Greater Sins

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by gators_2006, Dec 2, 2013.

  1. gators_2006

    gators_2006
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    I have a question that a student asked in youth this past Sunday. In a nutshell, he basically asked, is there different levels to hell.

    The reason behind it, was he mentioned, was that all our lives we are taught that sin is sin, no matter what the sin, ask for forgiveness and all is forgiven. He knows that and agrees with that. However, with the numerous mentions in the bible about homosexuality and sexual immorality being detestable to God, and that Jesus said to the pharisees that they would be given a greater condemnation, he was wanting to know if there was different "levels" to hell.

    It was also thrown around that the reason the Bible is so clear on some of these detestable sins, was to give us warning. That when you look back at history, what is one of the biggest things that lead to a nations, or better yet, a individuals downfall, it's always one of these specifically mentioned sins that bring them down.

    If we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and the wages of sin is death and we are condemned to a live in hell if we choose not to follow God and accept Christ as our savior, then what would constitute in a "greater condemnation"?

    I hope I worded this well enough that you all understand what the question was that was presented to the class yesterday morning. This was more or less the discussion that was brought before the class.
     
  2. webdog

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    Jesus' words imply there is...

    "I tell you, on the judgment day it will be worse for the people of that town than for the people of Sodom."
     
  3. kyredneck

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    So where is Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum now?
     
  4. Inspector Javert

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    :thumbsup: I would agree as well. :thumbsup: Jesus also spoke of servants who would be beaten with "many stripes" and "few stripes". (This in relation to available information and responsibility to respond to available revelation).

    I think the key is that "sin is sin" in the sense that all sin is sufficient to condemn us eternally to punishment. And, furthermore, even the "whitest of lies" is quite literally INFINITELY offensive compared to the standard of perfection demanded by a perfectly Holy God.
    But that does not mean that from a different frame of reference, certain sins or lifestyles of sins is not worthy of greater punishment.

    My perception from Scripture, is that it is as much related to available revelation as anything else though.
     
  5. Aaron

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    Depends whether one is on earth or in heaven.

    On earth, there are degrees of unrighteousness, and each is dealt with accordingly—on earth. From the point of view of Heaven, there is only good or evil, corrupt or whole. Those who are whole enter in, and those who are corrupt are cast out, and there is weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.
     
  6. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Biblically, there is definite teaching that there are different levels of hell -- at least in the sense that there are various degrees of punishment. The Bible does not specifically mention higher or lower levels of hell in the location sense, but it does allude to degrees of punishment and sins.

    The implication of these three passages is that there is a greater punishment for rejecting Jesus than there is for even the most atrocious sins in the Old Testament.

    Matthew 10, NASB
    15 "Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

    Matthew 11
    23 "And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day.
    24 "Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you."

    Luke 10
    13 "Woe to you, Chorazin ! Woe to you, Bethsaida ! For if the miracles had been performed in Tyre and Sidon which occurred in you, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes.
    14 "But it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the judgment than for you.​

    These passage appears to indicate that the greater our knowledge, the greater our responsibility. Also, it indicates the greater our punishment if we fail in our responsibility (this is in relation to unbelievers).

    Luke 12
    47 "And that slave who knew his master's will and did not get ready or act in accord with his will, will receive many lashes,
    48 but the one who did not know it, and committed deeds worthy of a flogging, will receive but few. From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and to whom they entrusted much, of him they will ask all the more. ​

    The tax collector records Jesus' warning to the Pharisees that they will be judged more harshly. Note, the brackets around the verse indicate some controversy over whether these words were actually spoken by Jesus, or added either deliberately or by accident when a scribe recorded margin notes as actual text.

    Matthew
    14 ["Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense you make long prayers ; therefore you will receive greater condemnation.]" ​

    Jesus specifically attributes Judas's betrayal as a greater sin than Pontius Pilate's.

    John 19
    11 Jesus answered, "You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above ; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin."​

    Finally, the writer of Hebrews speaks of those who would trample the name of Jesus underfoot.

    Hebrews 10
    29 How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? ​

    This latter, of course, speaks of the one who rejects Christ in this life. As Jesus speaks of greater condemnation for Chorazin and Bethsaida than Tyre and Sidon, one slave received more punishment than another, the one who delivered Jesus to Pilate has the greater sin (John 19:11), a more severe punishment is reserved for those who trample underfoot the Son of God, as well as other such examples, then does that greater sin mean that greater punishment will also happen in hell? I believe it does.
     
  7. Aaron

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    Still weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth at each "level." Let a Hadean dentist drill eternally into the pulp of one tooth, or two . . .
     
  8. preachinjesus

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    Not all sins are equal.

    Some sins are deserving judgment more than others.

    The Bible seems to be clear about this, particularly sexual sins and sins that besmirch the testimony of the Church at large.
     
  9. gators_2006

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    Thanks for the replies. I knew that it was said that the punishments would be worse, but couldn't quite equate them to levels as the question was presented. I have been trying to do some of my own research on this throughout a busy work day, so I really appreciate the feedback. I just don't like given answers to the guys without being 100% sure at the time.

    I have always told the guys in class, if they have a question that I can't give them a definitive answer to on the spot, then I would find out and let them know. So this Sunday, I need to have all my ducks in a row, because I know one answer will lead right into another question that I want to be prepared for. I'm just glad that a group of youth boys from 7-12 grade are thinking enough about this and willing to dive into this kind of stuff without any encouragement. I mean, our lesson Sunday was about the importance of memorizing scripture. Not particularly verse memorization, but more along the line of passage memorization. That with passage memorization, verse memorization will follow. And how memorizing scripture can cause us to know if what we hear from someone is true to the word or do we step back and say "this isn't right, let me check that". You know, discernment.

    But not to get to side tracked, but keep the replies coming.

    Thanks
     
  10. agedman

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    I think it is important for that age group to understand how very sinful sin really is.

    BUT, Christ took ALL sin of EVERY person and paid the penalty on the Cross.

    That doesn't give us license to sin, (see Paul's work on that thinking in Romans), rather that the believer lives a life of more purity, more Christlike, and every day less like the world - the expectations and the pleasures of the world. (Again as Paul stated in Eph. 4:17-24)

    Remind them that every temptation has a way of escape, and consequences when the escape plan is not followed.

    Pre-practice various situations in which a behavioral choice is necessary - one to sin and one escape.

    Sin has consequences - and there is nothing like living in a hell on earth and then spending eternity in the lake of fire, too.
     
  11. Rippon

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    I hope you meant that some sins are worthy of greater condemnation or judgment than others. As you know,all sins are deserving of everlasting judgment.

    Merely saying that some sins are deserving judgment more than others is not sufficiently biblical.
     
  12. kyredneck

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    ....like the pain amplifier from Dune? The worse the sinner the higher the dial gets turned up.
     
  13. Judith

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    Not accepting Christ sends one to hell. Our sins determinds the level of torment we suffer while there. So yes there are different levels of sin. Jesus made that clear. John 19:11
     

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