We've released a new version of SermonCentral! Read the release notes here.
Text Illustrations
The year was 1992. A man was on parole for child molesting. His fellow apartment renters complained of odors and chainsaw noises. When the police searched his apartment, they found it full of skulls, headless torsos and body parts. He would murder, mutilate and sometimes cannibalized boys and men. Police believed he was doing this for over 10 years. His name was Jeffrey Dahmer.


Jeffrey Dahmer committed more than the 17 murders, which he confessed to. Dhamer was characterized as the necrophiliac who had cannibalized young men in his Milwaukee apartment. Dahmer was sentenced to serve 941 years in prison = 15 life sentences. If he lived he would be dismissed no earlier than March 2934. As it turned out, he served less than three years.


But in May of 1994, six months before his death he was baptized in the prison whirlpool. One story goes something like this. In his weekly Bible study, Jeffrey Dahmer pondered the Book of Revelation. Chapter 9 prophesied about scorpions that would so torture sinners that they would beg for death. Dahmer reflected on his previous request at his trial that he die for his crimes. The option was denied by Wisconsin law.


The Rev. Roy Ratcliff, the one who baptized Jeffrey Dahmer, shared: “Sometimes people ask me if Jeff was sincere about his faith. I’m not sure what they’re looking for, but I get the impression they’re hoping I’ll say he was not sincere, and thus all this talk about his conversion is just talk, but has no basis in truth. To answer that question, I often tell the story where Jeff once confided to me that he felt very remorseful for his crimes. He said he thought the state should have put him to death for what he’d done. I agreed with him. I told him I thought his crimes deserved his death also. He followed that thought up with this question, “If that is the case, then am I sinning against God by living?” I don’t think anyone could ask that question without a sincere heart. The question posed other questions about suicide or doing something to get someone to kill him, but I thought he was very sincere about his sins and his desire to be right with God. If that meant his own death, then he was willing to accept that. No one can get more sincere than that.”