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Hitler in Heaven

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  • Hitler in Heaven

    What if he was there?

    --------------

    What would you think of this news? Let's plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

    Peter Kreeft is one of my favorite writers and speakers and I plan to write a review of a book of his tomorrow, but last night I was listening to a talk of his on the nature of Heaven. Somewhere in there, he was talking about deathbed conversions and said that yes, you could live the worst life possible and still convert and be in the loving presence of God. He said that what if Hitler as the allies were closing in and before he shot himself somehow repented and came to Christ? Would he be in Heaven? His answer was yes.

    Honestly, I recoiled a bit when I heard that. Then I took a moment to think about that. Why should I? We all don't doubt that Hitler was a very evil man. Generally, the rule is that the first one to point to Hitler is the one who will lose the debate. It's understandable. You want to talk about evil? You look to Hitler.

    I could especially imagine some Jewish people recoiling at this thought. "Why, that's the man who killed my grandparents! He tried to wipe out my people! Why would I want to have anything to do with a God who would forgive him?"

    On the surface, this is understandable. Most all of us have people in this world we can't stand. We have people who hurt us tremendously. Reality is that in many cases, it is okay to be angry with them. I'm learning this now. I don't want to hate my ex-wife at all, but I also realize I have to allow some anger. After all, if I just try to bottle it all up, that could much easier lead to hatred. I can be angry and upset that I was unjustly hurt and I feel it every day. I still pray for her and want the best, but I can accept that something awful happened.

    Chrysostom, a church father, once said that if you are angry out of proportion or wrongfully with someone, that is a sin. Most of us could agree with that. Even a skeptic might not use the word sin, but he could say "Yes. You shouldn't be angry like that." However, Chrysostom also went the other way. If you should be angry with someone and you are not, that is also a sin. I am not at all saying he is infallible, but it is certainly a statement to think about. Some events in life should lead to anger in you.

    So now let's get back to Hitler. What if you were presented with news that was absolutely certain that he had repented like that and he would be part of the blessed for all eternity despite what he did? Your response doesn't reveal a lot about God. It doesn't reveal a lot about Hitler. I contend they reveal absolutely nothing about those two. They reveal a lot about you.

    After all, what grounds do you have for getting into eternity that Hitler wouldn't have? Could you say you did more good works? Sure, but that's not the basis for God forgiving you. Could you say you were more faithful? Yes, but again, that is not why you are forgiven. God doesn't owe you forgiveness. Could you say you didn't do the evil Hitler did? Yes, but God is not letting you in for what you didn't do and He will talk more about what you did do. (Sins of omission excluded here are an exception here.)

    So what is your reason for God forgiving you? Because you asked. You repented. You did not deserve that grace? You did not earn it? God does not owe you forgiveness. Apart from the grace of God, you would wind up in Hell and you would deserve it, as would I.

    And God would not be unjust in a bit of it.

    There will never be a point in all of eternity where you deserve to be there. Every moment you are there is still a gift of grace. You will depend on God for everything all your life, including grace. Every moment there is a moment of His love and mercy. Every moment He gives you here to repent also is such a moment.

    Years ago I wrote a blog about if your murderer will be in Heaven. The reality is God can take the people who should have been the most hostile to each other on Earth and by His grace transform them into great lovers of one another. Perhaps if we sought repentance more and more now, we could see the same thing happen here on Earth.

    So did Hitler repent? If I had to take Vegas odds, I'd bet against it, but if he did, we should rejoice. We should celebrate it, because were it not for the grace of God we would be like him. By forsaking God, we all have the capacity to live like Hitler, but by repentance, we all have the capacity to live like Jesus.

    Choose this day who you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

    In Christ,
    Nick Peters
    (And I affirm the virgin birth)


    What would you think of this news? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out. Peter Kreeft is one of my favorite writers and speakers and I plan to write a review of a book of his tomorrow, but last night I was listening to a talk of his on the nature of Heaven. … Continue reading Hitler In Heaven?

  • #2
    This kind of goes back to the age old question of whether even Satan himself could be saved if he were to truly repent and ask forgiveness.


    As for Hitler, I suspect that most folks kind of hope this is happening (although I agree it would be great if he somehow found Jesus).




    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

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    • #3
      I've had to learn this one the hard way. I still struggle with bottling up my emotions, especially anger. When I do that for too long I become a volcano waiting to blow*. Although it didn't help that I was taught to bottle them up. Undoing that damage is something I'm currently working on. It's a difficult process when it is hard to tell what my emotional state even is a lot of the time.

      *Once that eruption starts I'm a rather different person, and it's also something very hard to stop. It does take a long time for it to happen, like years between outbursts of that kind of magnitude.

      Comment


      • #4
        I've seen this quote floating around (Gavin Ortlund tweeted it the other day but he didn't come up with it):

        The apostle Paul entered heaven to the cheers of those he martyred, because that's how the gospel works.

        (Getting into a debate over whether the intermediate state is best described as "heaven" would be beside the point here.)
        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

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        • #5
          Hypothetically, if Hitler had accepted Jesus at the last moment, evil!Hitler would cease to exist and he'd be a changed man. The thief(more like terrorist) on the cross was definitely not a good person, but we can meet him in Heaven one day. Doubt deathbed conversion people get any rewards. It's as if the slate has been wiped clean.
          If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

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          • #6
            Ted Bundy was convicted of brutally murdering 39 women and girls. Shortly before going to the electric chair, he made a profession of having accepted Jesus. In an interview just before his execution on Jan. 24, 1989, James Dobson was permitted to interview. That interview was later broadcast on Focus on the Family. Dobson felt that Bundy was sincere, but was cautious, acknowledging that Bundy had been a very deceitful person. Bundy did not appear to be using this as an excuse to get out of his execution. Apparently a Christian couple were able to visit Bundy in prison, sharing communion with him with what they had, only a cracker and tomato juice.

            Jeffrey Dahmer murdered and cannibalized 17 men and boys before being imprisoned. While in prison, he also made a profession of faith.

            Some years after Bundy there was a woman also imprisoned for committing a murder. She also professed to have become a Christian, but made an attempt to use her conversion as an excuse to get out of her punishment. I don't recall her name, though.

            When I Survey....

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Faber View Post
              Ted Bundy was convicted of brutally murdering 39 women and girls. Shortly before going to the electric chair, he made a profession of having accepted Jesus. In an interview just before his execution on Jan. 24, 1989, James Dobson was permitted to interview. That interview was later broadcast on Focus on the Family. Dobson felt that Bundy was sincere, but was cautious, acknowledging that Bundy had been a very deceitful person. Bundy did not appear to be using this as an excuse to get out of his execution. Apparently a Christian couple were able to visit Bundy in prison, sharing communion with him with what they had, only a cracker and tomato juice.

              Jeffrey Dahmer murdered and cannibalized 17 men and boys before being imprisoned. While in prison, he also made a profession of faith.

              Some years after Bundy there was a woman also imprisoned for committing a murder. She also professed to have become a Christian, but made an attempt to use her conversion as an excuse to get out of her punishment. I don't recall her name, though.
              I'm not so sure Bundy wasn't trying to delay. He tried to use the location of victim bodies as a last moment desperate attempt to delay his date with Old Sparky.
              "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

              Comment


              • #8
                Ultimately only God knows the condition of their hearts.
                If it weren't for the Resurrection of Jesus, we'd all be in DEEP TROUBLE!

                Comment


                • #9
                  This reminds me of the parable where all the vineyard workers are paid the same regardless of how long they worked. It doesn't seem right according to our moral compass and sense of justice, but God's mercy endures forever.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Since salvation is God's decision, I have to admit the possibility of Hitler being saved. It's why I believe you'll see many of the proverbial drunks in the street in Heaven. Thinking of that possibility keeps me humble and non-judgmental about saying who is saved and who isn't.
                    "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings." Hosea 6:6

                    "Theology can be an intellectual entertainment." Metropolitan Anthony Bloom

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Thoughtful Monk View Post
                      Since salvation is God's decision, I have to admit the possibility of Hitler being saved. It's why I believe you'll see many of the proverbial drunks in the street in Heaven. Thinking of that possibility keeps me humble and non-judgmental about saying who is saved and who isn't.
                      Kreeft goes so far as to say that we should hope he is there. I agree.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        1 Timothy 2:4 says that God desires all men to be saved, so it's not just a pious sounding thing; we should actively hope for the salvation of all. (This is not to say that we should adopt a posture of hopeful universalism, as Scripture clearly rules that out.)
                        "I am not angered that the Moral Majority boys campaign against abortion. I am angry when the same men who say, "Save OUR children" bellow "Build more and bigger bombers." That's right! Blast the children in other nations into eternity, or limbless misery as they lay crippled from "OUR" bombers! This does not jell." - Leonard Ravenhill

                        Comment

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