Different Degree of Sin and Punishment

Different Degree of Sin and Punishment

Pastor Vincent - 17 September 2023

Different Degrees of Sin and Punishment

Powered by Series Engine

  • The notion of different degree of sin seldom being taught in church. 
  • Not knowing this truth will eventually result in nominal Christianity. 


Two Ramifications:

1) Believers being rob of living a God-fearing Christian life.

2) People will be doubtful about God’s character of righteousness.


Why are there ambiguity in bringing across this truth?

1) Wrong inference about Jesus’ teachings.

2) Overcorrection of wrong doctrine about soteriology.


1) Wrong inference about Jesus’ teachings.

* <Mt 5:21-22;27-28>

21 “You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘You shall not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’ 22 But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.

27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

* <Ja 2:10>

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

* <Isa 64:6>.

…All our righteous acts are like filthy rags.

  • Yet there is no indication that Jesus imply that all sins are equal in God’s sight.
  • The reason why we see it that way is because we want to find excuse for our grievous sins.
  • Beware of going all the way with sins.


2) Overcorrection of wrong doctrine about soteriology.

* Problem of overcorrection in church history.

E.g. Legalism ↔ Antinomianism (i.e. lawlessness)

E.g. Suffering Theology ↔ Prosperity Theology

(1) Roman Catholicism’s view of sin:

* Venial and mortal sin.

* Mortal sin can annihilate salvation.

(2) John Calvin’s view of sin:

* All sin is mortal in the sense that it deserves death. 

* Yet, no sin is mortal to the extent that it can destroy Christ’s saving grace in us.

** Yet, reformers always maintained that there is a difference between lesser sins and heinous sins.


The suffering in Hell

* <Mt 10:14-15>: (Jesus said): “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day.

* <John 19:11>: And here is Jesus being brought before Pilate who later on sentence him to crucifixion. And while Pilate tried to threaten him, Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore, the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

  • Is there different degree of suffering in hell? **

*  <Luke 16:24>: So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’


  • Punishment of the wicked servant **

* <Luke 12:47-48>: (Jesus said): “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows…

  • What is legitimate ignorance in God’s view?


Different degree in reward.

<Lk 19:11-26>: 11 While they were listening to this, he went on to tell them a parable, because he was near Jerusalem and the people thought that the kingdom of God was going to appear at once. 12 He said: “A man of noble birth went to a distant country to have himself appointed king and then to return. 13 So he called ten of his servants and gave them ten minas. ‘Put this money to work,’ he said, ‘until I come back.’ 14 “But his subjects hated him and sent a delegation after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15 “He was made king, however, and returned home. Then he sent for the servants to whom he had given the money, in order to find out what they had gained with it. 16 “The first one came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned ten more.’ 17 “‘Well done, my good servant!’ his master replied. ‘Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities.’ 18 “The second came and said, ‘Sir, your mina has earned five more.’ 19 “His master answered, ‘You take charge of five cities.’ 20 “Then another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your mina; I have kept it laid away in a piece of cloth. 21 I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take out what you did not put in and reap what you did not sow.’ 22 “His master replied, ‘I will judge you by your own words, you wicked servant! You knew, did you, that I am a hard man, taking out what I did not put in, and reaping what I did not sow? 23 Why then didn’t you put my money on deposit, so that when I came back, I could have collected it with interest?’ 24 “Then he said to those standing by, ‘Take his mina away from him and give it to the one who has ten minas.’ 25 “‘Sir,’ they said, ‘he already has ten!’ 26 “He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what they have will be taken away.

  1. Differences in heavenly rewards – 10 cities, 5 cities.
  2. Rewards is based on obedience.


Yet, reward is awesomely disproportionate.

  • It shows God’s graciousness and magnanimity.


There are those with no rewards.

  • <1 Cor 3:15>: … saved only as one escaping through the flames.
  • Biblical example Lot.
  • Usually those who persist in their sins, lured by the world, trapped by the worries of this life.


Conclusion: Gradation of sin and reward is based upon God’s justice.

Pastor Vincent Choo
[email protected]

Vincent serves as the President of The Blessed Run Church. He is also the Senior Pastor of The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) and is an ardent missionary to the Chinese World. He currently lives in Singapore with his wife, Qiufen, and has three kids, Mary, David, and Caleb.

No Comments