When it comes to the death penalty, many people remain confused whether it is still applicable in a supposed sophisticated culture such as ours. What many Christians do not realize is that the death penalty was established by God immediately after Noah got off the Ark. Due to global violence in Noah's era God had to destroy the human race and start humanity all over with Noah and his family. In order to prevent the unhindered growth of murder once again, God implemented the death penalty with the rebirth of a new civilization through Noah's family line. The death penalty that God implemented was given even before the Law of God was given to Moses. It is a creation mandate that was given at the beginning of a new world after the global flood. The application of this law was to all mankind and it is perpetual as long as the earth remains.
"Surely for your lifeblood I will demand a reckoning; from the hand of every beast I will require it, and from the hand of every man's brother I will require the life of man. Whoever sheds man's blood, By man his blood shall be shed; For in the image of God He made man." Genesis 9: 5, 6.
One of the most common objections to the death penalty is the supposed belief that God is against it because he prohibits killing in the Ten Commandments. However, God is not saying all killing should not occur. Here he authorizes the state to take the life of a murderer so that murder should not be allowed to occur and multiply. If it was true that God forbade all killing then it would contradict the death penalty provision that he gave to Noah following the flood. The reality is that capital punishment is God's idea. He instituted it to deal with murderers so that global violence would not occur once again as it did prior to the flood.
The principle justifying capital punishment is based on the sanctity of human life. Man is made in God's image. God was so concerned about the sanctity and value of life that he made it mandatory that murderers are to be executed by the state. Every human being bears the image of God. When one murders another human - it is basically an attack on God since the murdered person bears God's image. Only God has the authority to take the life that bears his image. He delegated the authority to kill another human to the state when ever a murderer purposely destroys the image of God in another human.
So, the bottom line is that capital punishment is a valid biblical principle today for all mankind. We are actually seeing a rise in violence today because the state has stopped implementing capital punishment. Despite what socialists may say to the contrary, God says the elimination of capital punishment encourages the growth of criminal activity.
When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, people’s hearts are filled with schemes to do wrong. Ecclesiastes 8: 11
When society breaks God's laws, his laws wind up breaking us. God hates the shedding of innocent blood so much that he wiped out mankind from the earth because of both their violent nature and violent actions. The death penalty was given to mankind as a protection from the uncontrolled growth of violence. Yet, our leaders ignore God's commands and act like they are gods determining good and evil for themselves. Many Christian leaders will argue that we are now under the New Testament dispensation or age of grace and no longer under God's law. However, the death penalty was given even before God gave Moses the law. Also, in Romans 13 God reinforces the call for the death penalty in describing the duties of the government when it comes to bearing the sword against those who are evil doers committing murder. The sword is an instrument of death which the government was authorized to use against those committing crimes.