Hitler could be in Heaven. I can already see your eyes enlarge as you say, “Tobi, have you lost your mind?!” Well, I can’t hear you (unless you call me) and am not any crazier than usual but just to show that I’m serious (and for giggles), I’ll say it again: Hitler could be in Heaven.
Romans 3:23 is a heavy hitter. It affirms our commonality as human beings – we’re all jacked up and in need of a Savior. There is nothing that we could ever independently do or say to justify in the eyes of God. Jesus is our only redemption. We are made new by God’s grace, which is exemplified through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus (Ephesians 2:1-8). I’m sure that some of you have heard this before. If you’ve read any of my previous posts then you;ll know that I am all about sharing this Good News. Jesus changes everything, including our perceptions of each other.
We live in a world of comparison and from a young age, we’re taught to use it. “The letter ‘A’ looks different than ‘B’.” “The color blue is different than black.” “A boy is different than a girl.” We recognize differences all throughout life and frankly, there’s nothing wrong with that. God is infinitely creative; just look around at all of the things that He has made including you (Genesis 1 and 2). There is nothing “traditional” or “standard” about you. Sure, you may have similar features to your mommy or daddy, but there is no one else in the world like you. Everything about you was purposefully and intentionally handcrafted by God (Psalm 139:13-16). Nevertheless as the saying goes, “everyone is unique, but no one is special.” No one deserves Jesus; we’re all in equal need of a Savior.
In my opinion, we sometimes allow comparison to bleed into our perceptions of each other which causes judging and gossip. Consider Romans 3:23, or even verses 9-12. No one is righteous. Apart from Jesus, we are all the same. No matter how much good or bad we do, apart from Jesus, we’re unrighteous in the eyes of God and deserve death (Romans 6:20-23). Similarly in Jesus, we all can be the same. Salvation is not a “Jewish” or “American” thing. The rich, poor, strong, weak, man, woman, young and old all have equal opportunity to receive Jesus’ free gift of salvation. Why? Because we all need it!
Now does that mean once we accept Jesus as our salvation, we can do whatever we want? Absolutely not. Following Jesus isn’t an insurance policy, it’s a life changing commitment that impacts every day of your life (Luke 9:23). In fact, evidence of a life surrendered to Jesus is seen in how we live. We’re made new in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17) and as such, our words and actions change (John 15:1-11).We represent His name now. We’re still human and may mess up (Romans 7:14-20) but ultimately the only thing that makes a follower of Jesus different than someone who doesn’t is Jesus.
So I’ll return to my opening statement: Hitler could be in Heaven. I believe that in accordance to God’s Word, if Adolf Hitler trusted Jesus as His Savior after WWII then he was made righteous in the eyes of God and is in Heaven. Did Hitler do horrible things? Absolutely, but so have you and I. No sin is greater than any other (James 2:10-13) and furthermore, no life is better than any other. I’ll take it a step further; I truly hope and pray that Hitler experienced the grace of God before he died.
There are times when we need to call each other out yet Jesus never instructs us to judge (Matthew 7:1-5) but rather love one another (Matthew 22:36-40). In doing so, we will have the right approach when confrontation is needed (Ephesians 4:14-16). I’ll say it again, we’re all jacked up and in need of a Savior. My job as a follower of Jesus is not to condemn others, but to show them God’s love through my words and actions. I’m called use my life to share the Good News with everyone around me, even my enemy (Matthew 5:43-48) and encourage other followers of Christ to do the same (Proverbs 27:17).
Remembering these truths makes me all the more thankful for Jesus and His sacrifice for us. I am thankful that His love for me is unchanging no matter my downfalls and failures. He is truly worthy of my life, praise and worship.