There is a popular misconception that God detests sinners. However, this is contrary to what the Bible teaches – hate in this context refers to holy abhorrence and disgust (Psalms 5:5; Proverbs 6:17-19).
God is an all-loving being, yet He abhors anything which goes against His nature of holiness; therefore He abhors all forms of sin and strongly disapproves of them.
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1. He is a just God.
The God of the Bible is an immutably just Being. He stands firmly against any form of injustice or unrighteousness and encourages his followers to live lives that reflect and promote justice and righteousness. He defends those who are poor and oppressed (Jeremiah 9:23-24; Psalm 10:17-18) while rejecting those who commit acts that go beyond repenting for their sin and continue rebelling against Him; these individuals he views with intense contempt like any jealous husband would (Proverbs 6:16-19).
The wicked are those who resist God’s mercy and refuse to repent of their sins. In turn, they direct their hatred at those closest to Him (such as His own people who bear His image), including those he created as His people – harming, maiming, persecuting or even murdering them because their hatred lies deep within their hearts – they can’t do this directly against him but instead attack those closest to him instead.
God hates sinners because their rebellion against His rule is seen as an insulting rejection of Him as their creator and leader, as He created humans to live under perfect submission to him and offer Him pure worship; instead they rebelled and became disloyal to Him, making His anger manifest through wrathful action against them.
Wrathful actions from God are an appropriate response to their wickedness and sin against him, not an indication of His lack of love as some might misunderstand. He must uphold His holiness and justice – which is why He sent His own Son Jesus Christ into this world to die for our sins – while simultaneously showing his amazing love towards those who trust in Him.
God does not love sinners equally, rather He shows compassion towards saved sinners while still disliking unrepentant ones who continue in their wicked ways. Yet He provides a way for reconciliation between unrepentant individuals and saved ones just like parents still love their estranged child.
2. He is a benevolent God.
Though God loves all people unconditionally, He also makes it clear in Scripture that He holds evildoers in contempt. Scripture illustrates this through examples like idolatry, child sacrifice or sexual perversion (Leviticus 20:23). Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven behaviors the Lord abhors – among them pride, lying, bloodthirsty men and those who stir up trouble – making it impossible for a loving God who abhors such behaviors to accept all sinners unconditionally without first repenting of their sinful ways.
Many times the Bible is misused to promote an incorrect notion that God loves sinners while disliking sin. However, this is far from accurate as “hate” in Hebrew and Greek means not loving as much or less than someone else would love them back – Jacob was often described as having hated Leah when in truth she only differed slightly in terms of affection from Rachel (Genesis 29:31-33)
God is a merciful and just God whose kindness shines forth from His character. However, He can also be harsh when punishing evildoers; yet He never rejoices when misfortune strikes; rather He laughs in their faces as their lives unravel before Him and they succumb to fire’s mercilessness and destruction.
Though seemingly contradictory, there is no conflict between God’s depictions as both a God of love and one of wrath in the Bible. Through kindness and warnings, He attempts to lead all sinners back towards repentance through kindness and warnings – though some will respond only through discipline or harsh rebuke. When his offer of forgiveness is refused by sinners, His wrath turns toward them but His loving kindness extends outward. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son so that all who believe may not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)
3. He is a loving God.
Christians often fall prey to the misconception that God condemns sin but loves its perpetrator. While God certainly loves us, He disapproves of our current identity and conduct; He hates our wickedness and punishes it accordingly unless we repent and receive His forgiveness; this is why the Bible warns about hell as an eternal punishment – any message which omits this warning should be avoided as this deceptive message deceives people into thinking He approves regardless of any change they might make; such messages could potentially deceive people into thinking God approves and will save even when people never change.
This false Gospel is enhanced by the fact that, within Scripture, only a handful of verses talk about God’s hatred of sinners; most other references refer to pride, lying, murder, evil schemes and feet which rush into violence as examples of things He detests. Furthermore, as the Lord is an jealous God; He will not tolerate injustice and those who love Him will not lie (Proverbs 6:16-19).
Judges in courtrooms of justice take great pleasure in seeing criminals caught and punished for the sake of society, not because they hate criminals but as just God who wants to promote goodness. God doesn’t hate the wicked because He detests them but because their wicked ways harm his creations; He doesn’t wish for their lives of innocent and righteous to be disrupted or damaged in any way.
God can only reconcile all of humanity back to Himself through Jesus’ death on the cross, suffering unimaginable humiliation as soldiers jammed spears into his side and forced Him to die a martyr’s death. God offers each individual who accepts this plan a unique solution – but in order to take advantage of it they must repent of their sins, trust in Jesus as Lord and receive his grace – those who reject this offer are doomed for eternity in hell.
4. He is a just God.
The Bible describes God as being perfectly righteous and just, loving goodness while simultaneously seeking justice. However, it’s important to make the distinction between “hatred” and “disapproval.” Jacob despised Esau but didn’t dislike his dark-eyed beauty (Genesis 29:3133); similarly with sinners; He doesn’t dislike them because of their wrongdoing, but disapproves of their current identity and actions and will judge them at final judgement unless they repent, follow Christ and live life faithfully alongside Him.
Some interpret the verses that state God hates iniquity to mean He only opposes certain types of sin and not others, which is clearly incorrect. Instead, Scripture states “The Lord striveth with the righteous, but has contempt for those who do wrong” (Proverbs 6:16-19) while also noting “His soul hath hatred of violence-lovers” (Psalm 5:5) as something He takes great offense at. God dislikes unrepentant and rebellious sinners that refuses repentance – He hates.
God’s wrath against sinners stems from two reasons. One is their tendency toward sinful behaviors and rejection of His terms for reconciliation – this violates His Law and provokes Him into action against them. Without this animus for them, He would never have sent Jesus Christ to die on a cross with a spear piercing through His heart nailed thereon.
God’s wrath against sinners can only be avoided through Jesus and accepting his atoning death as their only means. At that point of salvation, all hatred is gone and replaced by love and peace – so sinners will be welcomed into his heavenly kingdom and enjoy eternal life with Him – making this gospel message so crucial.