Are sins of thought as bad as committing the actual sin?
Nicolas C. Schmoller
We know how laws work in our world. Different crimes necessitate different punishments. Can you imagine if a government said that you would have to pay the same $250 fine if you parked on the street during a snow emergency, if you sped through a school zone, if you robbed a bank, or if you killed someone? It’s all the same penalty. People would think the government cares just as much about plowing the streets as stealing or murder. Different crimes must have different repercussions.
So it stands to reason that God should work the same way. Yet Jesus said, “Anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment,” and, “Anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:22,28). John also wrote, “Anyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer” (1 John 3:15). That sounds too severe. The government should rightly say that some actions are worse than others. God, on the other hand, demands one thing: perfection.
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