We all know some groups are not redeemable. Democrats, heretics who think Christ can be your friend, those who abuse children. If they aren’t redeemable, then they aren’t worth trying to save? Or are they?
First, to understand who can be redeemed, it helps to understand just what it takes. It takes acknowledging sin and being willing to fully accept the consequences. We assure people’s failure to repent when we encourage them to justify whatever they have done that is wrong or to avoid the consequences.
Recognition and restitution do not occur in people who do not admit their sin to be unjustified sin in the first place. Without those two steps, there is no forgiveness of sin, be it small or large.
Second, true recognition requires true confession, which in many cases requires public acknowledgment.
Third, it requires the kind of transformation that only occurs when someone is willing to accept permanent limits on future behavior. Think of those who buried their weapons in the earth. They were willing to accept limits and foreclose themselves from future temptation. In a similar vein, in Europe sexual offenders often choose therapeutic castration to avoid temptation or backsliding.
So, if we hide sins, if we allow people justification, if we let them avoid the full consequences of secular law, if we do not encourage them to set permanent future limits, we inhibit repentance and basically confirm that the person really isn’t worth trying to save and really can’t repent. Regardless of what justice requires, mercy requires that we help offenders through these steps.