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Could Hitler Go to Heaven?
by Jim Schicatano
1/27/2015 / Salvation
Let us engage in some revisionist history for the purpose of discussion.
Adolph Hitler, distraught and defeated, tightly held a loaded revolver in his trembling hand. Germany was in ruins, millions were dead, the war was lost, and his dream of a thousand-year Third Reich was crushed. A broken failure, he chose to end his life in the underground bunker. However, in that lingering moment before he pulled the trigger, something came over him. Overcome by a euphoria that he had never experienced, he had an epiphany. As tears of ecstasy filled his eyes, he dropped the revolver, fell to his knees, cried out to God to forgive him for his many sins, and accepted Jesus as his personal savior. Moments later, he died of a heart attack.
No one could ever envision Adolph Hitler in Heaven. And many Christians do not accept death-bed salvation. But what if death-bed conversions are possible? If Hitler truly accepted Jesus in those final seconds before dying a natural death, would he be saved?
Incredibly, some Christians believe he would. Why? Because, they believe it is written in the Bible. Once you accept Jesus as your personal savior, your sins are forgiven, and salvation is assured. Even the sins of a man whose name is synonymous with evil.
Of course, it is true that the New Testament states that you attain salvation by accepting Jesus as your personal savior. Nevertheless, to believe that such a man could reach heaven is to ignore everything for which the Bible stands.
I will not quote the Bible, since any debate that comes down to a battle of Biblical quotes will almost by definition end in a draw.
But let us consider justice. Is the God of the Bible a just God? Is He so capricious that He would ignore every one of His commandments and decrees simply to satisfy one Biblical verse? How could God ever address His heavenly host after allowing Hitler a place in Heaven? How could Hitler's millions of victims ever respect God's judgment? Do the martyrs of the Book of Revelations not cry out for God's justice and vengeance on those who spilled blood?
What about common sense? Jesus summed up the commands by saying we were to love God with all our hearts, and love others as we loved ourselves. That is the heart of the law. Some will argue that Jesus came to free us from the law. In a sense, that is true. However, common sense would tell us that you simply cannot ignore years of the most heinous atrocities ever committed by a human being simply because of one fleeting moment of remorse at the end.
We all believe that God is just. I am sure that we all agree that He is a God of His word. And, it is true, that the New Testament states that all sins can be forgiven. However, if you believe that Hitler could be saved you have only two options. Perhaps, you have interpreted the Bible too literally, and incorrectly found a way for one of history's most evil figures to attain salvation. Or, you serve a God who ignores mass bloodshed, mass slaughter, and a lifetime of evil, and warmly grants heavenly salvation to literally anyone who has a deathbed epiphany.
I have a rule of thumb. If a Biblical interpretation somehow diminishes God, then the interpretation is probably incorrect. If Hitler could attain salvation, then it certainly diminishes God's wisdom and judgment.
Finally, who would want to serve such a God?
The Soup of Life has been a lifetime in the making. For decades I followed religious, political, and cultural issues, and their impact on our society and our lives. Now it is time to share the thoughts that I formed through the years.
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