Common Sense Christian

The Thinking Christian’s Site

Daily Devotional – August 22



The next series of devotionals may require you to don your thinking cap and interact. 


Jeffrey Dahmer (please click on the the link if you are unfamiliar with the name) claimed to have accepted the Lord Jesus as his personal savior at an early age (For more information click here).  He later went on to kill 17 boys, many of them he ate.  In prison, Jeffrey Dahmer again made a profession of faith, and was later murdered.

Question:  Do you think Jeffrey Dahmer could be in heaven today? 


August 22, 2006 - Posted by | Daily Devotional


  1. Yes.

    Comment by Helen Losse | August 22, 2006 | Reply

  2. could be there, yes.
    if I hope to attain glory, and I do, I pray God’s mercy and grace are sufficient for both of us. gratefully there will be no press there to call attention to all the murderers and rapists that made it ( under the wire)
    its God’s party, he invites whom he wishes.

    Comment by yshua | August 22, 2006 | Reply

  3. Hi Yshua!

    Good to hear from you.

    Helen, Good answer–know it wasn’t much of a challenge. So let’s throw something else into the equation:

    Let’s mix it up a bit. Say that Jeffrey’s prison “conversion” never took place. What then?


    Comment by bereans | August 22, 2006 | Reply

  4. Same answer. Yes. What if he never claimed to have accepted Jeus at all? Yes. If salvation is truly by faith, then it’s by faith, not by letting me know about it. The word “could” makes any other answer seem as though I think I can read God’s mind. I can’t, and I have no idea whether Dahmer was sincere or not, but God knows.

    Comment by Helen Losse | August 22, 2006 | Reply

  5. Ok, Helen, you have jumped far ahead of many Christians. Today’s gospel in many churches seems to be, “If you do this or don’t do that you have never been saved”. Conditional salvation has so obfuscated the teachings of grace and God’s love toward us.

    Warm up today…Tomorrow’s is a toughie (well, maybe not for you:)


    Comment by bereans | August 23, 2006 | Reply

  6. Wow, that is tough. His crimes were gruesome. However, if you go back to his childhood, you can see how tough he did have it- neglected by both parents it seems, the mutilation of animals. Obviously, he had some severe psychiatric problems that were left untreated and he seemed to live most of his days unloved- something no human being deserves.
    I do not think that any human being in their right mind could act as he did. My question is, if he is not in a stable state of mind throughout his life, how do we know he is when he claims to have accepted Christ? We do not- God only does, as Helen states. Is Jeffrey Dahmer in Heaven? We will never know while on this Earth. Could he be? Yes.
    Of course, if you asked the family members of the victims, out of grief they surely would say “He will burn in hell for eternity.” Forgiveness is as difficult as it is beautiful.
    A friend of mine was murdered a little more than 5 years ago. I will never forget the weekend it all went down. We were organizing a street hockey game for that week, and I came home from Cape Cod to emails organizing it- then an email stating that our friend Jon had been missing for two days. My heart immediately sank and I knew something bad had happened. It did.
    We all miss Jon and it seems no one will forgive Gary Sampson for the murders he committed that week. But they were all victims of circumstance as well- Gary Sampson came back to Massachusetts and phoned the FBI to turn himself in on bank robbery charges in NC- his call was disconnected by an FBI dispatcher, but Sampson still waited for two hours to be picked up. But the dispatcher did nothing about it, Sampson went on to kill. Sampson had mental issues as a child that also went uncared for. His depression lead him to drugs and alcoholism, a life of crime as a transvestite robbing banks in North Carolina. I never thought I would forgive him for what he has done, and I honestly do not know if I do. I want to, but its difficult to when I remember his family and all of our friends at Jon’s funeral.
    Gary Sampson says he is sorry for what he had done, and I believe him. At that point, he had nothing to gain or lose, and while he should spend the rest of his life incarcerated, I dont believe in him being put to death, I do not believe in the death penalty for anyone. But the decision has been rendered, and until the day he dies, I pray that he does everything in his power to show sincere remorse and pray for forgiveness. I hope his soul can be saved, I really do. If he could go back in time, I dont think he would repeat the acts. And what if the FBI dispatcher had not disconnected the call, or at least tried to trace it back?
    I pray for the strength to forgive him and I have only gotten closer to it. I think about Jon’s family all the time, and Sampson’s family as well, and the stigma they bear because one of their own committed such a heinous act against three great people. How difficult must that be for them? I dont think a day goes by where they wonder what went wrong or what they could have done differently.

    Comment by chickenhawk | August 23, 2006 | Reply

  7. Wow, CH! This is the wonderful thing about blogging–sharing something like this that ultimately makes others like me grow.

    You mentioned forgiveness, and it is always easy to counsel someone else to do it, most difficult for oneself. My understanding of forgiveness in the scripture is that it is more to the benefit of the forgiver than it is for the “forgivee”. I harbored resentment in my heart for years against a particular individual, and because of it, was controlled by that person (even though they were unaware of it). When they experienced successes, I was unhappy–even hearing about them was almost a palpable pain in my chest. When I finally forgave them and spoke to them MY burden was lifted. What was interesting was that the individual had no idea I felt the way I did and had forgotten the incident altogether.

    As Christians we often try to compare ourselves to other people and think that we are better than others, that we don’t sin as much or we would never do something like Jeffrey Dahmer did, but the truth of the matter is, that we are all tremendously flawed. Romans 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: demonstrates our need for forgiveness–and thankfully God has made it easy enough for us by our simply asking for it.

    Thanks for sharing the story, CH! We needed it.


    Comment by bereans | August 23, 2006 | Reply

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