The Justice Department announced on Thursday that the federal government will resume its use of the death penalty, after a 16-year hiatus. The executions for five inmates have already been scheduled for upcoming months. Capital punishment has been a contentious issue in our country, with many progressive states curtailing or outlawing it entirely.
The death penalty is a testimony to the value of life. As God told Noah when he renewed his covenant with humanity: “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image” (Genesis 9:6). Of course, individual Christians should show love and forgiveness to their enemies, refusing to take vengeance into their own hands. But the government itself “does not bear the sword in vain” and “carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer” through its justice system (Romans 13:4).
We live in an age of squeamishness and relativism, when many governments are abdicating this God-given responsibility. But capital punishment should be the way our society pronounces its righteous judgment on the most heinous crimes committed by the most evil men. By saying “no” to evil, we say “yes” to life.
God, we ask that those in authority would carry through on their responsibilities to serve our country well. May they carry out the just penalties of convicted criminals, who have sought to destroy your image-bearers through violence and murder. Give our entire society the moral clarity to defend life by punishing those who destroy it. We ask that our justice system would function well, allowing the innocent to go free while convicting and punishing the guilty.
About First Baptist Dallas and Dr. Robert Jeffress
Dr. Robert Jeffress is a best-selling author of 24 books, a nationally and internationally syndicated TV and radio host and the senior pastor of First Baptist Dallas, one of the largest and most influential churches in America. Pathway to Victory, Dr. Jeffress’ broadcast ministry, airs daily nationwide on more than 900 radio stations and is broadcast live to 195 countries. His latest book, “Choosing the Extraordinary Life,” is available in bookstores everywhere. He is an evangelical adviser to the president of the United States, Donald J. Trump.