Why are Christians punished worse than the unbeliever if we commit the same sins, even if we pray about it?
God does imply a degree of worse punishment for the apostate Christian than the unbeliever who had never known the way of righteousness (2 Pet. 2:20-22; Luke 12:47-48). This is because the believer who willfully, unrepentantly sins is “crucifying once again the Son of God…and holding him up to contempt” (Heb. 6:4-6). He has “spurned the Son of God…profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace” (Heb. 10:26-29).
Yet, the Christian who penitently prays about his sins to God, confessing them and asking for forgiveness and strength to overcome them, will receive no eternal punishment. Instead, he will receive forgiveness and eternal life (1 John 1:7-9; Acts 8:22; 2 Cor. 7:10).