DOES GOD HATE SINNERS?

GOD HATES ALL WORKERS OF INIQUITY” Psalms 5:5

THE BIBLE SAYS GOD HATES SINNERS, NOT JUST THE SIN:

Leviticus 20:23: “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nations which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I ABHORRED THEM.”

Leviticus 26:14-30: “If ye will not hearken unto Me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise My statutes, or if your soul abhor My judgments, so that ye will not do all My commandments, but that ye break My covenant, I also will do this to you... [send plagues, famine, drought, destructive armies, wild beasts who shall devour your children, pestilence, captivity in a cruel land...] And if ye will not for all this hearken unto Me, but walk contrary to Me; Then I WILL WALK CONTRARY TO YOU IN FURY... I will destroy your high places, and cut down your images, and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols, and MY SOUL SHALL ABHOR YOU.”

Deuteronomy 18:12 “For all that do these things are an ABOMINATION TO THE LORD, and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”

Deuteronomy 25:16: “...ALL THAT DO UNRIGHTEOUSLY ARE AN ABOMINATION UNTO THE LORD.”

Deuteronomy 28:62-63: “Because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy God... it shall come to pass, that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you; so the Lord will the Lord will REJOICE OVER YOU TO DESTROY YOU, and to bring you to nought; and ye shall be plucked from off the land whither thou goest to possess it.” (In Deuteronomy 27, 28, and 29, 124 CURSES are promised upon the Jews who refused to obey God’s commandments.)

Deuteronomy 32:16-20: “They provoked Him to jealousy with strange gods, with abominations they provoked Him to ANGER... And when the Lord saw it [people sacrificing to devils - v.17], HE ABHORRED THEM...”

Psalm 2:4-9: “The Lord that sits in the heavens shall LAUGH [at rebellious men]: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall He speak unto them in His WRATH, and VEX THEM IN HIS SORE DISPLEASURE... [and Christ shall] break them with a rod of iron: Thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”

Psalm 5:5-6: “The foolish shall not stand in Thy sight: THOU HATEST ALL WORKERS OF INIQUITY. Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing (lies): THE LORD WILL ABHOR THE BLOODY AND DECEITFUL MAN.”

Psalm 7:11-13: “...God is ANGRY with the wicked every day. If he turn not, He will whet His sword; He hath bent His bow, and made it ready. He hath also prepared for him the instruments of death; He ordaineth His arrows against the persecutors.”

Psalm 10:3: “For the wicked... blesseth the covetous, WHOM THE LORD ABHORRETH.”

Psalm 11:5-7: “The Lord trieth the righteous: but THE WICKED AND HIM THAT LOVETH VIOLENCE HIS SOUL HATETH. Upon the wicked He shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup. For the righteous Lord loveth righteousness...”

Psalm 50:22: “Now consider this, ye that forget God, LEST I TEAR YOU IN PIECES, AND THERE BE NONE TO DELIVER.”

Psalm 78:59: “When God heard this He was wroth, and GREATLY ABHORRED ISRAEL.”

Psalm 106:40: “Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against His people, insomuch that HE ABHORRED HIS OWN INHERITANCE.”

Proverbs 3:32-33: “For the froward is an ABOMINATION TO THE LORD... The CURSE OF THE LORD is in the house of the wicked: but He blesseth the habitation of the just.”

Proverbs 6:16-19: “These six things doth THE LORD HATE: yea, seven are AN ABOMINATION TO HIM... A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren.”

Proverbs 16:5: “Every one that is proud in heart is an ABOMINATION TO THE LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.”

Proverbs 17:5: “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are ABOMINATION TO THE LORD.”

Proverbs 22:14: “The soul of strange women is a deep pit: HE THAT IS ABHORRED OF THE LORD shall fall therein.”

Jeremiah 17:5: “Thus saith the Lord, CURSED BE THE MAN that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.”

Hosea 9:15: “All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I HATED THEM: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of Mine house, I WILL LOVE THEM NO MORE...”

Malachi 1:3-4: “And I HATED ESAU, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness...thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and the people AGAINST WHOM THE LORD HATH INDIGNATION FOREVER.”

Romans 9:13: “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but ESAU HAVE I HATED.”

I Corinthians 16:22: “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be ANATHEMA MARANATHA [which means ACCURSED, THE LORD COMETH].”

James 4:4: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that friendship of the world is ENMITY (or HATRED) WITH GOD? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is an ENEMY OF GOD.”

I Peter 3:12: “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers: but THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THEM THAT DO EVIL.”

Revelation 14:10-11: “[Sinners] shall drink of the wine of the WRATH OF GOD, which is poured without mixture into the cup of HIS INDIGNATION; and he shall be TORMENTED WITH FIRE AND BRIMSTONE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE HOLY ANGELS, AND IN THE PRESENCE OF THE LAMB; And the smoke of their TORMENT ascendeth up for ever and ever; and they have NO REST DAY NOR NIGHT...”

THE HISTORICAL POSITION OF THE CHURCH
AS REVEALED BY ITS REPRESENTATIVES

AUGUSTINE (354-430, Bishop of Hippo): “For it may be that GOD HATES A PERSON to the degree more mildly, as not to destroy him, but whom He destroys HE HATES THE MORE EXCEEDINGLY, by how much He punisheth more severely. Now HE HATETH ALL WHO WORK INIQUITY: but all who speak lies He also destroys.” (Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol.3, p.462)

JOHN WESLEY (1703-1791, founder of Methodism): “But as for the wicked, GOD HATES THEM, and will feverishly punish them.” (Explanatory Notes Upon the Old Testament, Vol.2, p.1639)

JONATHAN EDWARDS: “The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much in the same way one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, ABHORS YOU, and is dreadfully provoked: His wrath towards you burns like fire: He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else but to be cast into the fire: He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in His sight: you are ten thousand times more ABOMINABLE in His sight than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.” (Sinners In the Hands of an Angry God, July 8, 1741)

CHARLES G. FINNEY: “The very thing that God hates and disapproves is not the mere event - the thing done in distinction from the doer; but it is the doer himself. It grieves and displeases God that a rational moral agent under His government should array himself against his own God and Father, against all that is right and just in the universe. This is the thing that offends God. The sinner himself is the direct and only object of His anger.” (The Guilt of Sin, pp.84-85)

F. DELITZSCH : “Of such (sinners - the foolish, and more especially the foolish boasters:)... SUCH MEN JEHOVAH HATES: for if He did not hate evil, His love would not be a holy love,” ... “And His soul HATES the evildoer and him that delights in the violence of the strong against the weak. And the more intense this hatred, the more fearful will be the judgments in which it bursts forth.” (Psalms, Vol.5, pp.122,189)

CHARLES H. SPURGEON: “Verse 5 - Note the singular opposition of the two sentences. GOD HATES THE WICKED, therefore in contrast He loves the righteous...” (The Treasury of David, Vol.2, pp.57-58)

AUGUSTUS HOPKINS STRONG : “There is no abstract sin that can be hated apart from the person in whom that sin is represented and embodies. It is the sinner who is punished, not the sin.” (Systematic Theology, p.290f)

J. VERNON MCGEE: “ If you think God is just lovey-dovey, you had better read this (Ps.11:5) and some of the other Psalms again. GOD HATES THE WICKED who hold onto their wickedness... I do not think God loves the devil, I think He hates him, and HE HATES THOSE WHO HAVE NO INTENTION OF TURNING TO GOD. Frankly, I do not like this distinction that I hear today, that ‘God loves the sinner, but hates the sin.’ God has loved you so much that He gave His Son to die for you, but if you persist in your sin, and continue in that sin, you are the enemy of God. And God is your enemy.” (Psalms, Vol.1, p.72)

LAYMAN’S BIBLE COMMENTARY: “God’s Hatred of Evildoers (Psalm 5:4-5)... God is not said to love the sinner and hate his sin; He is said to HATE BOTH THE SINNER AND HIS SIN. This sounds harsh to modern Christian ears, but there is truth here we dare not overlook.”

MATTHEW HENRY’S COMMENTARY: “He is a holy God, and therefore HATES THEM (the sinner), and cannot endure to look upon them; the wicked, and him that loveth violence, HIS SOUL HATETH... Their pros-perity is far from being an evidence of God’s love...their abuse of it does certainly make them objects of HIS HATRED. He hates nothing that He has made, yet HATES THOSE who have ill-made themselves.”

THE INTERNATIONAL CRITICAL COMMENTARY: “But the wicked HIS SOUL DOTH HATE... Their treacherous preparations...are all observed by Yahweh, and HE HATES THEM FROM HIS VERY SOUL. The soul is the seat of the passion of anger and hatred, for God as well as for man...therefore, Yahweh is trying the righteous man, and HATING His deadly enemies...”

THE INTERPRETER’S BIBLE: “In vs. 5 the verb ‘trieth’ has its object both the righteous and the wicked, and means no more that the Lord watchfully observes them both and estimates them for what they are, HATING THE LATTER and ultimately pouring His destruction upon them.”

BROADMAN BIBLE COMMENTARY: “Yahweh takes no pleasure in wickedness and does not dwell with evil (or evil men). Insolent, boasting people have no position at all in the presence of Yahweh, who HATES ALL ‘DOERS OF SIN.’ Indeed, Yahweh will annihilate those who speak deception: HE DETESTS THE MAN OF BLOODY DEEDS AND DECEITS.”

THE CONDITIONAL LOVE OF GOD

“God hates the sin, but loves the sinner” has become the motto of American evangelism today. Certainly, God hates sin – about this there can be no equivocation.  And the Bible makes it plain that God loves the sinner.  But the Bible also states unambiguously, with striking frequency, that GOD HATES SINNERS.  The Bible says that He will laugh at the wicked when their calamity comes like a whirlwind, and that He rejoices over the wicked to destroy them.  If you find this concept of God incompatible with the tenets of your religion, I question whether you really know the God of the Bible.

Justice is an attribute of love.  A Judge in a courtroom of justice rejoices to catch the criminals, convict, and punish them.  Is it because he is unloving?  No.  If he is loving, he will be glad the rapists, murderers, car thieves, child molesters are sent to jail - for the greater good of society.  God hates sinners in the same sense a Judge would hate criminals - for the greater good of mankind!  God hates sinners in the same sense that He hates the devil - to promote the general welfare of man.  Not because God is hateful, but because He is benevolent.  For the greater good of the universe, He will rid the earth of all rebels and reign forever.  It’s best, it’s right, it’s the loving thing to do.  As long as sinners serve the devil by continuing their relentless war against God, their Holy Maker hates, abhors, curses, detests, despises them, and will ultimately destroy them in His wrath - because God is Love.

There is a sense in which God loves all men unconditionally, sinners and saints, that is not at all contradictory to the Biblical teaching of God’s hatred for sinners.  God loves the sinner in the sense that He is benevolent to them - He wills their good.  God wills that all men repent and not perish (II Pet.3:9).  His disposition toward man is to show mercy - He is longsuffering, He is slow to wrath and quick to forgive.  He does not send speedy judgment when we sin, but convicts us by His Spirit and gives us time to consider our ways.  God’s unconditional love for mankind prompted Him to send Jesus to die to motivate man to turn from sin to God, and to secure the salvation of those who meet the terms of the covenant.  Most of the time the Bible speaks of God’s love, it is in the context of Jesus death on the cross (John 3:16, Rom.5:8, I John 3:16).  This type of love for man is unconditional.

God’s benevolence for sinners is not emotional drivel or sentimental feelings.  He does not accept sinners “just the way they are”; they must repent (change) and believe in order to be accepted by Him (Acts 10:35).  He doesn’t love sinners the way that they want Him to: He does not give them unconditional approval, unconditional acceptance, unconditional forgiveness, or unconditional friendship.  He has unconditional love for the sinner, but he doesn’t like them.  

The Bible also speaks of a love God has for man that is CONDITIONAL.  Hear the Word of God: 

Proverbs 8:17  “I LOVE THEM THAT LOVE ME: and those that seek Me early shall find Me.” 

John 14:21  “He that hath My commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth Me: and HE THAT LOVETH ME SHALL BE LOVED OF MY FATHER, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” 

John 14:23  “Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, he will keep My words; AND MY FATHER WILL LOVE HIM, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him.” 

John 15:10  “IF ye keep My commandments, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” 

John 16:27  “For the FATHER HIMSELF LOVETH YOU, BECAUSE YE HAVE LOVED ME, and have believed that I came out from God.”

I John 2:15  “Love not the world, neither the things in the world.  IF any man love the world, THE LOVE OF THE FATHER IS NOT IN HIM.”

God’s conditional love is the love of complacency and friendship, such as the love a man would have for an old, faithful comrade.  God’s conditional love is fellowship.  We enjoy this love only by responding in a loving way to the influence of His unconditional love.  “We love Him because He first loved us.”  We cannot know God and His conditional love unless we cease to love sin and He becomes our First Love.

Love by definition must be voluntary, so God cannot force His love upon anybody.  That would not be benevolent - just as it would not be benevolent for a man to “force” himself upon a woman.  God wants our love to be a free expression from our heart.  Only in this would He receive glory and be pleased.  God invites, persuades, pleads, and beckons man to leave his idolatrous loves and worship and adore his Creator above all, to give God pre-eminence in his life.  If man complies, God delights in him.  Should God delight in Hitler and Moses alike?  Should God be pleased with Judas Iscariot and John the Apostle the same?  As long as sinners reject the love of God shown in the bloody cross of Christ, they cannot receive God’s conditional love.  As long as they continue in their sins, they are at war with the Lawgiver, and under the condemnation of His Law and wrath of His justice, God’s love notwithstanding.  Unless they meet the terms of the covenant - fear God, repent, obey, love God supremely - they are doomed to the fire of God’s Holy hatred and wrath on Judgment Day!

The real question is not “Does God love you?” but “Do you love God?”  Never did Jesus or any of His Apostles ever tell the lost multitudes, “God loves you”.  Never!  Rather, they told the multitudes of their duty to love God supremely and love their neighbor equally - this is all the Law of God.  And if sinners would not keep God’s Law, they were warned of the righteous judgments of God, so that they would fear Him.  In the book of Acts, our first example of Church evangelism, the word “love” is not mentioned even once, while the fear of the Lord is referred to ten times!  What is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom?  The Bible says it is THE FEAR OF THE LORD!  One cannot love God in the Biblical sense - benevolence, good-willing, perfect submission - until He fears God!  This extra-Biblical, humanistic gospel that omits mention of God’s wrath and condemnation, focuses on God’s love for sinners, and provokes no godly repentance has quenched the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon so many.  The rebels hear someone tell them, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life” and think it means God accepts them, or that God has good feelings for them, or that God is pleased with them, and that is far from the truth.  God is Holy, and does not accept them as they are - He hates them as they are!  God’s “plan” for them is eternal torment in the lake of fire unless they repent and submit to God!  This “God-loves-you-unconditionally, false Gospel” should be utterly forsaken for the Gospel message of the Bible!

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Last revision: May 21, 2006 09:01 AM
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