have personally experienced in life.  If you are the victim of crime, war, or abuse, you might not be ready to forgive and do not wish God to forgive either.  If this is so, then it seems inherently unjust that some people are forgiven.

This was a big issue for people during the Nuremberg Trials at the conclusion of World War II.  Nazi war criminals who did horrible things were put on trial.  The US Army assigned to these criminals an US, Lutheran, German-speaking chaplain, against the complaints of many people, who just wanted these men to burn in hell.  Many of the criminals defiantly resisted ministry and went to the gallows still in there sins, but some did repent.  According to the promise of God, their sins, even though they were staggering, were forgiven.  No doubt, some of the people these men put to death also died in their sins.  Would God forgive a repentant war criminal and damn an unrepentant or unbelieving victim?

If you are resistant to this idea, it shows something about you.  It shows that you think that certain sins, probably yours, deserve to be forgiven by God, but certain sins of others should be beyond the reach of forgiveness.  What you need to understand is how much God hates sin, even yours.  By his justice, you shouldn’t be forgiven either.  You must also understand God’s love.  He loves even the most unlovable human.  These intense polarities led to the method of atoning for sin that God chose.  Jesus’ death is big enough for any sin.  Jesus’ atonement for sin is also not optional.  There is nothing else that can cover even the smallest infraction.

Eventually, the love of God can seep even into us.  Personally wronged or not, we begin to love and desire salvation for anyone:  child abusers, serial killers, brutal dictators, blasphemous atheists, you name it.  If the Holy Spirit has not been blasphemed, then forgiveness is possible.  For this same reason, forgiveness is possible for you.




  1. Interesting. I wonder what your thoughts are when you hear them say they prayed for someone to be killed? Even a terrorist?


    1. I think prayers like that are common, but still not justified. In the OT there were occasional prayers for the destruction of their enemies, but in the new covenant we should pray for the repentance of our enemies


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s