TITLE: 10 Commandments - Do not Murder
By Mark E Crossley
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Wordnet.Com describes murder as an “Unlawful premeditated killing of another human being by a human being”. We as believers know that one of the famous Ten Commandments found in Exodus 20 verse 13 says “You shall not murder”.
The bible therefore pulls no punches when it comes to this area but why when in the United Kingdom there are people such as Fred West, Ian Huntley & Harold Shipman, as well as others in the world such as the 9/11 bombers who despite this biblical commandments still carry out such atrocities.
Dependant upon where someone murders in the world the degree of punishments vary significantly because various factors are taken into account; what a load of old codswallop!;
if you take another life you should spend the rest of your life in prison and not let off for good behaviour as in the UK judicial system and spend as little as 6 years in jail or sentenced to death by hanging in some cases in middle eastern countries.
There are a number of real life questions we need to ask ourselves and perhaps in your cell group you can discuss your responses to these as believers:
1. If someone murdered a close friend, someone you are emotionally involved with or perhaps someone in your family would you instantly forgive them or seek to have revenge if you found out who they are?
2. Are we sympathetic to those who find Christ in prison, how do we as believers minister to these people as a prison ministry and when they find God then how can God use these people in jail?
3. Would you accept or reject a known murderer into your church if he had served a sentence and been released early from a life sentence (Should life mean life)? If so would you be wary or judge them because of this?
4. Should there be mercy & grace for those who kill others after repentance?
5. Do women & children get off more lightly than men with regards to sentencing?
6. Can God ever forgive someone who genuinely repents of murdering another individual?
7. Do we as believers think as in some parts of the world these individuals should receive some kind of capital and corporal punishment and is this justice where injustice has taken place – “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” or perhaps is this enough as one man writes “If you murder an innocent man you are responsible for the blood of his unborn descendants, and the weight of this responsibility is yours to carry to the end of time?
8. What can the modern day church do to minister to victims of crime? Is the church doing enough in conjunction with the authorities to tackle the causes of this crime, why people do it and to try more to prevent it in our communities or if it is meant to happen it will no matter what we do to stop it this will occur anyway?
The simple fact is God says “Do not murder” as we refer back to Exodus 20 and if we go against this commandment we not only have to face God on judgement day but also face the consequences of the Law of the Land to where we live in the world.
Just because we are believers or non believer and then come to Christ we cannot escape both the spiritual and natural laws & consequences God created and we have to face up to the error of our ways whether we like the punishment or not! God Bless you as you discuss this area in your church.
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