How Does God Forgive Murderers And Offer Redemption?

Photo of author

Published by Kimberly Wall


Co-Founder, Disciple Group Leader, Author

Last Updated:

Editorial Policy and Guidelines

Our content is expertly crafted and reviewed by theologians and scholars, ensuring accuracy and relevance by referencing reliable sources, primarily the Bible. Before publication and significant updates, we rigorously confirm the factual integrity, delivering well-informed articles grounded in biblical teachings

Prominent figures, even world leaders, have committed grave crimes. God, who despises all sin, must view these individuals who harm others with disdain. Yet, God cares for everyone, including sinners.

Christ’s death, as described in Hebrews 9:26, was an offering to remove all sin. Therefore, anyone who trusts in Christ can reconcile with God.

Key Takeaways

  • Christian doctrine states that God forgives all sins, including serious ones like murder, through faith in Jesus Christ. This forgiveness hinges on genuine repentance and belief in Christ’s redemptive sacrifice, reflecting God’s infinite mercy.
  • While sins like murder can be divinely forgiven through repentance and faith, legal and societal consequences still apply. This principle highlights the coexistence of spiritual forgiveness and earthly justice.
  • Murder, a serious sin, is an offense against life’s sacredness and God’s plan. It carries significant spiritual, legal, and social consequences, underscoring the importance of life and the repercussions of ending it.

Does God Forgive Murderers?

Yes, God can forgive murderers if they sincerely repent and put their faith in Christ. However, this does not absolve individuals from the earthly consequences of their actions.

Murder, often defined as the killing of an innocent person, is a grave sin. Yet, it’s important to distinguish between acts of hostility and manslaughter. The only sin deemed unpardonable is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost[1].

Contrary to some beliefs, God can forgive all sins due to Christ’s death and resurrection. As stated in John 3:16, anyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. This includes murderers, as John’s writings do not exclude them from eternal life.

The concept of eternal life abiding in us refers to our relationship with Jesus, the source of eternal life (1 John 5:20).

a murderer kneeling in a dim chapel

How Can God Forgive A Killer?

God can forgive a killer. God can forgive anyone, including murderers, if they sincerely repent and put their faith in Jesus Christ. This belief is based on the Christian understanding of God’s infinite mercy and the redemptive power of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross.

For instance, the Apostle Paul, who was responsible for the deaths of some Christians, was forgiven when he gave his life to Christ. Similarly, there are accounts of war criminals who sincerely converted to faith in Jesus Christ and were forgiven.

However, it’s important to note that forgiveness from God does not absolve individuals from earthly laws and consequences. While God may forgive, murderers are still subject to the legal consequences of their actions.

God forgives all sins, from murder to lying, if the sinner repents. Repentance and acceptance of Jesus’ mercy lead to forgiveness.

Jesus’ sacrifice is redemption for those who believe in him. He acted as a substitute for sinners and a bridge between God and humanity. Without Jesus’ sacrifice, we would be constantly paying for our sins. But Jesus resolved this by dying on the cross for everyone.

a murderer kneeling in a dimly lit abandoned chapel and broken pews scattered around conveying a plea for redemption

Why Is Committing Murder A Serious Sin?

Committing murder is a serious sin in many religions due to several reasons:

  • Value of Life: Life is considered sacred and invaluable. Taking a life is seen as a direct violation of this sanctity.
  • Irreversibility: Unlike property damage or theft, which can be repaired or replaced, a life once taken cannot be restored. The permanence of this act adds to its severity.
  • Disruption of Divine Plan: In some beliefs, murder is seen as an act of rebellion against the divine plan. It denies the victim the opportunity for a full-life experience.
  • Spiritual Consequences: In Christianity, for example, murder is considered a grave sin that requires sincere repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ’s mercy for forgiveness.
  • Legal and Social Consequences: Murder is also a serious crime in most societies, leading to severe legal consequences. It causes immense harm and suffering to the victim’s family and society.

Our judicial systems rightly treat murder seriously. Unlike property, which can be replaced or repaired, a life lost to murder is irreversible. Murder is universally recognized as a severe crime.

a murderer on their knees in a moonlit graveyard capturing the eerie atmosphere of repentance

Why Does God Not Like Murder?

1. Murder Is An Attack Against God In The Truest Sense

After promising Noah not to destroy humanity again, God set up a system to protect human life. He stated that anyone who unjustly kills another, who is made in God’s image, will face severe consequences (Genesis 9:6).

This highlights the immense value God places on human life. Murder is seen as an attack on God’s creation, which is why Christians view acts like abortion as deeply distressing.

2. Murder Usurps The Power And Privilege That Are Exclusively God’s

Only God has the power to give and take life (Job 1:21). Therefore, anyone who kills is infringing on God’s unique authority.

a remorseful murderer kneeling in a dimly lit abandoned chapel

Examples Of Murder In The Bible

God’s forgiveness is determined by His love, not the gravity of the sin. The Bible is full of instances where God forgives sins, even those perceived as too severe.


Here’s a simplified version: “Cain, known as the first murderer, killed his brother out of jealousy (Genesis 4:8). Despite his crime, God protected Cain from being killed by others, marking him for protection after his exile (Genesis 4:15).


Moses, known as a hero, prophet, leader, and lawmaker, also committed murder. He killed an Egyptian who was beating a Hebrew, then hid the body in the sand (Exodus 2:11–12).


Saul persecuted the early church and was involved in the killing of Stephen, the first Christian martyr (Acts 8:1). Despite this, God forgave him. He later became known as the Apostle Paul and wrote much of the New Testament.


David had an affair with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife, which led to her pregnancy. When he failed to hide their affair, David arranged for Uriah’s death in battle (2 Samuel 11:14–17). When Prophet Nathan confronted him, David admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

a remorseful murderer kneeling in an abandoned chapel,tear-stained face

How Does A Murderer Receive God’s Forgiveness?

Jesus seeks deep holiness that comes from a heart changed by His love and grace, not just avoiding outward sin. Our only hope is Christ, who fulfilled all righteousness and offered it to us as a gift accepted by faith.


Repent and turn to God for any anger or sin. Don’t justify it. Learn from Jonah’s story. God asked Jonah to reflect on his life and heart. We often fail to self-examine to find the real problem. It starts with admitting, “We are deeply angry. Father, forgive us.”

Obtain The Grace Of God Through Jesus

God sought justice through Abel’s blood. Yet, Jesus’ blood, as per Hebrews 12:24, conveys a more crucial message. Abel’s blood implies the guilty should die. Anger violates God’s sixth commandment.

Jesus came for this reason. He lived a holy life, paid for our sins, and was resurrected to offer us eternal life. Christ’s blood signifies forgiveness and acceptance for believers. Embrace this generous gift with faith.

Specifically, Reconcile

If you’re at the altar and remember that your brother holds a grudge against you, leave your offering. First, reconcile with your brother, then return to present your gift (Matthew 5:23–24).

Jesus emphasizes reconciliation with those we’ve hurt before worship. It’s not about who you’re angry with, but who’s upset with you. Making amends is the first step in worship.

Christ On Grace

God’s forgiveness extends to murderers like Cain, Moses, David, and others, which is remarkable. However, since most of us aren’t murderers, we struggle to comprehend God’s grace towards such individuals.

Grace For All Of Us

Everyone, even murderers, can find forgiveness and hope for their sins. Some may have harbored harmful thoughts rather than acting on them. But through the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, you were cleansed and justified (1 Corinthians 6:11).

a remorseful murderer kneeling in a dimly lit conveying a plea for redemption

7 Bible Verses About God’s Forgiveness

James 4:11–12 

Be kind to each other. Criticizing and judging others is like criticizing and judging the law. If you judge the law, you’re not following it but acting as a judge.

Romans 12:17–21

Don’t retaliate when wronged. Act honorably and strive for peace with everyone. Leave vengeance to God. If your enemy is hungry or thirsty, help them. This kindness can lead them to remorse. Don’t let evil win; overcome it with good.

Revelation 21:7–8

The victorious will inherit all; I will be their God, and they will be my children. The fearful, unbelieving, murderers, immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and liars will face the second death in the fiery lake.

Luke 17:3–4

Be mindful: if your brother wrongs you, correct him; if he apologizes, forgive him. Even if he wrongs you seven times a day and apologizes each time, forgive him.

Jonah 4:2

He pleaded with the Lord, “Isn’t this what I said when I was still in my country? Knowing you are a merciful God, slow to anger, and full of kindness, I fled to Tarshish to avoid calamity.

Matthew 5:21–24

It was said, “Do not kill, or you’ll be judged.” But I say unjust anger towards your brother can lead to judgment. Insulting him as “Raca” can bring you before the council, and calling him a “fool” can lead to severe punishment.

Nehemiah 9:17

They stubbornly chose a leader to return to their servitude in Egypt, forgetting their great deeds. Yet, as a forgiving, gracious, and compassionate God, full of kindness, you didn’t abandon them.

a remorseful murderer kneeling


Murder is universally recognized as a grave crime, regardless of religious upbringing. God’s disapproval of murder was evident when Cain killed Abel (Genesis 4:8).

As Christians and simply as people, we understand that unjust killing is sinful. God’s commandment, “You shall not kill,” must be followed to avoid judgment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does Jesus Say About Murderers?

In the New Testament, Jesus extends the Old Testament’s prohibition on murder to include anger towards others, implying that both physical violence and harboring negative emotions are morally wrong.

He underscores the importance of reconciliation and forgiveness, advising that one should make peace before offering gifts at the altar.

What Is The One Sin That God Will Not Forgive?

The one sin that God will not forgive is blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. This is understood as attributing the Holy Spirit’s work to evil or rejecting God and His offer of forgiveness and new life in Jesus Christ.

However, anyone who believes in Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, and seeks forgiveness for their sins can be forgiven. The only exception is the refusal to accept this forgiveness.

What Does The Bible Say About Punishing Murderers?

The Bible prescribes death as the punishment for murder, according to verses in the Old Testament. The New Testament, while maintaining that murder and anger are subject to judgment, also emphasizes the importance of forgiveness and rehabilitation.

2 thoughts on “How Does God Forgive Murderers And Offer Redemption?”

Leave a Comment