It’s impossible for us to be holy like You and we should never think that we are, I figure thinking that would be a sin itself.
I figure anything we do physically that Jesus wouldn’t do is a sin, but what about…
Jeremiah Carried to Tahpanhes in Egypt
1 And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words,
2 Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:
3 But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon.
4 So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, and all the people, obeyed not the voice of the LORD, to dwell in the land of Judah.
5 But Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces, took all the remnant of Judah, that were returned from all nations, whither they had been driven, to dwell in the land of Judah;
6 Even men, and women, and children, and the king’s daughters, and every person that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had left with Gedaliah the son of Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Jeremiah the prophet, and Baruch the son of Neriah.
7 So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the LORD: thus came they even to Tahpanhes.
8 Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying,
9 Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah;
“Pharaoh’s house” – not necessarily his main residence. One of the Elephantine papyri, e.g., mentions the “king’s house,” apparently a more modest dwelling for Pharaoh’s use when he visited Elephantine in southern Egypt.
10 And say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.
11 And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.
“He shall smite…Egypt” – a fragmentary text now owned by the British Museum in London states that Nebuchadnezzar carried out a punitive expedition against Egypt in his 37th year (568-567 B.C.) during the reign of Pharaoh Amisis (see Eze 29:17-20).
12 And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace.
13 He shall break also the images of Beth-shemesh, that is in the land of Egypt; and the houses of the gods of the Egyptians shall he burn with fire.
“Images of Beth-shemesh…in the land of Egypt” – the qualifying phrase is used to distinguish the site from “Beth-shemesh, which belongeth to Judah” (2 Kgs 14:11). The Egyptian city is probably to be identified with the Heliopolis (Greek for “city of the sun”), On in Hebrew.
Are All Sin’s Equal in the Eyes of God?
Many think that all sins are equal in the eyes of God and I believe this is both true and false. The sins are all seen equally in the eyes of God, but the severity of punishment is different. To explain this better let’s first look at how God views people.
God loves everyone in the world (Jn 3:16), the good and the bad. He doesn’t love anyone more than someone else:
“Then Peter opened his mouth and said, of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons:
But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35).
As Moses explained:
“For the LORD you God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty and a terrible, which regardeth not person, nor taketh reward.
He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow and loveth the stranger, in giving Him food and raiment” (Deut 10:17-18).
Paul was also clear on this:
“Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also of the Gentiles (anyone that isn’t a Jew)? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
Seeing it is one God which shall justify the circumcision (of the heart) by faith and uncircumcision through faith” (Rom 3:29-30).
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Rom 10:11).
Yet, even though God loves everyone the same, He doesn’t treat everyone the same because He does have His favorites. For example, God and Moses were close friends:
“And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend… (Ex 33:11).
And the LORD said unto Moses, I will do this thing also that thou hast spoken: for thou hast found grace in my sight and I know thee by name.
And he said, I beseech thee, shew me thy glory.
And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.
And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live.
And the LORD said, behold, there is a place by me and thou shalt stand upon a rock:
And it shall come to pass while my glory passeth by that I will put thee in a clift of the rock and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
And I will take away mine hand and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen” (Ex 33:17-23).
“For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion (Rom 9:15).
Abraham was also a friend to God:
“But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend” (Isa 41:8).
God hates evil:
“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate” (Prov 8:13).
Sin is evil and God hates evil. All sins, but one, are the same. It doesn’t matter if you steal a candy bar or murder someone, they are both sins and God hates them both equally.
Just like the people that commit the sins, He doesn’t feel any different from the person that stole the candy bar or murdered someone. He is angry and hurt equally by both parties.
To me, I would say that idolatry is the worst thing you can do to God, but I’m wrong. Loving Jesus but ignoring Him is just as bad, and again, just as bad as stealing a candy bar.
Why it is this way is because any sin takes you away from God, we have turned our backs on Him:
“Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened that it cannot save; neither His ear heave that it cannot hear.
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God and your sins have hid His face from you that He will not hear” (Isa 59:1-2).
The one sin that is worse than any other and is unforgiveable is blasphemy of the Holy Ghost:
“Verily I say unto you , all sins shall be forgiven unto the sons of men, and blasphemies wherewith soever they shall blaspheme:
But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hat never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation” (Mk 3:28-29).
“Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men.
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come” (Matt 12:31-32).
Born-Again (Jn 1-7)
How God deals with a believer when he or she sins is probably different with each person because I don’t believe anyone has the exact same relationship with God, and especially in regard to those that have a personal relationship with Jesus (these two relationships are different).
Yet, I am certain that once a person accepts Jesus into their heart, whether they have a personal relationship with Jesus or not, all the sins they had committed prior to that must be paid for. I say this due to my personal relationship with Jesus and what the author of Hebrews says:
“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.
Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons (unbelievers).
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees;
And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Heb 1-15).
Once you are born-again and paid for your past sins that doesn’t mean you can you have the right to sin:
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of the one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man’s disobedience (Adam) many were made sinners, so by the obedience (Jesus) of one shall many be made abound:
Moreover the law entered, that the offense might about. But where sin abounded grace did much more abound;
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.”
“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin live any longer therein?
Know ye not that so many of us as baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death?
Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death (this is not baptism by water): that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”
“Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.”
“For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom 5:18-21 and 6:1-4, 11-12, 14).
Even after being born-again we will continue to sin:
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23).
We can’t help but sin. What Paul says below explains this very clearly, but still it doesn’t mean you can freely sin, and I explain this under what Paul says here:
“For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom 7:15-25 and 8:1).
What Paul is basically saying is that if your heart is true to God then He doesn’t even acknowledge that we sinned.
Yet, if you sin willfully, in spite of God, it’s different story:
“For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,
But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (10:26-27).
The following scripture, just like the one directly above, pertains only to those that are born-again:
“‘For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
And have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come,
If they shall fall away to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame” (Heb 6:4-6).
Many say that once you are saved you can’t lose your salvation. The above scripture says otherwise. If you walk away from God after He has given you a new life you blaspheme the Holy Ghost and it is not forgiven.
How Not to Sin
So how do we not sin? As I said above, we will always sin in this world because it is full of sin and we were born into sin. But we don ‘t have to sin willfully and God is here to help:
“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God’s faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Cor 10:13).
The Non-Believer and Sin
I am unsure, but I do not believe that God does anything to non-believers when they sin because they will get their punishment in the end.
Many people believe that everybody will stand before Jesus in the end and this is true. Yet, many believe that everyone will be punished for our sins at that time, this is untrue.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor 5:10).
When someone is born-again and tries not to sin their sin is already forgiven:
“He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in mercy.
He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger forever.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward tem that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west so far hath he removed our transgressions from us” (Ps 103:7-12).
Once God forgives us for our sins they are forgotten and He will not bring them up again.
We will all stand before Jesus on judgment day, but the believers and non-believers will not be together:
“Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous” (Ps 1:5).
Punishment and Rewards
When we, the believers, stand before Jesus we will be given our rewards:
“And behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be” (Rev 22:12).
The non-believers will be cast into to hell:
“But the fearful and unbelieving and the abominable and murderers and whoremongers and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” (Rev 21:8).
The Severity of Punishment
I told you at the beginning that the punishment of sins is different. All non-believers will spend eternity in hell, but the severity of the punishments are different:
“And that servant, which knew his lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes.
But he that knew not and did commit things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given or him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much of him they will ask the more” (Lk 12:47-48).
So for example, people that just don’t believe in Jesus will go to hell but the pain they will go through for eternity will not be as bad as those that believe in Jesus but don’t walk His way, like those that go to psychics and things (Ex 22:18; Lev 19:31).
Or if you believe in Jesus but you prefer the life of the world your punishment will be great:
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world.
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (1 Jn 2:15-17).
Yet, those that preach only part of the gospel, like many pastors, they will be punished even more so, and the false teachers even more so. There are pastors and preachers teaching the saints that they do not need to stop sinning and even that to try to stop sinning will just make you sin more.
Pope Francis who tells people they don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven and also that if they will watch him on Twitter, when they die they’ll do less time in Purgatory.
I believe these types and idolaters will be punished the most, but I’m not God so I don’t know, that’s just my perception
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple” (Rom 16:17-18).
If you follow their words you will find yourself in hell, your punishment will not be as great as theirs, but you’ll still spend eternity in hell.
I understand Rom 3:23:
“For all have come short of the glory of God.”
…fear, is that a sin?