Is All Sin Equal To God?
Many people today believe that all sins are equal. I think
we've all heard someone say, "Sin is Sin!" Well, if that's
true, then our children talking back to us would be just
as bad as if they went out and murdered somebody.
Come on people, this line of thinking cannot be correct
because it completely ignores matters of the heart,
common sense, and what the Bible really teaches.
Maybe that’s why we have a society today where
character is ignored and more and more dangerous
criminals are not getting the punishment they deserve.
If all sins are equal, we wouldn't even be able to tell the
difference between Adolf Hitler and John the Baptist.
Therefore, both of them would be allowed to babysit
our children if they were alive today. Right? Wrong!
ALL sins do separate us from God.
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death…"
Without Jesus, all sins lead to death and judgment,
but that doesn't mean that all sins are equal.
I believe the Bible teaches they are not equal
because all sins are not punished in the same way.
The Old Testament tells us that God assigned
different penalties to certain sins. This
suggests that certain sins differ in seriousness.
Under the Old Testament law, a thief paid restitution; an
occult practitioner was cut off from Israel; and one who
committed adultery or a homosexual act was put to death.
Exodus 22:1-31; Leviticus 20:1-27
Luke 11:23-24 says, "If the miracles that were
performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would
have remained to this day. But I tell you that it will be more
bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you."
Because these people refused to soften their hearts, Jesus
tells them that they will have an even harsher judgement and
punishment than two towns destroyed for their wickedness.
So, some sins are worse than others.
In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul says, "Flee from sexual
immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his
body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body."
The Holy Spirit of God inspired Paul to express
that sexual sin is different from other sins.
Because the sin is against the human body, Christians
commit the sin against the dwelling place of God's Holy
Spirit. Paul said, "All other sins are outside the body."
Jesus suggested that some sins are worse than others when He
told the Pharisees they were straining at a gnat (something little,
but still bad) but swallowed a camel (something bigger and worse).
Remember Jesus’ words to Pilate? He said, "The one who
handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin". John 19:11
The phrase, "greater sin," is there in black
and white. Jesus made it clear that those who
should have known better held greater guilt.
Jesus "came to that which was his own,
but his own did not receive him". John 1:11
Pilate’s sin did not compete with theirs.
One who knew his master’s will but did not fulfill it will
suffer more than one who did not know. Luke 12:47,48
In Matthew 7:3, Jesus mocks someone who struggles
with great sin but takes it upon himself to fix another
person who commits a less serious sin. "Why do you
look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye
and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?"
Basically Jesus is saying that those who
commit and struggle with worse sins ought
not to nit-pick those with lesser struggles.
Jesus clearly used an example of two things not
equal in size or severity to each other when he
compared a "speck of sawdust" and a "plank."
Some sins simply bring harsher consequences than others
and reveal a heart that is farther separated from God.
John told us that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer.
God’s law convicts me for even thinking about killing the
neighbor whose dog keeps destroying my flowerbed.
Our desires may sometimes be similar to those in the world,
but Christians should try to do what is right by listening to
the Holy Spirit of God, rather than our own egos or hormones.
In the case of my neighbor, I would be wrong to say,
"Thinking about it is just as bad as actually killing him."
Likewise, I obviously should not say, "I’ve
already thought it, I might as well murder him."
We should not justify smaller sins. All sins deserve
God’s judgment, but not all receive the same judgment.
We face danger, however, in attempting to justify
our sins by their size. Every sin will lead us to hell
if we don't have the Grace and Forgiveness of Jesus.
God Offers Forgiveness. Every sin - no matter how large -
can be forgiven and swallowed in God’s infinite ocean of Grace.
Just as God forgives those who turn from their wicked ways,
so should we. God offers salvation to even the most wicked.
1 John 1:7 tells us, "The blood of Jesus purifies us
from every sin". God is willing to forgive all!
Jesus equates committing adultery with having
lust in your heart and committing murder with
having hatred in your heart. Matthew 5:21-28
However, this does not mean the sins are equal.
What Jesus was trying to get across to the
Pharisees is that sin is still sin even if you only
want to do the act, without actually carrying it out.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ day taught that
it was okay to think about anything you wanted
to, as long as you did not act on those desires.
Jesus is forcing them to realize that God judges a person’s
thoughts as well as his actions. Jesus proclaimed that our
actions are the result of what is in our heart. Matthew 12:34
So, although Jesus said that lust and adultery are both
sins, that does not mean they are equal. It is much worse
to actually murder a person than it is to simply hate a
person, even though they are both sins in God’s sight.
There are degrees to sin. Some sins are worse
than others but every sin will lead us to hell if we
don't have the grace and forgiveness of Jesus.