THERE IS NO DIFFERENCE
T. Pierce Brown
Paul in speaking of the salvation of the Jew and Gentile said in Romans 3:22, “There is no difference.” There are many things in which there is difference, but it may be of value for us to consider the common lot of mankind and think of some things in which there is no difference. It may not only help us to sympathize with those in sorrow, help those in trouble, but also aid those in a search for salvation.
There is no basic difference in the physical processes and needs of mankind, whether he be rich or poor, black or white, wise or foolish, old or young. We all have sorrow and gladness, hope and despair, fear and courage, love and hate. Those are common, although they may not be about the same things or to the same degree.
Second, there is no difference in the fact of sin in every accountable person. Romans3:23says, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” All mankind needs Christ as a Savior. Many times we have heard persons say, “Sin is sin, and there is no difference in sin for it will all cause you to be lost.” It is true that sin is sin, and any sin of which one does not repent and of which he is not forgiven will cost him his soul. It is true that there is no difference in the FACT of sin. It is not true there is no difference in the kinds or degrees of sin. It is not simply the case that mine are little and yours are big. We have heard persons pray something like this: “Lord, save the lost from their sins, and forgive us of our mistakes and short comings.” So it is not that you have sins and I have merely mistakes and shortcomings. Yet, no one can read the Bible thoughtfully without being aware that there is a difference in the kinds and degrees of sin. Jesus said to Pilate in John 19:11, “They that delivered me unto thee had a greater sin.” Matthew21:31indicates that the sin of self-righteous hypocrisy is worse in some respects than harlotry. It is also clear that Jesus measures the punishment to fit the sin, for He says in Luke 12:47, “And that servant that knew his lord’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.” In Matthew 12:38-40 He shows that there will be “greater condemnation” for some than for others. The point in this article is that there is no difference in the fact that every person sins. Whether the sin is looked upon as great or small it will cause us to be lost until we are saved by the blood of Christ as we accept his gracious offer on His terms.
Third, there is no difference in the fact of God’s love for each of us. He may love us in different ways, or in different amounts. But regardless of how bad your sin, He loves you and wants you to be saved. It is still hard for me to grasp that fantastic truth. Castro and Sadam Hussein are included in that love. Man can not fall so low that God will not love and save him if he will repent and turn to God in God’s appointed way. It is true that man may become so depraved and refuse to have God in their knowledge that God will give them up to a reprobate mind (Romans1:22). It is also true that God is longsuffering to usward, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Fourth, there is no difference in the plan of salvation for all mankind. It is sad that there are many in the church of the Lord today who are teaching that persons of all religions, even non-Christian ones may expect salvation by the grace of God. It is difficult to see why such a person would bother to preach anything to anyone. It is my fervent hope (rather, a wish) that they will stop.
When Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life: no man cometh to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6) He left us no alternatives. It is still true that if one does not believe in Jesus he will die in his sins (John8:24). It is still true that if one does not repent, he will perish (Luke 13:3). It is still true that if one is unwilling to confess Christ as Lord, he has no promise of salvation (Romans10:10). It is still true that baptism (the kind authorized by Christ) saves us (1 Peter3:21). If you have not done those things, we hope you will realize that it makes no difference what else you do, you have no promise of salvation from God.