In the state of California where I live, a proposition was passed that reduced theft under $950 in value to a misdemeanor rather than a felony. Many believe this caused a spike in shoplifting within major cities such as San Francisco. I haven’t analyzed the data to determine if this is true, but it is true that many more theft cases than before the law was passed, are now dropped entirely rather than prosecuted, significantly reducing any deterrent to committing such a crime. For the sake of discussion, let’s say this did in fact cause a huge spike in crime, not only of theft but other related crimes as well. Let’s say it had gotten so bad that many of those who voted for this law decided to leave their state and move to another state, where the crime rate was much lower because the threshold for felony theft was much lower. But those who recently relocated decided this was unfair and so some of them form a proposition to change the law. And consequently, crime spikes in their new state just as it did in their previous state.
This is a little bit like what universalism would be like. The universalist assumes that everyone goes to heaven, even those who love sin and reject holiness. The consequence would be that heaven would become infected with sin the same way this world is infected with sin. But Hebrews 12:14 says, “those who are not holy will not see the Lord.” Those who love sin and reject holiness will not be permitted to enter heaven. The Lord will not tolerate it. He is absolutely holy and righteous and requires those in His presence to be absolutely purified from all corruption. But thank God, that His Son Jesus Christ came to earth for that very purpose—to be the atonement for our sins so that we could become holy and righteous. If you are a follower of Christ, you cannot simultaneously endorse sin. The holiness of God and the sinfulness of Man are at complete odds with one another; they cannot coexist.
“Those who have been born into God’s family do not make a practice of sinning, because God’s life is in them. So they can’t keep on sinning, because they are children of God. So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.” – (1 John 3:9-10 NLT)
For those who are followers of Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells within us, transforming us into holy and righteous people. As we become sanctified, we take on the character of Christ and sin becomes intolerable to us. As disciples of Christ, when we discover sin in our own lives, it should devastate us to the point of humbling ourselves before the Lord, declaring our remorse. But we do so in full confidence because of the promise that “if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness” (1 John 1:9 NLT). Not only does He forgive us, but He continues to transform us into His likeness—holy and righteous—so that we can spend eternity in heaven with Him.