We are imperfect humans and tend to make mistakes and sin against God. But what puzzles some people is if it is wrong to cause others to sin. The short answer is yes. It is not right to encourage another person to sin and stumble.
Is there a harsher punishment for encouraging and leading others to sin?
Answering this issue is difficult since it depends on what we understand by “worse.” If we sin and do not repent, we shall perish in the lake of fire. If we cause people to sin and not repent, we will die in the lake of fire, the second death.
We may claim that neither is worse because the result is hell in both circumstances. Sin is sin, and sin brings judgment. So, in one sense, no sin is more significant than another when we consider our ultimate destination—whether we go to heaven or hell.
The Bible’s Stand About Causing Others to Sin
Mark 9:42 extends Jesus’ message about the significance of accepting and treating His people properly. In lines 36-37, we learn that Christians must not show bias and must welcome even people of low social standing who love and serve Christ.
Verses 38-40 warn us against an exclusionary approach to Christian service, one that draws lines between Christians where they need not be removed and rejects as brothers and sisters in Christ those who do not belong to our specific organization despite following the Jesus of Scripture.
Jesus taught us that anger, like murder, leads to hell (Matthew 5:21-22), but the earthly penalties of murder much outweigh those of rage.
If you were a Christian, you would not strive to undermine another Christian’s spiritual life (1 John 5:1). If you truly loved the Lord, you would adore his children. And if you sought the Lord’s honor, you would undoubtedly pursue the wellbeing of his children.
In the end, the quiet and practically invisible atheist who has no apparent effect on others and the leader who turns many away from God end up in hell.
However, individuals who cause others to sin have a significant responsibility for pulling people away from holiness.
The most fundamental problem is whether one will spend eternity in heaven or hell. Those who have led tiny ones astray—who have caused others to reject the gospel—will face more severe punishment.