Response to the Idea That God Forgives a Child Killer

Years ago, I wrote an article about Westley Allen Dodd, a man who was executed in 1993 for torturing, raping and murdering three young boys in Vancouver, Washington, about twenty minutes from where I live. Dodd’s last words included the statement, “I had thought there was no hope and no peace. I was wrong. I have found hope and peace in the Lord Jesus Christ.” Moments after he said this, the platform was dropped and Dodd went to another world.

Consider someone’s recent comment on this article, and their response to the idea that God could forgive a child killer:

Bull! He is not in heaven! What kind of God forgives a child killer? I don't want to worship him. If Dodd is in Heaven I would much rather roast in hell!!

The irony is that the commenter and I are as unworthy to go to Heaven without Christ as Dodd was. Romans 3:10 says there is no one righteous, not even one. Before a holy God we all stand condemned. We do not deserve Heaven; we deserve Hell. The reader thinks he is making sense, but he shows pride in his own worthiness. Unless he comes to grips with the fact that he does not deserve Heaven, he will never experience it. That he resents and doesn’t want to worship a God who forgives a terrible man demonstrates that he imagines his standards to be higher than God’s. As for preferring Hell over Heaven, ten seconds there will change his mind. I pray that before that day comes he sees his Dodd-like unworthiness and repents and turns to Christ for forgiveness.

Photo by Humberto Arellano on Unsplash

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over sixty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries