Does God throw someone away because he is too bad to save? Someone like David Berkowitz, arrested in 1977 for terrorizing New York with serial killings as the “Son of Sam”?
Berkowitz is still serving a life sentence. He now claims faith in Christ and a decided change of heart. He admits he brought suffering on many people, and prays for them. He talks about forgiveness saying, “I’m not worthy of these things.” He puts his prison lockup in perspective. “The Lord set me free from self-sabotaging behaviors which causes chaos all my life. He set me free from the power of Satan, who had a hold on me. I have freedom to share my faith with others. I’m free from the power of sin that had me bound for so long. My freedom is found in Jesus.” He summarizes his life with, “No one has done so much evil that God will not forgive them.”
If you think that Berkowitz doesn’t deserve heaven, you’re right. But neither do you nor I. Jesus said, “No one is good except God alone” (Mark 10:18). But surely some sin is worse than others? Certainly in terms of earthly consequences, but in view of Divine judgment it’s all the same. “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23). So the objection is moot.
If the thought of Berkowitz in heaven makes you think less of it, you’re sitting in the shade with Jonah pouting about God’s compassion. Jesus said, “I have not come to call the righteous” (Luke 5:32). That’d be the person that is too good to share heaven with those “sinners.” Every sinner needs the same Savior, the same cross, the same compassion.
We cannot truly grasp the extent of God’s vast and abiding love. The Bible says, “But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared, He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Tit. 3:4-7). That kindness, mercy, and grace is the same for Berkowitz as it is for you.
The cry from a repentant heart to the Lord Jesus Christ is a prayer He will hear. I don’t know Berkowitz’s heart, but I can say this. If he’s too bad for God to forgive, then we all are. Heaven will be full of people redeemed from even more wickedness than shown on cable TV. The feast is booked, paid in full by Jesus. See you there!