I am familiar with the statement made by some that there are no degrees of sin with God. That "sin is sin" and that losing your temper with your children is just as bad as murdering your grandmother in God's eyes. This kind of statement is often made by people who want to encourage gross sinners that God finds it just as easy to forgive them as anybody else, or to put the self-righteous in their place so to speak.
Like all half-truths, this statement has appeal, but it is also false – and dangerous to believe for reasons I hope to show.
The truth is that all sin whether great or small does have the potential to separate a person from God. All sinners are in need of the forgiveness and mercy of Almighty God – whether they are "sweet sinners" or "grossly wicked vile sinners". From the point of view of the need for redemption – all sinners need the blood of Christ and the grace of God in order to be justified before God. By all means, let those who have sinned in especially horrible ways realize that Christ paid enough to cover the guilt of all their sins. And let those who have lived relatively moral and upright lives also realize that without the blood sacrifice of Christ on their behalf they would be certainly doomed. Let not "sweet sinners" imagine that they can earn their way to heaven. None of us can. HOWEVER:
We should realise that from the point of view of God in the Bible, some sins ARE worse than others. A few examples should suffice.
In the book of 1 Samuel, towards the beginning, we have the account of the priest Eli, and his wicked sons – Hophni and Phinehas. These young men were abusing their role as priests, taking what did not belong to them, and even committing sexual sins with the women who came to the tabernacle. Sin is sin, but God said that these sins were so bad that:
"Therefore I swear to the house of Eli that the iniquity of Eli’s house shall not be atoned for by sacrifice or offering forever.”" (1 Samuel 3:14).
God doesn't say that about all sins – in fact the purpose of the sacrifices in the Old Testament was to atone for sin. So clearly then, the iniquity of the house of Eli was so serious that God put it in a separate class, and said that it would not be atoned for. Very serious stuff.
It says in 1 Samuel 2:17
"Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD."
Any sin which God's priests do which cause people to despise the direct service of God is especially evil in God's eyes.
There are certain sins in the Bible which God calls an "abomination". God does not say this concerning all sins. I will leave it to you to find out by means an internet search which sins God considers to be an "abomination".
In the New Testament the Bible says: "For we all stumble in many ways" (James 3:2). This passage especially refers to the control of our tongue – our words.
Now James is including himself and all holy men of God in this statement as far as I can tell. Yet the New Testament mentions many sins the practice of which will certainly EXCLUDE a person from the Kingdom of Heaven.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the New King James Version says as follows:
9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,[a] nor sodomites,10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:17-21 teaches:
17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Revelation 21:8 says
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."
Be very afraid if you are on one of these lists. If your manner of life is characterized by any of these, you are potentially one heartbeat away from hell. God regards all the sins on this list as VERY SERIOUS. If you do these things and you have not repented, you are not right with God, no matter what any "grace teacher" tells you. The true grace of God is what we need to learn about. False teaching about grace will certainly DAMN YOUR SOUL to hell forever if you let it rob you of the fear of God.
Concerning these kinds of phony grace teachers (which are very popular in many evangelical churches today) I like what Jude had to say in his small letter in the Bible. I quote from the Contemporary English Version (CEV):
"Some godless people have sneaked in among us and are saying, "God treats us much better than we deserve, and its all right to be immoral." They even deny that we must obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. But long ago the Scriptures warned that these godless people were doomed. (Jude 4)
Isn't this what a lot of "grace preachers" are saying today? They deny that we MUST obey Jesus Christ as our only Master and Lord. They believe you can receive Jesus as Savior but reject Him as Lord, and still be saved as a "carnal" Christian. They teach that "there is no condemnation" for the "sexually immoral". They say that since "Nobody's perfect" the orientation of our heart towards God has no real bearing on our salvation – we can love the world and the flesh and still go to heaven "by grace". This is NOT what real faith in Jesus is, and its NOT what real love for God is. It is NOT what is meant by the grace of God, which is a divine empowering from God to live as God wishes. It IS what has caused many preachers of the Word of God to become and eventually be exposed as wicked sinners.
What we need from God is MERCY. Those who confess and forsake their sins will find mercy according to Proverbs 28:13. No such promise is made in the Bible to those who prefer to hold onto their sins, because when push comes to shove, they prefer them and the pleasure they give to pleasing God and doing the will of God from the heart.
I urge you therefore to turn away from all your sins, including your favorite ones, and cling to God. Go after God with the divine empowering of the Holy Spirit. That is the way of life.