“God Can Save Anyone” – A Common Line Used to Keep Abuse Victims in Bondage

Heb 3:18-19 And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? (19) So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

You hear this all the time from pastors and professing Christians – God can save anyone. There is no one who cannot be saved.” This is an absolutely false and unbiblical statement that continues to do great harm to many. It enables evildoers. Let’s think this through.

Now, it is true that God desires all to be saved:

1Ti 2:3-4 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, (4) who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I mean, don’t you desire all people to be saved? Of course. It should not surprise us therefore that God desires the same. But all people are not going to be saved. Many are going to hell. So why, if “God can save anyone” does hell even exist?

The truth is that God actually cannot save everyone. You might say it this way – God will not save everyone. God will not save, for instance, the conscienceless sociopath or pedophile or domestic abuser who keeps right on walking in evil. God desired all the Israelites in the wilderness to be saved. But He could not save them? Why? Because God does not save the unbelieving and unrepentant. The Scripture says it clearly – they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

The Bible tells us that there are people we call reprobates. Esau was one of them. They are described like this:

Heb 6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, (5) and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, (6) and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.

Heb 12:15-17 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; (16) that no one is sexually immoral or unholy like Esau, who sold his birthright for a single meal. (17) For you know that afterward, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no chance to repent, though he sought it with tears.

Mat 12:31-32 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. (32) And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

These Scriptures are enough to prove absolutely that this statement that “no one is beyond the grace of God” or “There is no one who God cannot save” are plainly false teachings that are never found in Scripture. What we do find in scripture (see 1 Cor 10 and Hebrews 3 & 6 for instance) are repeated warnings that we do not harden our hearts against Christ and end in hell.

In practice, this means that we shake the dust off our shoes and move on when people hard heartedly spurn Christ. We don’t keep doing what God doesn’t even do. We don’t boastfully exalt ourselves about how through our love and mercy and grace we are going to lead this guy to Christ. And we certainly don’t guilt and shame victims of wicked people, telling them that God requires them to just keep praying for the fellow, just keep submitting to him, just keep loving him. No. We tell them what the Lord tells us – don’t even eat with such a person (1 Cor 5).

Recently I was reading Katherine Ramsland’s book on the BTK serial killer, Dennis Rader. Rader was a professing Christian, the president of his church congregation. For decades he fulfilled his perverted sexual cravings by binding, torturing, and killing nearly a dozen people then going back home and resuming his fatherly, “Christian” disguise. After he was finally caught, his daughter had to come to terms with who her father really was in contrast to the man she thought she knew. She wrote in a letter to him after he had been imprisoned:

Should I tell you that I grew up adoring you, that you were the sunshine of my life…true, even if it is coming out jaded and bitter now. But really, who could blame me? Hey, it’s okay to yell at your father all you want when he’s a serial killer….

In the next breath I want to ask if you’re staying warm at night….I’m so sorry that you’re alone in that small cold concrete cell and sometimes I wish I could give you a hug.

Now, we absolutely can empathize with this poor lady. Talk about undergoing cognitive dissonance! No criticisms of her for any of these thoughts.

But…listen to what she was told and taught in her church. Ramsland notes:

But she did not send [this letter]. Instead, she pondered the importance of forgiveness, thanks to support from members of her church.

Kerri again wrote to Rader, to let him know that she had good memories of him as a father and that she forgave him. ‘I don’t know if I will ever be able to make it for a visit but I know that I love you and hope to see you in heaven some day.’

And here is the false teaching in action, you see. “Praise the Lord” all these professing Christians say. “Not even this sadistic, unrepentant, demonic counterfeit serial killer is beyond Jesus’ saving grace. We may even see him in heaven.” And they pronounce forgiveness upon him. How? No one can forgive sins but God alone. Rader’s primary sins were not against his daughter. They were against the murdered, tortured women whose homes he crept into, who he bound, who he tortured, and who he killed. Do they have any say in this pronouncement of forgiveness?

Dennis Rader, you see, is beyond God’s saving grace. God cannot save Dennis Rader because Rader is reprobate. In spite of hearing of Christ, this wicked man willfully despised Christ, hardened his heart, and crossed a line from which there is no return. Rader will never be in heaven. Never.

So don’t fall for this lie that God can save anyone. God desired that Rader be saved. But God will not save him. And God will not save that domestic abuser who has willfully hardened his heart, spit upon the cross of Christ, and continued to wear a saintly disguise as a fine Christian, all the while without conscience abusing his wife or molesting children. For such people, Jesus says:

Mat 18:6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

And all to the praise of God’s glorious justice.

24 thoughts on ““God Can Save Anyone” – A Common Line Used to Keep Abuse Victims in Bondage

  1. Debby

    I honestly struggle with this. Where IS that “line” between a Hitler and a Mother Teresa? Who decides the line and who has crossed it as far as the possibility of salvation goes? If it’s us, its,arbitrary and fickle. If its God, then we humans have no business trying to figure it out. I remember the movie The Shack. My overriding thought was “so I see the abusive father repentant, reconciling, in heaven. But I DON’T see the child’s murderer. It confused me. For practical purposes, I see we humans must make wise fellowship decisions, but since forgiveness is for US, to help US heal, and bc Jesus paid our penalty for OUR sin so forgiveness of others is required, then why WOULDN’T she forgive (for his lies to her)? I THINK what you are saying is that her dad (and the murderer in my movie) would never have a heart that could do that. But what about Nicki Cruz? Which brings me back to “where is the line?” Like I said, I struggle w this!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Jeff Crippen

      Debby – no its not an easy topic. But God has not only decided, he has also told us in his Word what such people look like. In addition, he has shown us that he does not forgive everyone and that we are not required to forgive everyone either. The issue comes down to the definition of forgiveness. We are not God. We cannot forgive another person’s guilt. Nor are we to forgive in the sense of reconciling relationship with the wicked. And in particular we are not to forgive and reconcile with someone who claims to be a Christian but who habitually and unrepentantly walks in sin (1Cor 5). Teaching victims that they must forgive their abuser in any other sense than not seeking personal revenge is wrong and only adds to their bondage.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Jeff Crippen

      By the way Debby, Mother Theresa was not a Christian. She was a universalist and denied (as does Rome) justification by faith alone in Christ alone.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. healinginhim

    Powerful message. Thank you Pastor Crippen.
    Each passing day brings me closer to the realization of just how hardened my abusers are. The deceit and mind-games continue and yet so many think they are such fine citizens.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Anonymous

    We do have the power to forgive — or to not forgive. It’s the Office of the Keys. What we forgive here on earth, is forgiven in heaven, too. What we do not forgive here on earth, is NOT forgiven in heaven.

    People who sin need God’s forgiveness, for sure, but in order to reconcile their relationships with the person they wronged, they need the person’s forgiveness.

    But it goes back to the Office of the Keys. How does that play into everything, Pastor Crippen? Remember when Stephen was being stoned to death, he prayed that his stoners be forgiven and then died. Doesn’t that go back to the Office of the Keys?

    I think it’s the devil’s doing that this cheap grace, forgive all, chase people down with your all-forgiving, forever turning the cheek, tolerance and unconditional love and grace……GARBAGE is so widely taught, and rammed down people’s throats and basically brainwashed into Christians.

    I don’t know the movie being referenced in Debby’s comment, but it’s telling that someone would be brainwashed to a point where we don’t know how to treat Hitler. I’ve read someone saying that one can find the good in everyone and Hitler was a dog-lover, so there….. I want to scream when I read stuff like that.

    The BTK killer isn’t going to be in heaven. Nope. And thankfully so! Can you imagine what horror heaven would be if our abusers, predators, and serial killers are there?!

    I personally take comfort in knowing there is a hell and that the wicked will be going there.

    Will you comment, Pastor Crippen, about the Office of the Keys and things like that? I thought we needed forgiveness from both the person we wronged/sinned against, as well as God’s forgiveness. Maybe it’s only God’s forgiveness that is needed. Perhaps the servant and master and the two different debts parable was to just show how humbled people need to be when thinking about their great debts (sins) against God being forgiven. It’s all kind of unclear for me. I’d hate to think we are beholden to everyone we have ever erred against, sinned against, were harsh towards, unkind, etc. but then again, when I am the victim, and it’s my abusers and other criminal victimizers, who are proud and absolutely unrepentant, I’d hope that my unforgiveness towards their evildoing counts for something. They should have to seek me out and my forgiveness. Maybe not. I’m not sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff Crippen

      Anonymous – good questions. First of all, I don’t like to use the phrase “the office of the keys.” It is not a biblical term but a Roman Catholic one established by Rome’s false teaching and false authority. Consider these verses to get the Bible’s terminology and context:

      Mat 16:18-20 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (19) I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (20) Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

      Isa 22:22 And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.

      Rev 1:17-18 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, (18) and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.

      Joh 20:22-23 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. (23) If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.”

      1Co 5:4-5 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, (5) you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

      Now, notice carefully that none of these verses have anything to do with personal forgiveness of someone who has wronged me as an individual. What they do concern is the church, the fellowship of real believers, having the authority to make judgment that someone who is a professing Christian is in fact a counterfeit and is to be put out of the church. In addition, the really fundamental key that the body of Christ possesses is the gospel. The gospel is the key to entrance into the kingdom of God and rejection of it is to turn the key into that which locks the unbeliever out of the kingdom. Opening and closing, you see. So when the Lord told the Apostles that what they forgave, he forgives and what they withheld forgiveness from, he withholds forgiveness, He is telling us as the body of Christ that when someone hears and believes the gospel and is born again, we can assure them that they are in the kingdom. And when someone rejects Christ, we can assure them that they are not in His kingdom. The gospel is our key, you see.

      But when it comes to dealing with someone who has sinned against us, the concept of keys really doesn’t come into play. In these cases we understand that there are 3 kinds of forgiveness, one of which applies always and two of which often do not. First there is the forgiveness by which we do not take personal vengeance against the sinner. We leave that to the Lord. This does not mean that we cannot call the police or testify against the person in court and so on. Secondly, there is the forgiveness that we could call relational forgiveness. That is to say, reconciliation of relationship. Now this is only going to happen if the guilty party is truly repentant, but even then we are not bound to reconcile in all cases. A rape victim, for instance, should not re-establish a relationship with the rapist even if there was one before the crime. Finally, there is the judicial forgiveness of the guilt and God is the only one who can exercise this kind of forgiveness.

      I hope that helps.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Anonymous

        You bet it helps! That was most informative. The way you described things and the lining up the Scripture makes sense.

        I think it was you who said that Bible verses (at least some or most of them) are like condensed soup — we have to unpack them.

        I learn so much. Blessings to you, Pastor Crippen!

        Liked by 1 person

    2. Stormy

      Yes I too have hoped that the abusers and his flying monkeys would own their misdeeds. They never have even when given ample opportunity. It is because they do not have the Holy spirit. As true Christians we are grieved by hurting others. We have the desire to restore those we’ve hurt. The wicked person does not care if they hurt you or me. In fact we deserved their abuse. (Hard to wrap our head around I know) They don’t play by the same rules. They don’t want to grow as people and they reject the inclination to examine themselves. Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit does within us when we trust Christ? Yes! He gently reveals our weaknesses so that we can repent. If that isn’t happening in the life of a professing believer I doubt their salvation. My abusers corrected my doctrine while they were sinning and bullying me. It was horrific.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Jeff Crippen

        Stormy – These are wise words. Thank you. “We deserved their abuse” is exactly how the abuser thinks. Fully justified in using whatever tactics are necessary to gain control and power. No conscience. Never wrong. Never apologize.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Stormy

          Yes Pastor Crippen I spoke to one of my abusers who refused to acknowledge any of her deeds. Refused to accept any real responsiblity. Refused to acknowledge the pain she caused. To her I was an object an object that deserved the abuse she hurled at me. She has been a teacher in a Christian school for years.

          It was a sad conversation. Realizing the depth of her evil the darkness in her heart. The lack of love, the jealousy of me for no good reason. It was a conversation I needed to have because it left no doubt in my mind where she stood.

          It was disappointing that she has never repented and honestly hasn’t given me a single thought. Her destruction to my life was deserved in her own eyes. I was treated like garbage but worse. All by a group of professing Christians who were and still are nothing more than hard hearted bullies. Continuing to make meager excuses for the pain they caused others.

          Still no Holy Spirit after years of professing how much they love Jesus. Still no acknowledgment of the sorrow they caused and am sure they continue to bring to every situation in their lives including their own homes. It’s hard to stare evil in the face. It’s hard for us to live in such a place. I guess that’s part of why this earth is not our home. We are foreigners here like the Bible says. Soujourners n a foreign land.

          Liked by 2 people

  4. GypsyAngel

    My Pastor, Brother, Friend and I have this discussion from time to time. He is convinced that I need to change my personal stance on narcissistic abusers. Though interestingly, he is also quite adamant about my not falling back in with my ex-husband, that I not take the bait of “reformed abuser.” I am repeatedly told that my ministry for the abuse survivor will most likely not prosper because I teach survivors not to take that bait. In specific, he believes that my thinking is skewed because I firmly believe that short of a miracle from God, the leopard will never change its spots and I teach this. I believe, he believes (as he has said as much) I’m walking in unforgiveness for my ex, and this has colored my thinking though I have explained that this is not the case. [a bit of background, he and his wife (one of my best friends and sisters in Christ) are licensed marriage counselors with a wonderful marriage ministry.]
    I am having a hard time reconciling with this (and I wonder if, in fact, I have not forgiven the ex). Because I KNOW that God will save, but I also know how unlikely it is for the abuser to take the steps that will lead to their salvation or reconciled relationship with God. How do I change my heart, and my thinking to include the possibility of the abuser repenting(changing how they think) and reforming(changing how they act), but still give my people the information to choose to keep from going back once they have left? I’ve tried to explain trauma bonding to him, and why it is so vital that survivors don’t fall into the “I’ve changed, I’ve gotten better” trap. My people get it for the most part, but I also want to be faithful to scriptural teaching in this arena. And I most certainly do NOT want to misrepresent the word of God, but neither do I want to open a door of misunderstanding that may cause a survivor to return to an abuser and lose their life.
    For now, I continue with the stance that they will not change, and God has to do a work in them for it to honestly happen(don’t hold your breath). If you have any suggestions on how I might modify what and how I teach I would appreciate it. Though this article has given me a good starting place, I could use some more input I think. Thank You.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jeff Crippen

      GypsyAngel – There is nothing wrong with your thinking. The error is on your friends’ part. Over and over again I have been told the same old line – “God can change anyone. You are not forgiving.” That is bogus. We need to stand firm and not be manipulated into error by people like this. How do we love our enemy? By calling an ambulance and rendering first aid when we find them in a smashed up car. We don’t drive by them. But they remain our enemy – by their own choosing. We don’t hug them. We don’t reconcile relationship with them. The Bible speaks a lot about people who God has sworn not to save. “I swore in my wrath, they shall not enter the land.”

      So it is a fallacy to insist that God can save anyone. And in particular, Scripture identifies the chief kind of reprobate (ie, non-savable person). It is the person of Hebrews 6:4-6. The person who has heard the gospel, the person who has professed Christ, the person who springs up quickly and for all appearances has been born again. But then, like a dog returning to his vomit he spurns Christ and goes back to the world. Esau was just such a person and for him no repentance was possible (see Hebrews 12).

      We can indeed identify people like this, or at least who we are to treat as apostates (another term for the reprobate). We can because, for instance, 1 John 5 says there are people we are not to pray for. Just as Jeremiah was told by the Lord not to pray for his wicked countrymen because God had handed them over to judgment.

      So the abuser, for instance, who so typically has claimed to be a fine Christian for years and years. Who even becomes a pillar in his church. The guy who is the “go to” guy in the church or who parades as the finest Christian husband and father – but who in reality hates and abuses his wife — we are to treat such a person as a reprobate. Put him out from among us, thereby handing him over to Satan. (1 Cor 5). You will notice that in 1 Cor 5 the Lord does not tell the church to pray for this poor guy. Nope. Put him out. Don’t even eat with such a one.

      I have been a pastor now for 36 years. In all that time, in dealing with scores and scores of wicked people who were hypocrites and paraded as fine saints, all the while working their secret evils in the church and in their homes….in all that time NOT A SINGLE ONE has ever repented. Not one. I have never heard from any of them, and they all know how to contact me. But never, ever one has ever called and said “I have been a hypocrite. I have sinned grievously. Please forgive me.” Never happened. You know what DID happen? They went right on down the road to another church and resumed their same hypocrisy and evil.

      So be encouraged. YOU are on the right track!!

      Liked by 2 people

      1. GypsyAngel

        Thank You, Ps. Crippen. That IS encouraging. I get concerned when I think I’m “missing the mark.” And I don’t want to be a source of someone else committing sin especially when it comes to relationships.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. anonymous

        Your last paragraph is helpful to me. I’ve often wondered if I am not a hypocrite and all, because I am certainly not perfect and because of horrific trauma, abuse, and victimization, it really mangled my personality and I’m a much worse person these days. I’ve lashed out, I’ve raged, I’ve been abusive and I’ve had a short fuse at times. So I worry that by going to church I’ll taint it somehow, being a hypocrite and others being turned off and away from Christianity and the Lord’s House by my trigger-prone, PTSD-riddled self.

        Thankfully, we now have CRC and it’s online congregation!

        Abuse is so serious. The poison and danger posed by abuse cannot be overlooked. Abuse is murder. If severe enough and prolonged, it murder’s and deforms the victim’s spirit, psyche, and personality. Thankfully, Pastor Crippen speaks out and has this ministry!!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. anonymous

            That’s so good to know. And it makes sense, too.

            The power of false accusations.

            There’s a Bible verse in Psalms, I think, where it talks of the wicked/enemy who says “Aha, Aha!”

            Thankfully, in combating what abusers and bad/false doctrine do to our minds and spirits, we have your ministry and your words of wisdom, Pastor Crippen.

            Thanks!!

            Like

  5. walkinginlight

    I would like to say that the movie THE SHACK is not what it seems to be. It was mentioned above. If you would like the truth concerning this movie please go to: [Edited for content. Moderators cannot approve of links to sites we are not familiar with. However, we certainly agree that the theology of The Shack is very, very questionable]. The Lord was prompting me all day to come back to this post and write this. We are truly living in the days Jesus spoke of that even the very elect will be deceived if possible. Many blessings to everyone.
    MARANATHA!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. walkinginlight

    Note: This comment would best fit over at my other blog, Light for Dark Times, but I do thank walkinginlight for submitting it and we will publish it here. And in fact this subject (false teaching of universalism, a false Jesus and so on) does indeed promote evil and abuse in the churches. The idea that in the end everyone is saved goes right along with the churches protecting the wicked and insisting that we accept everyone, including victims of these abusers.

    Please warn your family members and church members about this movie [The Shack]. The movie will pull at the heart strings of people’s emotions, but it will be pulling them in the wrong direction – away from the cross and toward a universalistic, panentheistic false “Christ”. Universalism is a belief that everyone will eventually go to heaven, and that any punishment will only be temporal.

    Mysticism is rooted in panentheism -, which believes God is in ALL things, and pantheism – ALL is God. William P. Young (author of the Shack) has a book out called “Lies we believe about God”, which is an imprint of Simon & Schuster, just out. In it, he says – when asked about universal salvation, these are his words, “that is exactly what I’m saying”. And then goes on to teach that every single human being is in Christ, and that Christ is in them. The Shack is New Age leaven.

    This information is taken from two discernment ministries I have known and been with for twenty years. They try to warn Christians of new age teachings that have crept in the church under the guise of “Christianity”. I also think of these dear people as “Watchmen On The Wall” as that is what they do for the Lord. All through the years, if I saw something that didn’t sit right with me at a church or “revival” they would be able to explain it from a biblical apologetic viewpoint. I am sure the moderator has a difficult and busy job reviewing all the posts we make and it needs to be done for protection. I would like to encourage them in any spare time they may have to check out the discernment websites I had mentioned. They have been a huge blessing to me to putting the pieces of the puzzle together with the apostasy Jesus warned of, just like Pastor Crippen helping us to put the pieces together with the tactics of abusers and their allies in the church.

    Thank you for your hard work.

    Liked by 2 people

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