Letters to the Family of God
by Joe Franzone | September 8, 2022 | Pastor's Blog
September 8, 2022
Most people wanted Jeffrey Dahmer to fry. Now that he’s dead, they’re celebrating, and they’re absolutely sure he will burn in hell because that’s what happens to people like him.
The words of Episcopal theologian Kendall Harmon after Dahmer’s Nov. 28, 1994, murder at a Madison, Wis., prison.
Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display His immense patience as an example for those who would believe in Him and receive eternal life.
Just how offensive is the Gospel? Is there a scandal when it comes to preaching the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? Well, consider the case of the murderer Jeffrey Dahmer.
Jeffrey Dahmer was a serial killer and a sex offender. He murdered 17 men and boys in ways that do not need repeating. At his trial, he was convicted of 15 counts of murder and sentenced to 15 life terms.
Through the mail and in jail, a gentleman named Curt Booth (who served four years in a Kansas prison) preached the Gospel to Jeffrey. Soon he began to study the Bible and said things like, I'm so sorry for what I've done. God help me. I feel very bad about the crimes I've committed. I deserve death for my crimes.
In time, Jeffrey would profess faith in Christ and attend prison chapel routinely. He shared the Gospel with other inmates and almost lost his life in an attack while attending chapel. While cleaning a prison restroom, he was attacked for a second time and was murdered.
On hearing of Jeffery’s murder Booth said, I know Jeffrey was ready, Today, all the angels in heaven are rejoicing because Jeffrey has come home. I do not doubt the sincerity of Dahmer’s conversion. Booth witnessed and attested to the conversion of over a thousand prisoners. He was convinced another Jeffery Dahmer was another sinner God had saved by His amazing grace.
Now think for a moment about your neighbor or friend. Probably a respectable person, maybe even very religious. They love America, and live a civil life, but have never professed faith in Christ. At this moment, Jeffrey Dahmer the convicted murderer stands in a better place than your neighbor or friend.
Or what about the many generous philanthropists that mark these United States but reject the claims of Jesus? Again, Jeffery took more from humanity than he gave, yet because of Jesus, he has been forgiven and given the gift of eternal life with God.
You see if Jeffrey Dahmer genuinely believed what he said in his confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. If he confessed, he was sinful, and Jesus was the substitutionary atoning sacrifice for his sins- Jesus the risen savior. If Jeffrey Dahmer, by faith alone, trusted in Christ alone, he is with Christ in heaven. There is the scandal of the Gospel.
This may turn people's stomachs, and some would call God a monster. The Christian hears this and calls God our Savior.
No list of sins I have not done,
No list of virtues I pursue,
No list of those I am not like
Can earn myself a place with You.
O God, be merciful to me–
I am a sinner through and through!
My only hope of righteousness
Is not in me, but only You.
Verse One- Not in Me
God bless you this week with everything you need for doing His will.