Doubting the Grace of God
By Dr. Ken Matto
- (Isa 59:1 KJV) Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither
his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
- This writing is not going to focus on whether God can save a person, it is going to
focus on the fact that the Grace of God does not exclude any of His Elect, no matter what
they have done as unsaved people. What triggered the idea for this writing is that I
received some e-mails from people and some Christians that I have spoken with who find it
extremely hard to believe that David Berkowitz, formerly the Son of Sam,
now the Son of Hope, has become saved. Many people have met with him, including myself,
and have found his salvation experience to be real. Many people feel that he is faking it
and hoping to use religion as a way of getting paroled. David was sentenced to
life plus three hundred fifty years in prison. He knows he is not getting out of jail but
he wishes to serve the Lord who has saved him. Much of his ministry in prison is helping
the chaplain set up the chapel and helping with the spiritual affairs of the other men,
plus making videos which are designed to minister to the youth. He told me personally,
that sometimes he is happy to get back to his cell because he is so tired at the end
of the day. A brother I know, Rich Delfino, who introduced me to David
gave me a good point concerning those Christians who disbelieve that Davids
salvation is real. It is a logical point and it bears meditation. Why would anyone
want to fake being a Christian, in a prison, when you are a murderer among other murderers
(like minds), plus the prison is full of Muslims. If David was going to fake it, then why
didnt he start in 1978 when he went to prison? What benefit would he derive
from faking it? David was saved in 1987 in Sullivan County Correctional Facility where he
- The next person that comes to mind is Karla Faye Tucker. She was executed for her crimes on February 3, 1998 in Texas.
Before she was executed, she too had become saved and all the skeptics believed that she
wanted to use her religion to get out of prison. She knew she would not be
released but the reason she wanted to live was that she felt she could serve the Lord and
help prevent others from a life of crime. This she did for fifteen years before her
execution, which would have been plenty of time to evaluate whether she was saved or just
- The final person I want to use as an example of the saving Grace of God is a man named
Phil Reardon who is serving a fifty five year sentence for murder in Trenton State Prison,
with a mandatory serve of 30 years. Phil became a vibrant Christian in prison. He now has
a ministry with a monthly news letter called "Inside Perspective." It is based
on Christianity inside the walls of a prison. For those of you who are not from New
Jersey, Trenton State Prison is one of the most roughest in the country.
- Now, I am not writing this to elicit parole sympathy for Christian prisoners, but to
raise the reality among Christians and those of other faiths, that God can and does save
murderers as well as fornicators and drunks. I am also not downplaying the severity of the
crimes of these individuals. They took lives and hurt family and friends of the victims.
Murder is a terminal crime in that the victim will never be seen alive again.
- I believe it is very hypocritical for Christians to rejoice when a drunk is saved but
when a murderer is saved, they completely close their eyes to the reality of their
salvation experience and tell others to do refute it also. Unfortunately, this is not
casting doubt upon the individual, but upon the saving Grace of God. It is also an
accusation against God that He is violating His own Scriptures. Whenever, we start making
accusations against Christians, we better make sure those accusations have foundation or
else we may be making accusations against God. Just because a person is a high profile
individual does not mean it will have an effect upon the Grace of God. In fact, when a
person is high profile, they are under more scrutiny than any average Christian.
- The three Christians that I mention above are high profile and God saving them is a
testimony to the saving Grace of God and is a witness to the entire world that no one is
beyond the saving Grace of God. If God has named a person to be saved from the foundation
of the world, He will accomplish that salvation in that persons life, no matter what
they have done. MY BRETHREN, THIS IS THE ESSENCE OF FORGIVENESS! (Mat 12:31 KJV)
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men:
but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. This verse
needs to be heeded when broaching a subject like this. Jesus said that ALL sin will be
forgiven except blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Certainly murder falls within the
All sin category. Why do we have such a hard time believing that God can save
a high profile murderer? I will tell you why, because we believe the biased media over
believing God and His Word. The fact that God can and does forgive murderers is well
documented in the Bible we so ignorantly neglect. Let us look at a few murderers in the
Bible who were recipients of the saving Grace of God.
- (Exo 2:12 KJV) And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no
man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand.
- Here is Moses killing an Egyptian, yet God called him meek. (Num 12:3 KJV) (Now the
man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
What could have turned the heart of a murderer into the heart of a meek man? Nothing but
the blood of Jesus. Moses was transformed from a murderer into a meek man by the saving
Grace of God. Look at his testimony in the following forty years.
- (2 Ki 21:6 KJV) And he made his son pass through the fire, and observed times, and used
enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in
the sight of the LORD, to provoke him to anger.
- Here King Manasseh was so idolatrous that he made his son die in a human sacrifice. The
fact that he made his son a human sacrifice means he killed him, even if he was only
watching the event. (2 Chr 33:13 KJV) And prayed unto him: and he was entreated of him,
and heard his supplication, and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then
Manasseh knew that the LORD he was God. Then further on we read that Manasseh had
prayed unto the Lord and the Lord heard him. God only hears the prayers of His children as
the Bible teaches. Manasseh then instituted reforms and cleansed the temple. Now what
could cause a man like Manasseh to go from being a murdering idolater to a believing king?
Only the saving Grace of God can do a transformation like that.
- (2 Sam 11:15 KJV) And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of
the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
- David had sinned with Bathsheba and in an attempt to hide his sin, he engaged in a
conspiracy of murder against Uriah, who was a faithful soldier. Uriah was finally killed
and David thought his problems were solved. Until a year later when Nathan the Prophet
comes to him and confronts him with his sin. Nathan tells David something very encouraging
to a man in his position. (2 Sam 12:13 KJV) And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned
against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin;
thou shalt not die. Nathan told David that his sin was already forgiven, yet there was
consequences for his act of sin against God. It is the same with the three Christian
prisoners I mentioned. Their sins are forgiven but they must pay for their crimes
according to the law. Why was Davids sin already forgiven? Simple, because David was
named and chosen before the foundation of the world as one of Gods Elect. (Eph
1:4 KJV) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we
should be holy and without blame before him in love: The Old Testament Saints were
saved the same way we are today, through the Grace of God.
- Final Thoughts
- Have you heard of Charles Tex Watson and Susan Sadie Atkins?
These were two of the followers of Charles Manson who helped with the Tate-LaBianca
murders in 1969. Both of these people have become Christians. They are the only two out of
the followers of Manson who have become saved. Watson has become a Minister and has a
website called Abounding
Love Ministries. What would make followers of someone like Manson
turn around? The saving Grace of God. As Christians, we need to stop believing that God
can only save a certain group of people and the others are out of His grasp. David
Berkowitz was a serial killer in 1977-78, but now he has been washed clean by the Blood of
the Lamb. As Christians, if we send doubting signals to the world about Gods ability
to save, then we must also ask if God is able to save us? Remember, the statement of Jesus
when He said that all manner of sin will be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy
Spirit. As Christians, we must stop standing with Satans people and casting shadows
of doubt upon Gods Saving Grace. If we are not sure about someones salvation,
then we need to say that, and not automatically discount it as false. Reserve comment
until you are sure. If you are wrong, you will be slandering a Child of God by calling
them a child of Satan and you may be found hurting whatever work God is doing in them. (John
7:24 KJV) Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. Make
sure you have all the facts. You may sound righteous to a group of friends, but before
God, you will be found to be a fool.
(Acts 10:15 KJV) And the voice spake unto him again the second
time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.