Does God Destroy or Redeem the Fallen? - The Warrior's Journey®

Does God Destroy or Redeem the Fallen?

Author: Chaplain, COL Scott McChrystal, USA (Ret.)

. Photo by is licensed under CC By 2.0

“I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” (Romans 12:1) 

Offer up your bodies as a living sacrifice? Over and over Paul has been telling us that the body is the source of all our problems. Our sin-corrupted bodies crave evil and wage war on our born-again spirits that yearn to do God’s will (Romans 7:18-24). Paul refers to it as “the body of this death” (Romans 7:24) and commands us to “put to death its deeds” by the Spirit’s power (Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5). Paul even says that our bodies are dead because of sin’s ravages upon it (Romans 8:10) and longs for the day when we’re finally delivered from it (Romans 8:23). Now Paul is saying that we should offer this unclean and troublesome thing to God as a holy and pleasing sacrifice? Wouldn’t a painful back-lashing be more fitting for the body? No, says Paul. Consecrate it to God by using it to serve and glorify Him. For God is not in the business of destruction, but redemption.   

Ever hear of the von Trapp family? They were the family portrayed in the motion picture, The Sound of Music. The von Trapps fled their homeland Austria in 1938 after it was annexed to Nazi Germany.  Before leaving Austria, Georg and Maria von Trapp deeded their mansion over to a religious order, the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. Nazis confiscated the villa. Much to the horror of the von Trapp family, Heinrich Himmler – the architect of the Holocaust and head of the SS – used this very house as his headquarters. In fact, Himmler set up his personal office in Georg von Trapp’s own study, from which he directed the most hideous crimes against humanity. After Germany capitulated to the Allies, the American military returned the house to the von Trapp family, who gave it back to the Missionaries of the Precious Blood in 1948. Today the old von Trapp Villa serves to train seminarians who are studying for the priesthood. Visitors, however, are sometimes puzzled to find that Heinrich Himmler’s personal office, the very center of evil, has been converted into – a chapel!   

“How could such an evil place be used for religious purposes? Hasn’t that room been defiled beyond all hope of redemption?” Not in God’s hands. The very message of the Gospel is that no one is beyond the reach of God’s grace. Sure, it would be easier to incinerate sinners. But Christ came to save them (Luke 19:10). Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Matthew 9:13). Everyone that serves in the Lord’s Army once served in Satan’s. Don’t forget, the only material God has from which to make saints – is sinners. It’s perfectly appropriate that good take possession of evil. This is the ultimate triumph – not the eradication of evil, but its transformation into good. 


  • In Romans 6:13 Paul told us to do what with “the members” of our body? 
  • Does God expect perfection from us before He’ll use us for His glory? 
  • Let’s give our lives and bodies, with all their imperfections, to God for His use. 

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