"Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him."—1 John 3:15.
This language shows that there are millions of murderers who never destroyed life, for every one who hates his brother has already committed murder. If no murderer can ever reach heaven, then millions must be lost forever, for, observe, it does not say that a murderer who does not repent before he dies, but "no murderer hath eterrnal life abiding in him;" that is, no one who hates his brother.
Partialists of every name do not act on the theory that the murderer must be lost, for every felon's cell and gibbet is surrounded by zealous Christians seeking to secure the repentance of the murderer: and it is notorious that nearly every executed murderer anticipates heaven, notwithstanding his crime, and there have been thousands of murderers who have, if the popular view be correct, by a repentance on the gallows escaped all punishment.
Now we accept no such easy, immoral theory as this. We are confident that no murderer swings from the gibbet to glory in a moment of time. The Scriptures include all transgressors when they say:
God 'will by no means clear the guilty."—Ex.34:7. "He that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong that he hath done; and there is no respect of persons."—Col. 3:25. "Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished."—Prov. 11:21. "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked."—Isa. 57:21.
The murderer who dies unpunished will receive what he deserves before he can be happy. But here or hereafter it will always be true that no murderer, whether he hate his brother or destroy his brother's life, hath eternal life abiding in him.
There is no more difficulty in applying infinite grace to convert and save the murderer than any other sinner. Indeed, as if to guard Christians against refusing to apply God's converting power to such, Paul says:
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drundards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you; but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the spirit of our God."—1 Cor. 6:9-11.
Some of Paul's associates had been guilty of the grossest sins, and had cast them off. As long as they were thus sinful, they had not eternal life, but when they were reformed, regenerated, they possessed that life.
This will always be true of all souls. No murderer, or other gross sinner, no one whose heart is controlled by evil, possesses eternal life; but when the bad spirit is exorcised, the divine life will enter.
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