“The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” (Prov. 8:13) The fear of the Lord is reverential trust and a hatred of evil, we are to hate evil. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” (Matt. 5:44)
It seems as if we have a dilemma here, we are to hate evil, yet love those that persecute us, basically evil people. Some have determined that what the born-again believer is to do is to hate the sins that are committed by these evil men but love that sinner at the same time. While it is true that the Lord judges all sin, it is also true that the sin is not cast into eternal damnation, the sinner is, and so we are left to wonder, so it seems, how we are to respond to evil, whether it is committed against us personally, or if it is recognized by us in the world.
We are commanded to forgive, and we should, but again, how can we hate evil and forgive it at the same time. Some like to suggest that what Jesus said on this subject trumps, or overrides, what the Old Testament says, yet forgiveness flows throughout the Word of God, and so again, we are left to wonder, where are we to stand? If one does not hate evil, then by default, one is agreeing with it, by not speaking up against the evil acts of our day, then we are falling into the trap of the enabled and “never offending” society that is taking over the world. “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20) “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17)
I believe these words have perplexed mankind since they were written, especially for those who have determined to submit their lives to the Holy Spirit for the glory of God. Our enemies are those that are blatantly standing against the will and Word of God, and we are to love them, to pray for them, to do good unto them, yet at the same time, if we desire to serve the Lord, we are commanded to hate evil, and these individuals are committing evil acts. If we do not say anything against them and their deeds, are we loving them, yet doing as we are commanded, to hate evil?
That which God hates, we are to hate, we are to give no quarter in this area, we are not to budge in anyway, evil is to be hated. That which God loves, we are to love, without any hesitation, holding back nothing. I feel quite confident in saying that nowhere in the Scriptures are we told to love, or forgive, Satan or any of those who fell with him. “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.” (Matt. 12:30)
These individuals that are against us are our enemies, but as long as they draw breath there is hope, and we are commanded to perform the actions of love towards them. “For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee.” (Prov. 25:22) The question then must be asked, can we perform these acts of love, leaving all emotional traces of love out of our actions, and still hate the evil that these people embody?
As I have mentioned in other letters when these types of subjects arise, the answer to this is far above my pay grade, but that does not mean we should not contemplate them. Unrepentant sinners are evil, for disobedience to the will of God is evil, and these people the Lord will cast into eternal darkness. (Matt. 22:13) You may attempt to answer the question, if you so desire, as to whether the Lord hates those in hell, or if He loves them.