By show of hands, how many of you are sinners? Yeah, everyone's hands should be raised. The Bible says, "All have sinned and fallen" way short of God's perfection (Romans 3:23).
Here's another question. How many of you are criminals? Raise your hand. The same hands should be raised. Most people might agree that they're sinners. Hey, no one's perfect, right? But hardly anyone thinks of themselves as a criminal -- even criminals! Yet that's exactly what sin makes us.
The Bible says. "Sin is lawlessness" (1 John 3:4).
You might say, "Wait, I haven't broken any laws!" But you have. You've broken God's law. You've committed perjury, you've slandered God's good name, you're a murderer... "Hey, I haven't killed anybody." But according to Jesus, you have. If you've ever hated anyone or even called them names, you've murdered in your heart and you're worthy of hell (Matthew 5:21-22).
Whoa, that's a little extreme. Sent to hell because I said a bad word? Yes. God is so holy sinners cannot stand in His presence. Sin is no small thing. You think it's no big deal because, hey, you're a sinner! But remember, Adam and Eve's sin resulted in all of creation being cursed. That's how serious sin is.
“To Adam, He said, ‘Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life.’” Genesis 3:17
“For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it...” Romans 8:19It's so serious that you needed Jesus to live perfectly as your representative and die in your place as your substitute. Everyone who believes in Him will be forgiven and have eternal life. On the day of judgment you'll not be sentenced as a criminal but received as an heir of His kingdom!
Christ will send His angels to gather out of His kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. But the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of the Father (Matthew 13:41-42).
If God has pardoned you in Christ, live as someone who has been rehabilitated and do not return to a life of crime, when we understand the text!