DOES GOD HATE ANYONE? By Matt Slick o f carm.org
The universalists repeatedly say things like, "God loves us all so much that He will save us all"; or "He hates the sin, but loves the sinner"; or "God is love, and will not send anyone to hell."
Universalists teach that God is so full of love, that He simply cannot send anyone to eternal hell fire. It is against His infinite love. They want God to forgive all, even those who openly reject Him and die cursing God.
I must admit, it is nice to think of God's love being so infinitely great that all will ultimately be saved. Hell is a terrible place and I don't want anyone to go there. But it does not matter what I think. It matters what the Bible says.
God is love (1 John 4:8), but God also punishes the sinner and hates all who do iniquity. God is not one sided. He is not simply an infinitely loving God. He is also infinitely just. He must deal with sin. He must punish the sinner.
In the truth of God's word, we find that the Lord has provided one way by which we may be saved. That single way is through Jesus' sacrifice. For all who trust in Him, salvation will come. But to those who turn away, God's wrath abides upon them: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him," (John 3:36).
Does God hate anyone?
Does God hate anyone? The answer is yes.
· Psalm 5:5, "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity,"
· Lev. 20:23, "Moreover, you shall not follow the customs of the nation which I shall drive out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I have abhorred them."
· Prov. 6:16-19, "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil,
19 A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
· Hosea 9:15, "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."
Are these verses hard to read? Do they make you feel uncomfortable? They should. God hates sin. But, He does not punish sin. He punishes the sinner. Sin cannot be tied up and thrown into a fire. It cannot be put in a box or glued to a stick. It is rebellion. It is rebellion in the heart. It is breaking God's Law. Sin occurs inside the heart and mind of people. Therefore, God must punish the sinner. Why? Because He is both Holy and Just and the person who sins offends God. God's Holy and Just character will not allow Him to ignore this offense. Why?....
God's Law is Perfect
When God said, "Let there be light," it happened. When He commanded that the oceans be, they came into existence. God's word is powerful. What He says is never futile, empty, or without power.
The Law is a reflection of God's character. It is pure and perfect. It is powerful. The Ten Commandments reflect God's holiness and justice. These commandments are not without punishments. A law without consequences is only an empty slogan.
To sin is to break God's Law and offend His character. To sin means to challenge His character and authority. It means you go against His word. But God is not a liar. His word is true. He has said He will punish the lawbreaker.
But, praise be to God, that while we were yet sinners, Jesus died for us (Rom. 5:6). There is no way we can appease God. That is why God became one of us (John 1:1,14; Heb. 2:17), to take our place and become sin on our behalf (2 Cor. 5:21). Therefore, people have two options:
1. Trust Jesus, God in flesh, as your savior and put your faith in the sacrifice that He made on the cross and in nothing you do.
2. Reject the cross and let the penalty of the Law fall upon you.
Either God pays, or you do -- forever. Which will it be?
"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins," (Heb. 10:26). If there is no sacrifice available for you, then God's wrath abides upon you because He hates sin and your sin is not removed (John 3:36). Trust Jesus alone or the wrath of God will abide upon you forever.
The sobering fact is that God is so holy and righteous that He hates the sinner (Psalm 5:5; Lev. 20:23; Prov. 6:16-19; Hos. 9:15). Some say that we should say that God only hates the sin but loves the sinner. But, the above scriptures speak contrary to that. But it is also true that He is love (1 John 4:8). It is better to accept the love of God found in Jesus than to reject it and suffer His wrath.
Does God hate people or love them? John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-8 and Psalm 5:5; 11:5; Proverbs 6:16-19; Hosea 9:15
1. God loves
A. (John 3:16) - "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
B. (Rom. 5:8) - "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
C. (1 John 4:7-8,16)- "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love...16God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God... "
2. God hates
. (Psalm 5:5) - "The boastful shall not stand before Thine eyes; Thou dost hate all who do iniquity."
A. (Psalm 11:5) - "The Lord tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates."
B. (Proverbs 6:16-19) - "There are six things which the Lord hates, yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18A heart that devises wicked plans, feet that run rapidly to evil, 19A false witness who utters lies, and one who spreads strife among brothers."
C. (Hosea 9:15) - "All their evil is at Gilgal; indeed, I came to hate them there! Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of My house! I will love them no more; All their princes are rebels."
God both loves and hates. His nature is love (1 John 4:8), but He is also righteous (Psalm 7:9) and holy (Isaiah 6:3). The very fact that He does not incinerate all of humanity for its sin against Him is due to his loving kindness. God doesn't owe anyone anything. We are sinners and as such, we have offended Him because we have broken His laws -- and His laws are a reflection of His character. But, God in His great mercy, sent His Son to die for our sins so that we might have eternal life by receiving Christ as Savior (John 1:12; Rom. 10:9-10).
Does God hate? Yes. Does God love? Yes. This is not a contradiction. This is simply the truth.
DOES GOD LOVE THE SINNER AND HATE ONLY HIS SIN? DR. JOHN H. GERSTNER
“Repent or Perish” forces people to ponder seriously the popular slogan, “God hates the sin and loves the sinner.” Is a necessary repentance consistent with “God loves the sinner?” If God loves the sinner while he is alive, it is strange that God sends him to hell as soon as he dies. God loves the sinner to death? Loves him to everlasting torment?
There is something wrong here. Either God loves the sinner and will not send him into the furnace of His eternal wrath; or He sends him into His eternal wrath and does not love him. Either “you are going to hell unless” because God hates you, as you are. Or, God loves you and “you are going to hell unless” is false.
What leads almost everyone to believe that God loves the sinner is that God does the sinner so much good. He bestows so many favors including letting him continue to live. How can God let the sinner live and give him so many blessings, unless He loves him? There is a kind of love between God and sinners. We call it the “love of benevolence.” That means the love of good will. Benevolens — willing well. Doing well. God can do well to the sinner without loving him with the other kind of love. “Complacent love,” a pleasure in, affection for, admiration of. It exists in perfection between the Father and the Son, “in whom I am well pleased” (Matt.3:17; Mk.1:11).
God is perfectly displeased with the sinner. The sinner hates God, disobeys God, is ungrateful to God for all His favors, would kill God if he could. He is dead in trespasses and sins. (Eph.2:1) “The thoughts and intents of his heart are only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5) He is the slave of sin (John 8:34), the servant of the devil, (Eph.2:2).
God has no complacent love for the sinner at all. He has a perfect hatred of him, “1 hate them with a perfect hatred.” (Ps. 139:22)
Why does God do so much good for those He perfectly hates and as soon as they die impenitent send them immediately to hell and never in all eternity does them one solitary favor more? It is to show His willingness to forgive the sinner if only he will repent. It shows the sincerity of God’s willingness to pardon the greatest sinner that, even while He hates him with a perfect hatred, He showers him with constant daily blessings.
As I mentioned in Chapter 1, there is no “problem of pain.” The only problem is the “problem of pleasure.” Dreadful as it is, it is not surprising that God sends sinners to hell. The problem is why He does not do it sooner. Why does God let a hell-deserving sinner live a minute and then let him prosper like the green bay tree (Ps.37:35), as well? It is obvious that God can destroy the ungrateful. Why doesn’t He? That is the problem.
Yes, the sinner suffers, too. But so little. It is a gentle reminder: though the sinner receives many divine favors, that does not mean that God is pleased with him. It is in spite of the fact that God hates him with a perfect hatred.
Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness
and forbearance and patience, not knowing that the
kindness of God leads you to repentance? (Rom.2:4)
Our text also shows that the one reason a sinner is permitted to be born into and enjoy this world rather than wake up as an infant in hell is that God, with His love of benevolence, is determined to give the sinner a “chance,” an opportunity to repent. Alas, most sinners use it as a chance to sin! They make God’s blessed love of benevolence into a curse.
In this world the sinner enjoys nothing but the benevolent love of God. Every experience of pain as well as pleasure is from God’s love — of benevolence. Even pain is from love because it tends to wake the sinner to his danger. God indeed loves the sinner, whom He hates with a perfect hatred, with a perfect love of benevolence.
The sinner, as I said, makes every divine blessing into a curse including God’s love of benevolence. This he does by construing a love of benevolence as a love of complacency.
Construing God’s love of benevolence as a love of complacency is fatal. Instead of the divine forbearance leading to repentance, it is used as an excuse for non-repentance. Thus the sinner is not saved but damned by God’s love of benevolence.
God “loves” the sinner benevolently and hates the sinner displacently. If the sinner dies impenitent, God removes His love of benevolence and pours out the full wrath of his displacent love.
As far as “hatred of sins” is concerned, sins do not exist apart from the sinner. God does hate sinning, killing, stealing, lying, lusting, etc., but this alludes to the perpetrator of these crimes.
God never hates the redeemed even when they sin. Is He an unfair respecter of persons? No! (Act. 10:34) God hates the unredeemed sinner but loves the redeemed even when they sin for a good and just reason. God loves the redeemed even when they sin because His Son, in whom God is always well-pleased, ever lives to make intercession for them. (Rom.8:27, 34) Christ died to atone for the guilt of His people’s sins. When they sin, these are atoned-for sins. They are sins with their guilt removed. In one sense, they are not sins at all. God does not hate His people when they sin because they are in His Son, Christ Jesus. And they are made acceptable in His Son. He “has made us accepted in the Beloved.” (Eph. 1:6)
Divine nepotism? No, His Son died for these people and paid the price for their sins past, present, and future. They are cancelled before they are committed. That is truth, not fiction. Righteousness, not nepotistic favoritism. In fact, it is not their original relationship to Christ which makes their sins guiltless, but Christ’s making satisfaction for their sins that created the relationship as children adopted into the family of God.
God, in hot displeasure, chastens His people when they sin (Ps.6: 1; 38:1). It is not hatred but complacent love in Christ Jesus. “Whom the Lord loves He chastens.” (Heb. 12:6,7) God loves His people even when He afflicts them and hates the impenitent even when He befriends them.
Why the chastening when there is love? God blessed the wicked when there was holy hatred. Now He chastens His people when there is holy love. This is because true moral behavior must be perfected. No sin can be tolerated in those for whom Christ died. He died to purchase a “peculiar people zealous of good works.” (Titus 2:14) Being redeemed, so far from tolerating their sinning, precludes it. Anyone who persists in sinning proves thereby that he is not a child of God. God punishes His own especially because they are His children. “You only have I chosen among all the families of the earth: Therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.” (Amos 3:2)
“Upright” man was promised and warned. A holy, just, and perfect God would promise and warn. Eternal life — if obedient. Instant death — the moment of disobedience. (Gen.3:5; Ecc.7:29)
When man sinned, he died spiritually and was rejected from communion with God his maker and friend. (Gen.3; Rom. 5:12ff) The wrath of God was upon him; labor was his lot; suffering in childbirth; alienation and death, as threatened. God is holy; of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. (Hab. 1:13)
Yet mortal man “lived” on (though to live in pleasure is death, 1 Tim. 5:6), and so did promise. When the angels sinned they perished without delay, without promise, without hope.
Man’s fate was better and worse than the fallen angels’ lot. It was a day of possible salvation but also of possible greater damnation, greater damnation for sinning away the day of possible salvation. God in His wrath; God in His mercy; at the same time.
This was a terrible but holy wrath. God was using His omnipotent power but according to His perfect justice. Man was affected but he deserved it. It was no more, no less, than he deserved. God is no more powerful than holy; no more holy than powerful.
As man continued to sin, God continued to increase His fury. His wrath is in no hurry. The record is kept, all accounts receivable. Every idle word will be brought into judgment (Matt. 12:36). The cup of iniquity must be filled. Then wrath to the uttermost. (1 Thess. 2:16) God’s glory shines in the perfection of His work.
But — God decreed the sin, (Prov. 16:4). Yes, for good and for glory. Man did it for evil and for shame.
A little sin and infinite wrath? A little sin against an infinite God is infinite. Wrath is in perfect proportion to the guilt. But even if the punishment were finite it would go in “infinitely,” unendingly, because the sinner continues to sin in resenting it.
All glory to God for His holy anger. (John 17:3; Rom.9: 17f)