Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #205 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 20 today and our focus is on Are All Sins The Same – Are All Sins Equal in God’s Eyes?? + Will We Be Like Angels When We Die? .  We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in  Thanks for listening!  Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\

One of the worst things that people can say after a tragic death is something like, “God needed a new angel.” When you think about such a statement, you realize how incredibly cruel the implications are. God, who is eternal and in Heaven and can create people and beings like angels killed my loved one so He can have another angel in Heaven? Such statements, when carefully thought out, paint God as capricious and cruel. As you might imagine, the Bible is quite clear that God doesn’t kill people so that He can have more angels in Heaven – that’s not how it works. That said, however, Jesus does teach something that might have been the original source for such a belief – that humans, after death, become LIKE angels, at least in a couple of senses. Here’s what He says:

34 Jesus told them, “The children of this age marry and are given in marriage.35 But those who are counted worthy to take part in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage.36 For they can no longer die, because they are like angels and are children of God, since they are children of the resurrection.  Luke 20:34-36 and the parallel in Matthew 22: 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage but are like angels in heaven.

So, humans will be LIKE angels in at least TWO very important ways. #1  They will no longer DIE! Humans will be immortal, just like angels – praise God! No more sting of death. The second way humans will be like angels after death is quite interesting: They will no longer marry or be given in marriage, but are like angels. Now people have deduced from this passage a lot about angels that isn’t necessarily said, including the idea that angels don’t have intimate relationships, etc. That isn’t even implied in this passage, though it certainly could, or could not be true. But the inference seems to be (I say inference, because it is not directly stated) that angels don’t marry. Humans, it is clearly stated, will not be married in Heaven, hence the line in many marriage ceremonies, “’till death do us part.’ There won’t be marriage in Heaven for humans. Why not? I don’t know, any answer I could give there would be speculation, but I do have a guess. Marriages are our closest form of relationship with another human – the Bible describes marriage as a oneness – the two become one. I suspect that the design in Heaven will be that, due to eternity, and elements of the Fall being banished (like shame, guilt, pride, greed, cunning, selfishness, abuse and other negative things) that oneness will be possible with many people, rather than just one. I am not at all saying that i expect everybody to be in one big marriage in Heaven, or something weird like that, but for there to be a closeness in relationships with many, many souls that even goes beyond the closeness of the best marriage here on Earth. That’s a guess, and it could be wildly wrong, but I find it intriguing that there will be no marriage in Heaven, and I am quite certain that whatever relationships we do have will be better, deeper, more fulfilling, more joyful and more intimate than the best marriages on earth. Let’s read our passage, and then we will discuss what kind of behavior draws a worse judgment from God.

So – who does Jesus teach will be judged harsher by God? I imagine we can think of many answers – criminals, murderers, bosses that abuse and take advantage of people, people that drive slow in the fast lane, etc. But, Jesus points out a particular type of behavior and personality that will receive HARSH judgment:

45 While all the people were listening, he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who want to go around in long robes and who love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the places of honor at banquets.47 They devour widows’ houses and say long prayers just for show. These will receive harsher judgment.” Luke 20:45-46 

The KJV is even more stark, indicating that these people will receive “greater damnation,” which might be the most terrifying phrase in the Bible. The phrase Jesus is using seems to be a judicial one, and could probably be translated to something like, “a worse sentence from the judge.” You’ve heard it said before that all sins are equal, but I don’t find this to be a biblical thought, and offer texts like today as proof. All sins separate us from God. All sins close the door to Heaven for those who aren’t justified by grace through faith. All sins are serious, but they are not all equal. Here’s Tony Evans to help us understand:

Watch out for folks who pray real long in public. Alright. He said, these will receive condemnation. Is that what it says? No. The greater condemnation. In other words, all condemnation isn’t equal. Scribes, they are supposed to know more. They have more biblical exposure. So, but because in the light of what they had. And in the light of what they knew, they operated un-righteously, they will have greater condemnation.
Even in the book of Revelation, even in the book of Rev 18 we read these words in verse 6. Pay her back even as she has paid, and give back to her double according to her deeds; in the cup which she has mixed, mix twice as much for her. To the degree that she glorified herself and lived sensuously, to the same degree give her torment and mourning; for she says in her heart, I sit as queen and I am not a widow, and will never see mourning. For this reason in one day her plagues will come, pestilence and mourning and famine, and she will be burned up with fire; for the Lord God who judges her is strong. In other words, . Give her what her deeds warrant.
So, since every sinner doesn’t warrant the same kind of judgement because every sin doesn’t have the same kind of consequence, not every sin is equally sinful to God. That is why it doesn’t matter how good you are. Your goodness can’t make you acceptable to God because God demands perfection. But every sin is not equal in its consequence to God. All sin is equal in its essence. It is equally sinful but all sin is not equal in its consequence. Different sins have different levels of consequences. Just like you have misdemeanors, felonies and you have different levels of crime warranting different levels of punishment, so it is determined your level of your judgement based on the deeds.
Tony Evans, “‘Prophecy and the Great White Throne Judgement,’” in Tony Evans Sermon Archive (Tony Evans, 2015), Re 22:11–15.

Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48

The Bible 2021 Podcast Is a ministry of Valley Baptist Church, A Salinas, California Church.

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