Daily Devotional for Friday February 1, 2019

Are you a hypocrite if you are AGAINST abortion but FOR capital punishment?

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

***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, please help me to find your peace and joy in this coming weekend. I need a break from the battles, from the challenges of daily life, and want to simply find your rest in the coming days. Help me to re-charge and be prepared to get back to facing all of the challenges life brings my way when the new week unfolds, but over this weekend, give me your perfect peace. In the name of Jesus I pray...AMEN!

A few years ago the nation was in an uproar over the botched execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma. Lockett had been sentenced to death for killing 19-year-old Stephanie Neiman in 1999 after she and a friend interrupted a home burglary. After the pair was abducted and beaten, he shot her with a sawed-off shotgun and then watched two accomplices bury them even though they were 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.

That event 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. With the evil abortion industry pushing states to kill innocent babies for any reason at any time, 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 in the early years of Liveprayer, 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. The killing of innocent babies and the killing of a person convicted of the most heinous crimes society has deemed to be worthy of death ARE NOT THE SAME THING! These are two totally different issues. The Bible clearly teaches killing an innocent baby is murder and also teaches death is a just punishment for a person convicted of making the conscience choice to commit an act heinous enough the state says is punishable by death.

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: https://liveprayer.com/media/altarcall.mp4

In His love and service,

Your friend, brother, and co-laborer in Christ,

Bill Keller