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What Kind Of Sinner Are You?Jesus Christ was the only sinless human that ever lived. All other humans are sinners - it's even a sin to deny being a sinner: "1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (1 John 1:9-10 KJV). But The Messiah did not view all sinners as the same, not necessarily based on any difference in the seriousness of one person's sins as compared to another, but moreover on whether or not they were repentant or unrepentant sinners.
"13:1 There were present at that season some that told him of the Galilaeans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices. 13:2 And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these Galilaeans were sinners above all the Galilaeans, because they suffered such things? 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye Repent, ye shall all likewise perish. 13:4 Or those eighteen, upon whom the tower in Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem? 13:5 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent [see The Process Of Conversion], ye shall all likewise perish." (Luke 13:1-5 KJV).
Jesus Christ was not sacrificed (see Why Blood?) to pay the penalty for sinners. The Lamb of God died for repentant sinners. Unrepentant sinners are going to be incinerated (in-sin-erated is a pun that may help to keep that truth in mind) in the lake of fire (see They Shall Be Ashes).
Repentant and Unrepentant Sinners - What's The Difference?
The Christ was often criticized for associating with "sinners." The accusations came from Hypocrites who self-righteously ignored their own sin by means of their arrogance (see High Places of The Mind). They looked down on "sinners," while they were in fact themselves worse sinners because of their failure to repent.
"9:9 And as Jesus passed forth from thence, he saw a man, named Matthew, sitting at the receipt of custom [see Custom and Tribute]: and he saith unto him, Follow me. And he arose, and followed him.
The parable of the Pharisee and the publican provided a stark lesson of the difference between sinners that The Lord will forgive, and those who are at dire risk of the lake of fire if they don't repent of their self-righteous arrogance (a lesson that applies to Christian-professing people, not just Pharisees of centuries ago - see I Did It My Way).
"18:9 And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
The apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry) was one of the greatest servants of Christ that ever lived, but he struggled with sin every day of his life - that's what being a repentant sinner means - to never surrender to sin (the warning that was given to Cain, which he ignored: "4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him" Genesis 4:7 KJV).
Ironically, in the world as it is, all too often the harder one tries not to sin, the easier it will be to sin (see Concupiscence) because Satan will throw everything that he has against those who strive to obey God ("12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" Revelation 12:17 KJV - the "woman" there being the Church of God). But Satan is a loser, just as are those who willingly let him rule over them. "4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you" (James 4:7 KJV).
"7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 7:15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 7:16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 7:17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 7:18 For I know that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 7:19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 7:20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
The great blasphemy committed against Christ by unrepentant sinnners was their Satanic accusation that the sinless Christ was a sinner (see also Did Jesus Break The Law?). Christ warned them of the destruction that is coming upon the sinners who refuse to repent (see Baptism Of Fire).
"11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not: 11:21 Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! [see Bethsaida and Chorazin] for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in Sackcloth and Ashes. 11:22 But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. 11:23 And thou, Capernaum, which art exalted unto heaven, shalt be brought down to hell [see Where Is Hell?; also Through The Gates Of Hell]: for if the mighty Works, which have been done in thee, had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 11:24 But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee." (Matthew 11:20-24 KJV)
Another major difference between repentant sinners and unrepentant sinners is living according to The Royal Law.
"6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them. 6:33 And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. 6:34 And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. 6:35 But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest [see Born Again, How and When?]: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. 6:36 Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful." (Luke 6:32-36 KJV)