We live in a civilization governed by laws in which every citizen must abide. If someone in our society breaks a law, whether they knew their actions were a crime or not, they are judged according to the law. In the bible, God gave the Israelites laws to govern their spiritual lives. But unlike in our earthly society where one crime may be more grievous than another, thereby carrying a greater punishment, with every spiritual law the sentence is the same. James explains it this way in chapter 2, verses 10 and 11 which says:
"For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. For he who said, 'Do not commit adultery,' also said, 'Do not murder.' If you do not commit adultery but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker."
This is why sin is so difficult. Any, and every, sin carries the death sentence. The bible reminds us that “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord.” So it doesn’t matter if you bomb an orphanage or if you steal a sucker from a baby, they both carry the blanket sentence of death. With both sins one can repent, and yes, with both sins one can be forgiven - even forgiven of killing children. That is our God. That is his system. It may not be what you would’ve designed, and it may not seem fair through your human eyes. But just as it is just as difficult to get to heaven for the worst of sinners as it is for the most righteous of us all, we have all sinned and every sin carries with it the death penalty. But thank God for Jesus’ blood. Without it every one of us would only have hell to look forward to when we die.
I’m sure the wages of sin doesn’t make sense to most people. Lying about someone you don’t like carries the same penalty as killing someone. And if we’ve sinned just once within our entire lifetime, we deserve death, according to God’s weights and measures. Likewise, our best act of righteousness is like filthy rags before God. The bottom line is that we don’t measure up. Besides Jesus, none of us ever have and none of us ever will. But James reminds us of how holy God is. Even a little white lie cannot exist in his presence. If you’ve lied just once in your life and that is all the evil you ever did, you are now a sinner destined for hell just like someone who has sinned a thousand times every day of their life. So I challenge you to understand what Jesus did for us, and to understand that to God every sin carries equal weight. So whatever we’ve done, we need to repent as if that one action could send us to hell. Because without the blood of Jesus to cover it, it would.