“For all that is will eventually be brought into the open” (Luke 8:17)
On December 30th of 2020, Samuel Little died. The name probably rings a bell. He was the deadliest serial killer in the history of the United States, confessing to murdering 93 women. Sadly, he was raised by his grandmother not far from here in Lorain, Ohio. He joins the ranks of notorious serial killers such as John Wayne Gacy, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, and Jeffrey Dahmer. Men whose body count piled up to nearly 200 people. Add these names to other notorious killers, such as Hitler and Jack the Ripper. Men who did evil things, from depraved and reprobate hearts and minds. In doing a little research, I also discovered 29 women who were serial killers. Evil is not limited to one gender. All these murderers are now dead. And as far as I know, every one of them may be burning in hell.
But here is the thing we need to keep in mind. Not one of them are in hell because of what they did. Their murders, their rapes, their torturing, did not send them to damnation. I know we like to think they deserved hell because of what they did, however their killings are not the reason for their tormented destination. One thing and one thing only is what sends a murderer, or anyone else, to an eternity in hell. That one thing is their rejection of God in Jesus Christ.
What these serial killers did in this life revealed their character. And their character revealed that they rejected Christ. Character exposes our hearts. Our character shouts to the world what our relationship to God is. Those who commit and condone evil works are putting on display for all to see where their hearts are. God’s word is clear. “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit.” (Luke 6:43). It does not matter how good or how religious we sound, sooner or later our character will reveal the real us. James nailed it when he said, “You claim to have faith and I have good works; show me your alleged faith without the works if you can, and I will show you my faith by my works, that is by what I do.” (James 2:18 – Amplified bible)
Each of us needs to examine our character. Not merely our good works, but our thoughts, motives, intentions, and especially how we love. Jesus said that “our love for one another will prove to the world that we are his disciples.” (John 13:35). Our character is developed out of our relationship with Christ. No killer is born a murderer. No one is born with hatred in their heart. Each of us has a capacity for such things because we are born sinners. Murderous character has the potential to develop as an individual rejects God and his word. In Christ, we have the potential to show the world the character of Christ.