I have often heard people, in trying to justify themselves, say something like, "Well, I know smoking is bad, but your not perfect either, so don't judge me....all sin is the same." And while that may be true in the sense of our need for salvation, the fact remains that not all sin is the same, and therefore not all abiding consequences are the same. If all sin was the same, then why did God choose to rain down Fire and Brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah? Does God mete out that same type of punishment when you don't read your Bible, or when you are not filled with the Holy Spirit?
John 19:11 ...therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
Again, I am not talking here about the need for salvation: James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. We are all guilty and deserving of Hell: Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Jesus died on the cross and shed His precious blood for all the sins of all mankind - and all are in need of the Saviour.
But, the modern church has taken that truth and use it to justify their sinful way of building "their" church. "Lets just get everyone in the doors, and lets not offend anyone." We are going through the Bible during our Wednesday Night Services, and as we came to Exodus 16:20 I was reminded of this great truth again. When some of the children of Israel disobeyed God and tried to keep the Manna for the next day, the Bible tells us that Moses was wroth with them. Now, did those Israelites have a bad motive for saving for the next day? Not really - they just wanted to make sure there was enough for the next day. I am sure that some of the Israelites around them patted them on the back and said, "Way to go...wish I would have thought of that...you're so wise..." Yet, that was not God's plan. It was Evangelist Jayson Godsey who said, "Not all good plans are God's plans." God wanted them to live by faith and trust Him to provide for them daily. I believe that most modern Christians who take this attitude of "all sin is the same, etc." mean well - but they are still wrong. People need the truth, and as it has been said many times - the truth hurts. The Bible teaches us that we need to preach and teach the truth about sin, and do so in love.
But imagine if Moses was a pastor of a church in today's society - he would be looking for a new church because they would have fired him on the spot and kicked him to the curb. "How dare you rebuke those who 'slipped up'?! It was only a small indiscretion. We are to just love everyone, and not be so judgmental." We have forgotten Paul's warning to Timothy in 1Tim 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. I once heard a preacher tell me, "Open sin deserves an open rebuke." We need to love people, but we are to hate sin. True love instructs in the ways of righteousness, and warns those that are going down the wrong path. That is why we are commanded to declare the whole counsel of God - even the parts of it that deal with sin and right and wrong.
You may not like it, but it comes straight from the Lord's mouth. He lets Pilate know that he has sinned...but Caiaphas' sin is greater. Don't try to water down the effects and consequences of sin. And if you choose to live in open, rebellious, gross immoral sin - their are abiding consequences that you will have to deal with for your greater sin.