Are there degrees of sinfulness? Do you think that God makes a list of our sins and sets some sin apart from other sin? Something like this…
Debbie was a huge gossiper. She spread lies about others all the time. She never said she was sorry. She never confessed she was doing wrong, yet she went to church every Sunday and started stories about members in the church. It was habitual.
John was a murderer. He intentionally killed someone because he was mad at the person. He planned it out, stalked out the man and killed him deliberately. He confessed to God his sins and was truly sorry for what he did.
Who is worse? Which one deserves heaven? I know, it is making you think isn’t it?
Let’s think about this biblically. There was Matthew the tax collector (an occupation that was despised by all because of the habit of stealing from others), Zacchaeus (also a tax collector in Luke 19:1-10), Paul the apostle (who terrorized anyone following and preaching for Jesus), the Woman at the Well (who had many husbands and was living with a man out of wedlock John 4), the people with Leprosy (who were thought to be very sinful to deserve such a horrible disease), King David (who had Uriah killed and impregnated his wife, Bathsheba – II Samuel 11), and many many more examples can be found in the bible.
So do you think any of these people are in heaven? What is the key to each one of these stories?
- Matthew repented and became one of the 12 disciples
- Zacchaeus asked for forgiveness and repaid those he had stolen from more than enough – actually to the point that it bankrupted him
- The Woman at the Well – felt for the first time that someone loved her, not for her body, but for her true self. She repented and was forgiven
- People with Leprosy – Jesus sat with these people, healed them and loved them through their disease which was sickening to some people who thought he was mingling with sinful people. They weren’t sinful and Jesus proved that with his healing. No one is beneath Jesus. Everyone is accepted into His Kingdom. You just have to believe
- King David – went into seclusion, lost his first born son and prayed for God’s forgiveness. He was granted that forgiveness and David’s heart was once again open to hearing God’s Will.
Here is the deal. We all sin. No sin is greater than another, but what do you do with your sin. Do you hide it so that God won’t see it? Do you tuck it away in a closet in hopes that your friends and family won’t notice? Do you continue to sin and not be sorry about it? Do you confess it to God, accept his forgiveness and learn from your mistake?
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if other people around you are sinning. You shouldn’t even be worried about them. Worry about yourself. What are you doing that YOU need to change? What could hold you back at heaven’s gate? What is keeping you from opening your heart to Jesus Christ?