Salvation: deliverance from sin and its consequences brought about by faith in Jesus Christ.
I heard this quote from a popular radio host whom I like: “If God doesn’t send Hitler to Hell, then I have no interest in such a God.” Sounds righteous enough. Only problem is, if Hitler has no chance at Heaven solely because of the evil he did, then none of us have.
Jesus, God’s only begotten Son, came to live a perfect life in order to die for my sins and your sins and Hitler’s sins. The Bible does not equivocate. It reads: “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world” (1 Jn 2:2), and “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Rom 10:13). “Whosever shall call” would certainly seem to include Hitler; though we can’t know if he ever did place such a call, perhaps as late as the day of his death. Admittedly, it’s hard to fathom, given the horrific atrocities and the lifetime of rotten fruit he produced.
Sometimes I produce rotten fruit too, by the way (John 15:1-2). Perhaps not Hitlerian fruit, but rotten fruit still. And I’m not proud of it, I can tell you. Yet it never causes me to worry about where I’ll spend eternity either. For the gospel is clear. We don’t work our way to Heaven (Eph 2:8-9). Can’t be done. There is no sliding scale from worst to first—from Hitler to, say, the saintly lady in pew one. Nowhere does the Bible say God grades on a curve. Quite the opposite; it’s pass or fail. Not only that, but to pass requires a perfect one hundred from each of us. Anything less, a single sin, we fail.
Now that may make it sound to some like God is the harshest schoolmaster who ever lived. But He is actually the most generous and loving God there can ever be. Consider this astounding news: His love for us is so great that He sent His own Son to live a sinless life and die on a cross to make our hundreds for us! Which really makes the choice before us quite simple: Call on the name of the Lord, receive Him as Savior—that’s a hundred. Pass! Try to tell God that, unlike Hitler, you’re a good enough person in and of yourself to deserve to be in His presence, thus rejecting outright what Jesus has already done for you—less than a hundred. Fail! The Good Book says all this better. Hopefully, we’ve at least set the table. This is salvation. And that is that.
A telling verse says, “As it is written: ‘There is no one righteous, not even one’” (Rom 3:10). That’s clear enough for me to make my decision. Even so, in the final analysis, I have no idea what Hitler decided—never even given it much thought till now. But I sure hope that radio host changes his mind.
And I hope this encourages you to better understand salvation today.
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