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The Lesser of Two Evils

by Al Diestelkamp
via Gospel Power, Vol. 13, No. 31, July 30, 2006.

When it comes to behavior, one should never allow himself to be put into positions where he chooses between two evils. There may be situations wherein we think we must make such choices, but in reality there are always other options which we ignore because they may include discomfort, or even hardship.

We're dwelling in an ungodly world that excuses some sins, either because they are commonplace, or because they are viewed as harmless. The so-called "white lie" has long been considered acceptable in society. In recent times the world has developed a long list of what is called "victimless" crimes and sins.

Most Christians recognize this as a trap laid by Satan, and understand that we cannot afford to fall into it by excusing any sin. The Bible clearly reveals that one will not enter into eternal life with any unforgiven sin, be it murder or that "little white lie" (Revelation 21:27).

Having said that, let us challenge a claim frequently made in Bible classes and sermons that "sin is sin, so one sin is as great as another." The Bible doesn't teach that. In fact, it teaches the opposite.

When God was about to bring a flood on the earth, it was because "the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth" (Genesis 6:5). Every man that had lived up to that point had sinned, but the sin became so great that God decided to start over, saving eight sinners whose sins were evidently not as grievous as the rest of mankind.

The story of Sodom and Gomorrah, shows that God considers some sins worse than others. In explaining His reason for destroying those cities God told Abraham it was "because their sin is very grave" (Genesis 18:20). He spared other cities populated with sinners, but whose sins were not as

Whenever I hear someone say that there are no degrees of sin, or all sins are the same, I wonder if they realize they are contradicting Jesus who said to Pilate, "the one who delivered Me to you has the greater sin" (John 19:11). Obviously, Jesus was not excusing Pilate's sin, but He clearly placed greater blame on others.

Though I think I've made it pretty clear that the "lesser" sins cannot be ignored just because they are not as "great" as others, let me make it even clearer. Any sin, great or small has the potential of destroying one's soul. Conversely, any sin, great or small, can be remitted by the blood of Christ if the sinner will comply with the gospel of the grace of God.