Answers

By   •   June 1, 2004   •   Topics:

Billy Graham

Q:

Are all sins the same in God’s eyes?


A:

It is always difficult and dangerous to attempt to list sins according to their degree of seriousness. In one sense, all sins are equal in that they all separate us from God. The Bible’s statement, “For the wages of sin is death …” (Romans 6:23), applies to all sin, whether in thought, word, or deed.

At the same time, it seems obvious that some sins are worse than others in both motivation and effects, and should be judged accordingly. Stealing a loaf of bread is vastly different than exterminating a million people. Sins may also differ at their root.

Theologians have sought for centuries to determine what the essence of sin is. Some have chosen sensuality, others selfishness, and still others pride or unbelief. In the Old Testament, God applied different penalties to different sins, suggesting variations in the seriousness of some sins. A thief paid restitution; an occult practitioner was cut off from Israel; one who committed adultery or a homosexual act or cursed his parents was put to death (see Exodus, chapter 22 and Leviticus, chapter 20).

In the New Testament Jesus said it would be more bearable on the day of judgment for Sodom than for Capernaum because of Capernaum’s unbelief and refusal to repent after witnessing His miracles (Matthew 11:23-24). The sins of Sodom were identified in Ezekiel 16:21 as arrogance, gluttony, indifference to the poor and needy, haughtiness, and “detestable things.”

When Jesus spoke of his second coming and judgment, he warned that among those deserving punishment some would “be beaten with many blows” and others “with few blows” (Luke 12:47-48). He also reserved His most fierce denunciations for the pride and unbelief of the religious leaders, not the sexually immoral (Matthew 23:13-36).

However, remember that whether our sins are relatively small or great, they will place us in hell apart from God’s grace. The good news is that Jesus paid the penalty for our sins and the sins of the whole world at the Cross. If we will repent and turn to Jesus in faith, our sins will be forgiven, and we will receive the gift of eternal life.

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46 Comments

  1. Rob says:

    Thank you.

  2. Valerie M Smith says:

    Very well explained.
    Thank you

  3. Roberta Carmon says:

    This answered all of my questions. The scriptures explained everything. Thank you!!! I have watched Billy Graham since I was a little girl. You have touched me in so many ways. I thank God for you. Sincerely, Roberta

  4. caleb says:

    I love the end

  5. Destiny says:

    What happens if you know you are sinning, ask for forgiveness but keep doing the same thing? I see people saying ,”I know I’m going to be forgiven, so it’s really between me and God.” I have a hard time with that.

    1. Jacob Gardner says:

      We shouldn’t keep sinning even though God will forgive us. Remember to be saved that means we must repent of our sins and call on the name of the Lord. Now what’s repentance; repentance is basically turning away from your sinful nature, if you’re about to do something and the Holy Spirit convicts you and tells you not to do it, then you shouldn’t do it. It’s like driving to strip club and then realizing what you’re doing and turning around and going home. Which basically means if you’re sinning and you realize what you’re doing is wrong than don’t do it

    2. Kundai says:

      “What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? By no means! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer?” (Romans 6 v 1 and 2). God is full of unending mercy, but to continue to sin knowingly, counting on God to save us, is abusing His grace and seemingly mocking the faith as a whole, and that’s very dangerous territory because any offence against the Holy Spirit becomes an unpardonable error.

  6. Kelly Aguilar says:

    I am grateful for Billy Graham (Gods obedient servant). I have as a babe in the Lord received his monthly letters.

  7. Dave says:

    I thought sin is sin. if you’ve broken one you’ve broken them all and in the Old Testament, God’s punishments were in that way because Christ had not yet paid the penalty for sin. maybe I’m wrong in not completely understanding his word but man does have a tendency to distort God’s word to his likeness so which is it? In the world there are different punishments according to man’s laws, I understand this. is sin the same?

  8. Rev. pratap kumar vidudhala says:

    I would like to hear your life history. Thank God for choosing me for this work. If possible please send me commentary about King David.

  9. Richard Pilon says:

    That is a tough question and all I can say that the saved are under grace. The sin in man’s eyes are way different and when we start to go back to the old testament and see what God did to the people for what they did, it is good for us not to do the same. But if we are saved we hope not to sin in any way against Jesus but we are under grace. Paul had thousands of Christians killed and God turned his life around greatly so if you know it’s wrong, don’t do it and you should be ok. But no matter what, sin is sin and only God can forgive and truly knows you, so trust in him and not man and what they believe. Trust in God.