In my initial blog, “Could Manson’s Followers Enter Heaven,” I set up a scenario concerning two of Manson’s followers who have committed murder but are now Christians. A similar conversation actually happened with a Muslim taxi driver in Washington DC. I had finished giving him 4 illustrations of why a person cannot earn heaven and why only through faith in Jesus Christ can someone enter heaven. My taxi driver countered these illustrations by saying he couldn’t believe in a God that would allow someone who has committed murder into heaven simply because he believed in Jesus and asked for forgiveness. How could this person go to heaven and how could a Muslim like him, who has done nothing close to murder, go to hell? So what was I going to tell him?
I asked him if he was familiar with the two greatest commandments; he said no. I paraphrased Matthew 22:36-40 where the Bible states, “The greatest commandment is to love the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind, and the second is like the first to love your neighbor as yourself.” I asked him if those were two great commandments and he said yes. So then according to the Bible, rejecting God and His Son is bad and committing murder is also bad. Then which is worse, to reject God and His Son or to commit murder?
I said if the greatest commandment was to love God, then the greatest sin was to reject God; greater than even committing murder. Remember both are extremely bad but from God’s point of view, rejection of him is greater than the murder of another human. I asked him, does that make sense? He said yes but he didn’t like it.
God can forgive a murderer; his great mercy extends to everyone who accepts his free gift of forgiveness through His Son Jesus Christ. And yet, God will not forgive someone who rejects him. Rejection of Christ, God’s Son is the same as rejecting the God of the Bible. John 3:18 Jesus says, “Whoever believes in him [Jesus] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. In John 15:23 [Jesus speaking] “He who hates Me hates My Father also.” By rejecting God the Son (Jesus Christ) you are rejecting God the Father. According to the Bible the Muslim taxi driver, whose belief system rejects the divine Jesus, will be judged for his wrongdoings and will receive punishment for his sins. God’s punishment for sin is eternal separation or hell. The two ex-Manson followers, who now follow Christ, will have their sins forgiven through faith in what Jesus did by dying on the cross. This forgiveness of sins is available to anyone who places their trust in Jesus Christ, no matter what horrible crimes you have committed.