Question:

I have heard sin is sin and no sin is greater, heavier, or worse than the other. Is this scriptural, if so where is this found, or is this old hearsay?

Answer:

If you are looking at it from the ultimate result of unrepented sin, all sins lead to the same consequence -- eternity in hell. "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" (Revelation 21:8). This list is interesting because we don't usually consider being cowardly that great of a sin. Nor do most people view all lies as being equally punishable.

But this doesn't mean that all sins are equal. Some sins are worse because their quantity. "Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually" (Genesis 6:5). Other sins are worse because it reflects a corrupted nature or because of the range of impact it has in society. "But the men of Sodom were exceedingly wicked and sinful against the LORD" (Genesis 13:13). God checked out two cities "Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave" (Genesis 18:20). Still other sins are considered worse because they take advantage of those less able to defend themselves. "'Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the stranger, the fatherless, and widow.' And all the people shall say, 'Amen!'" (Deuteronomy 27:19). Some sins are worse because the knowledge the person has in breaking God's Law. As Jesus told Pilate, "Therefore the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin" (John 19:11).

Concerning a person's level of knowledge, Jesus stated, "And that servant who knew his master's will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more" (Luke 12:47-48).