Current Events Monday: It’s Not Too Late

James Hassell   -  

“Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” (2 Chronicles 33:13)

Have you considered how lost and unredeemed some of our world leaders appear? Think about the case of Vladimir Putin. He obviously refuses to abide by any sort of biblical standard when it comes to living peaceably with his neighbors. We may even find ourselves considering the possibility that Putin and his contemporaries can never become children of God. Is he too far gone to become a forgiven follower of Jesus Christ? And how do we know when or if someone’s hope for being saved by Christ is totally deleted?

Putin’s views on religion and Christianity could be characterized as vastly different from ours. His seems to be a nominal faith steeped in a biased historical rendering of Eastern Orthodoxy. In fact, you can read about some of his views and how they related to the war in Ukraine here:

EXPLAINER: How is Russia-Ukraine war linked to religion? – ABC News (

Putin has evaded most questions from the media concerning his religious views. His legal actions in the past few years regarding worship and evangelism in Russia seem to indicate a disdain for faith groups that don’t tow his line. For instance, in 2016, evangelism outside the doors of a church building became vaguely illegal. Last October, Putin began punishing certain religious groups that were deemed “extremist” with excessive prison sentences. Religious liberty groups have grown increasingly worried that the freedom gained at the fall of the Soviet Union may be regressing back into the shadows under his tyranny.

Given all this dark evidence, could Putin ever come to saving faith in Christ? A glimpse at the life of King Manasseh may help illuminate an answer to this question.

Manasseh became one of the longest reigning kings of Judah at the age of twelve. Despite his being raised by the godly man, Hezekiah, Manasseh “did evil in the sign of the Lord.” A list of Manasseh’s atrocities, recorded in 2 Chronicles 33 and 2 Kings 21, are difficult to fathom due to his being so evil. For example, Manasseh shed so much innocent blood with violence that “he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another” (2 Kings 21:16). It is even documented that Manasseh made his own children walk into fire as a form of witchcraft (2 Chronicles 33:6).

Yet, there came a point in Manasseh’s life where he cried out to God for mercy. He specifically prayed after being tortured by the Assyrians. The Bible then indicates that Manasseh humbled himself to the point of supplicating, or begging for mercy, before the Lord. He then came into a saving relationship with God by grace through faith (2 Chronicles 33:13). After his conversion, Manasseh set about to right much of his wrongs including the removing of idols, becoming a person of peace, and declaring by decree that the people should turn themselves to God (2 Chronicles 33:16).

Manasseh’s story indicates that no one is too far gone for the Lord. Jesus taught us that the only unpardonable sin is “blasphemy of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 12:25-32).” Such blasphemy occurs when one departs this earthly life having denied with finality that Jesus is Lord. Jesus seems to be stating here that we have a chance to get right with God until we draw our last breath. It’s only too late when we die and thus face the judgement of God.

My prayer in this current crisis is that God would use the pressure being put on Putin to draw the recalcitrant Russian leader to faith. Like Manasseh, I pray that Putin would come to such a point that he cries out to God for grace and salvation. Can you imagine what his conversion would mean to our world at this critical season? I believe that if Putin were to get saved, God’s glory would pour out like rain on the earth.

Whether he likes it or not, Putin has a date with destiny with the rest of us. All will eventually bow down before Christ. I pray that Putin and our lost neighbors do so in this life, while they still have time.