Daily Devotional for Saturday May 3, 2014

Is Capital Punishment Biblical

(Genesis 9:6; Exodus 21:12; Leviticus 24:17; Numbers 35:16, Numbers 35:31; Deuteronomy 19:11; Proverbs 28:17)

***ASK BILL: Pastor Bill, I have acquaintance who is a Muslim. His name is Muhammad. How should I approach him re: his faith?

ANSWER: Here is the bottom line. The Bible and the Qu'ran can't both be correct, like the Bible and the Book of Mormon can't both be correct. Challenge your friend to read the Bible and accept God's Word for what it is, the ONLY Truth there is! One has to be Truth, the other a lie from hell. GOD, wrote the Bible. MAN wrote the Qu'ran and the Book of Mormon. We all are free to believe what we want. That is a choice each person must make. I choose to put my faith and belief in what God says, not man. The LIE from hell is that everyone's truth will get them to Heaven, when the ONLY Truth that will get you to Heaven is in the Bible alone!!!

The nation has been in an uproar the past few days over the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma. Lockett was sentenced to death for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman in 1999 after she and a friend interrupted a home burglary. After the pair were abducted and beaten, he shot her with a sawed-off shotgun and then watched two accomplices bury her while she was still alive.

Oklahoma was using a new cocktail of drugs for the first time in putting Lockett to death by lethal injection. They began the injection of the lethal drugs at 6:23 p.m., and the process is designed to put the person being executed to sleep ending in their death a few minutes later. There was a problem with the new drugs and Lockett remained alive, often thrashing around, until he was pronounced dead at 7:06 p.m.

This event has once again brought the issue of capital punishment into the news, with advocates opposing the death penalty using what happened in Oklahoma as an opportunity to once again and try to get the 32 states where the death penalty is still in effect to outlaw it. I wanted to use this opportunity to share with you what the Bible says about capital punishment.

Many who oppose capital punishment say it is hypocritical to be opposed to abortion and yet, support capital punishment. That is an apples and oranges argument! Abortion is the killing of an innocent life. Capital punishment is the killing of someone who is guilty of a serious crime against society. You cannot even argue the two, because one deals with an innocent life, the other deals with a guilty life.

The baby killed in the womb did nothing wrong and made no CHOICE to cause their death. The person who is put to death by the state, CHOSE to commit the heinous crime that society deemed punishable by death. Another false argument is that capital punishment is not a deterrent to others from committing the same kinds of horrible crimes. It is not supposed to be a deterrent! It is the penalty society deems appropriate for those who have CHOSEN to commit the most heinous of crimes against society.

You see, capital punishment has a very solid basis from scripture and ultimately is a decision each society must determine. One of the wonderful things about our country is that we can change laws that we feel are not acceptable. For those who disagree with capital punishment, you have the right to disagree. However, God's Word is our final authority on all matters, and you cannot ignore the Biblical predicate for capital punishment.

Back in 2002, I dealt with the execution of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. If all accounts of what he felt in his heart in his last days on earth are correct, he rejected God and is eternally separated from Him. NOT because of his heinous and horrific crime in killing 168 innocent people, but for rejecting Jesus Christ. I was saddened to hear a pastor of a United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City across from where the Mura Federal Building once stood, say on national TV that God would never forgive Timothy McVeigh.

That is NOT what the Bible says. The fact is, ANYONE, the "whosoever" of John 3:16, that truly repents of their sins and accepts Jesus Christ by faith will be saved, even someone who committed such horrible crimes as Timothy McVeigh or Clayton Lockett. That does not mean they could escape the earthly punishment for their actions, but that God would forgive them of their sins if they asked Him to, just like He will forgive anyone who asks Him to. The choice he made is the same choice we all must make in this life, to have our sins washed away and accept God's gift of everlasting life by faith through faith in Jesus Christ, or reject it.

Many have trouble accepting this truth. They have trouble accepting the fact that someone like a Timothy McVeigh or a Clayton Lockett could do something so heinous, yet still be eternally with God. But you see, we are ALL sinners. The Bible proclaims that ALL have sinned and fallen short of God's glory. In Ephesians chapter 2 it says "For it is by grace you have been saved, though faith... and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God...not by works, so that no one can boast."

You see my friend, God has made a way for everyone, even Timothy McVeigh and Clayton Lockett to accept Christ by faith, repent of their sins, and be born again. Even though you may not have done anything as horrible as McVeigh or Lockett did, the fact is, you are still a sinner, and you will be eternally separated from God when this journey is over unless you come to know Jesus as your personal savior.

I love you and care about you so much. Pray for the Lockett family and for the family of his victims. The incredible truth of the Gospel is that even those who commit the most horrific crimes can still repent and ask the Lord to forgive them. Christ loves each one of us so much He died for our sins. If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, He is standing at the door of your heart today and knocking!!! It is no accident you are reading these words. I am praying that you will open your heart to Jesus and let Him in.

Plan of Salvation and video altar call: http://www.liveprayer.com/plan.cfm

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,

Bill Keller