Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.
- Ecclesiastes 8:11
Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood I be shed: for in the image of God made He man.
- Genesis 9:6
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth:
But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.
- Matthew 5:38-39
And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.
- Deuteronomy 19:21
Moreover ye shall take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer, which is guilty of death: but he shall be surely put to death.
- Numbers 35:31
For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
- Romans 13:3-4
Mr. Roberts thought for a moment and then replied, "I understand that you are scheduled for a kidney operation in the near future, is that correct?"
"Yes, in two weeks."
"Well, I find operations to be both cruel and primitive. I think that there are more educational and loving ways to deal with those who have serious diseases."
"You are mistaken," Mr. Thompson replied. "If my one kidney is not removed, the disease will spread throughout my entire body. My doctor is not cruel; he is acting for my health and welfare!"
"Precisely!" Mr. Roberts agreed. "As the painful cutting out of one organ is best for the health of your entire body, so the cutting off of a member who has committed murder is best for the health and welfare of that society. If he is not 'cut out,' the disease of murder will spread throughout the entire body of people. Therefore God has commanded the exercising of capital punishment in His Word."
"That is a clear illustration; I never thought of it that way," Mr. Thompson replied. "But God's commands to exercise capital punishment are Old Testament commands, aren't they? Didn't Jesus teach us not to require an eye for an eye anymore, but to forgive and to turn the other cheek?"
"Jesus' teaching in the Sermon on the Mount that 'whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also' refers to personal dealings with others. If someone wrongs me, I am not to seek personal revenge. This instruction, however, is not referring to a government's response to crime. In Genesis 9, after the flood, God gave universal rules to Noah and his descendants for establishing order in the post-flood world, of which one command was, 'whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed.' The New Testament upholds this truth. When speaking of the duties of governments in Romans 13, it states, 'If thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he (the government; the rulers) beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.' "
What results will be witnessed in societies which replace God's requirement of capital punishment for premeditated murder with man's self-designed penalties?