The Weight of SIN

I am from the Middle East, and I always enjoy discussions with friends from that part of the world.  Once I said to them, “Do you know that most people believe that in the final judgment, God will put their good deeds on one side of the balance scale, and their evil deeds on the other side, and in this way decide their eternal fate – whether they go to heaven or to hell?”

They responded, “Yes, don’t you think so too?”

I was silent for a moment, then commented, “Since most people believe that, I gave it some serious thought.  After all, what’s the use of gaining the whole world, if at the end I lose my soul?  But the more I thought about it the more trouble I had with the idea.”

“What do you mean?” they asked.

“Well, if God is going to put my sins on the scale, I’d like to know how much each sin weighs, wouldn’t you?  I’d like to know how much each lie and each evil thought weighs – and pride too.  Moreover, how much do all my sins weigh in the sight of a holy God who hates sin.  But that’s not all.  I also wonder how much my good deeds weigh, seeing they are often inadequate, and often ruined by pride and the desire to have the praise of men.”

My friends were silent.  Then one said, “Our only hope is in God’s mercy and grace.”

“That’s right,” I agreed, “and thank God, He is merciful and gracious; but His mercy cannot be at the expense of His holiness and justice.”

Another friend then asked, “I know God can do all things, but explain how He can execute justice and show mercy at the same time.”

I answered,  “With men this is impossible.  If the judge does not punish the criminal for his crime, he may seem merciful, but he is not just.  However, if he executes perfect justice, he could not show perfect mercy.  But God can show perfect mercy and yet be perfectly just!”

“How?” they questioned with amazement.

Then I gave them another illustration: “Suppose the just punishment for my sin was payment of a large sum of money or imprisonment, and the judge paid the sum himself.  Would he not be merciful and just at the same time?”

“Yes, he certainly would be merciful, just and gracious all at the same time,” they all agreed.

My friends were anxious to know how God can do the same for man.  My friends are very sincere people – as those from the East who discuss such matters often are – but this discussion made them realize that trusting in one’s good deeds is dangerous.  They never denied being sinners; now they were anxious to know how they could be saved.

The Bible states, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).  I explained to them that the punishment for sin is eternal death – not just physical death.  So how could God bear this punishment for us?  By becoming Man for us.  That’s exactly what Christ died.

The Bible also tells us that God loves mankind so much, He sent Christ to die for us.  And Christ died for us willingly, so that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  Concerning Christ, the Bible says, “To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission (forgiveness) of sins” (Acts 10:43).


Scriptures from The New King James Version, © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc.  By permission.

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2 thoughts on “The Weight of SIN

  1. I have a question regarding the grace message…As christians we have eternal redemption…yes…then why do people that receive hells experiences as revelations see christians in hell?

    1. Dear Melissa,

      Thank you so much for your question. We had not been monitoring the website for comments for some time now, and I’m very sorry that it took us until just now to see your comment.

      It might help you to think about what Jesus said to do with questions about eternal life throughout His ministry, telling the people that the Scriptures were the place to find their answers, and that the Scriptures were pointing them to Him:

      “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” John 5:39-40 (ESV)

      After He rose from the dead, Jesus reminded his disciples that He had been telling them all along that the Scriptures were pointing them to what He was going to do to save them. He showed them how He had been foretold as their Savior from the very beginning:

      “Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:44–47 (ESV)

      Similarly, the Apostle Paul reminds Timothy that he can be sure that what he has learned from Scripture about salvation is true because **Scripture is God-breathed** — it is the perfect revelation from God that we can be sure of.

      “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 (ESV)

      People may have visions and dreams – and many people have seen Jesus in a vision where He met them – but visions and dreams can be hard to understand, or we can make mistakes, or we can have a dream or experience that is *not* from God. The only record that we know to be true for sure is Scripture.

      Sadly, there *will* be many people in hell who thought that they were Christians because they called themselves Christians, maybe even went to church or did religious works, but who never obeyed the message of “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”

      ““Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Matthew 7:21-23

      I hope that helps! We are praying for you to know for certain that Jesus is your Savior:

      “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”” John 10:27-30

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