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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56 Comments

  1. Nancy Niño says:

    I’m learning more and more of the Bible.

  2. Jason Norris says:

    Thank you for the clarification. Now I will pray and dive into the living word of Jesus! Glory be to God, Jehovah!

  3. Kathleen Nemec says:

    I always liked Billy Graham. God bless his soul.

  4. Lydia says:

    From God’s view what then are the greatest wrongs.

    1. BGEA says:

      Hi Lydia, as Billy Graham mentioned in his answer, it can be dangerous and difficult to list sins by what is worst in God’s eyes. Here is more of what he has to say about that: https://billygraham.org/story/billy-grahams-answer-what-is-sin-are-all-sins-equal-in-gods-eyes/

      The one sin that the Bible says is unforgivable is the sin of ultimately denying Jesus Christ. Here is more about that: https://billygraham.org/answer/will-god-forgive-my-big-sins/

      We hope these links are helpful to you. Thank you for your comment and God bless you. -BGEA team

  5. Daniel Mansell says:

    Thank you.

  6. Cynthia says:

    The Bible said Christ died for our sin, yet it says every man will pay according to his sin. I don’t understand clearly.

    1. BGEA says:

      Cynthia, while Jesus paid the price for our sins and offers us forgiveness when we ask for it, we do still often experience consequences of our sin in this life. This short article may also be helpful: https://billygraham.org/answer/if-jesus-has-forgiven-all-our-sins-then-why-do-we-have-to-stand-before-god-and-be-judged-when-we-die-what-is-left-for-god-to-judge-if-all-our-sins-have-been-taken-away/