“So you’re telling me that if Hitler turned to God and repented at the last minute of his life, he would be saved?”
I knew where this was leading. “I am not in the place of God to make that decision. If Hitler did that and he truly repented, then only God could save him. But only God knows if Hitler truly repented of his sins.”
My friend shook his head. “I can’t believe in a God that would forgive a beast like Hitler.”
I reflected upon his statement. Although I knew God’s grace and mercy can extend to everyone, there are people for whom I wonder if they are beyond saving. Hitler. Lenin. There are many names that could be added to this list. In the Bible, many of the kings of Judah and Israel could be added and of these kings, few are as evil as Manasseh, king of Judah. He sacrificed his own children to pagan gods, practiced witchcraft, and set up an idol in the Temple of Solomon. The Bible summed up his evil activities with the following verse.
Moreover Manasseh shed very much innocent blood, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another, besides his sin by which he made Judah sin, in doing evil in the sight of the LORD.
2 Kings 21:16 (NKJV)
If we only had the record of 2 Kings, it would be easy to conclude that Manasseh died an evil man. I thought this for many years until I read this verse in 2 Chronicles.
Now when he was in affliction, he implored the LORD his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the LORD was God.
2 Chronicles 33:12-13 (NKJV)
I was quite surprised that a king as evil as Manasseh would find forgiveness from God after he truly repented of his sins and turned back to Him. And that is the problem. My ability to forgive another person is so limited and fragile, especially to those who have hurt me. I do not have the compassion nor wisdom that am omnipotent and omniscient God has. Instead I selfishly focus upon my hurt feelings, thinking that I am not as bad as the person who hurt me.
Will Manasseh be in heaven someday? Only God knows. But when I do get to heaven, I am certain there will be many who will look at me and say, “I can’t believe you are here!” Instead of focusing upon whether someone can be saved, I should be grateful to God leading me to confess and repent of my sins and accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
My focus should be to recommit my life to spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to a lost world.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.