10 Biblical Realities to Consider About Capital Punishment

10 Biblical Realities To Consider About Capital Punishment

For the first time since 2005, this past week, the state of Arkansas fulfilled the death penalty. Ledell Lee was found guilty of the 1993 death of 26-year-old Debra Reese of Jacksonville, Arkansas. In 1995, Lee was found guilty of striking Debra Reese three dozen times and strangling her to death. Ledell Lee was the first of eight prisoners on Arkansas’ death row scheduled for execution over an 11-day period. Ledell Lee’s sentence was carried out and he was pronounced dead on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at 11:56 p.m.

10 Biblical Realities to Consider About Capital Punishment

Christians should practice a biblical worldview about life and all the issues we encounter. The only way to do this is to always see issues through biblical lenses that will help us navigate to a biblical conclusion.

I want to keep these 10 biblical realities as simple and clear as possible, not just for effective communication, but also to equip you to understand some of what the Bible says about capital punishment. However, this simplicity and clarity does not diminish the enormous complexity of this issue. As we wrestle through this issue, we do so with humility and honesty, not with arrogance or judgment toward anyone.

Here are 10 biblical realities to keep in mind as we consider what is right or wrong about capital punishment and the administration of it by those in authority.

1. Every human life is made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:27)

2. The Scripture does not permit the taking of any innocent human life. (Exodus 20:13)

3. Perfection in a judicial system is impossible due to our fallen human nature. (Genesis 3; Romans 3:10, 23)

4. According to Scripture, capital punishment is permissible if the evidence about the accused is more than clear, overwhelming and just. (Genesis 9:6)

5. The justice system must be equitable and just regardless of race, class or culture. (Deuteronomy 19:15)

6. Every person should always be treated with the highest dignity, including those who receive capital punishment, by administering it in the most benevolent way possible. (Genesis 1:27)

7. Eternal salvation is possible for anyone awaiting capital punishment, through their personal repentance from sin and faith in Jesus Christ and Him alone. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

8. While closure may be reached emotionally for the victim’s family and friends, it is also a stark reminder that their loved one is gone for the rest of their lives on this earth. (James 4:13-15)

9. The loss is severe, painful and final for the family who loses their loved one through capital punishment. (James 4:13-15)

10. Prayer for wisdom for those deciding the punishment of those proven guilty is imperative. Additionally, fervent, compassionate prayer should be offered for the families involved in this unfortunate and needless circumstance. (Romans 13:1-4)

Keeping these 10 biblical realities in mind may help you as you work through this complex issue. Regardless of where you may end up in and through your thought processes, always remember: Life is a gift from God.

From the womb all the way through death itself, the dignity of human life should be held in the highest and most sacred manner.

Now Is the Time to Lead,

Ronnie W. Floyd
Senior Pastor, Cross Church

This article originally appeared here.

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Ronnie Floyd
Dr. Ronnie Floyd has been a pastor for over 37 years and was recently elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention. His experience, wisdom and passion for God make him a powerful proclaimer of God’s Word. He teaches principles from the Bible that encourage and uplift thousands of people all over the world via TV, Internet, podcasts, radio, speaking engagements and books.