God hates sin. “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) We are to hate sin, all those who do not know and accept that Jesus Christ is Lord are sinners, they are wicked, and the wrath of God abides on them this very day.
There is a great misconception about the lost, the wicked sinners, that has been prevalent for many years now, that we are to “Love the sinner, but hate the sin.” This is not what the Word of God teaches, He does not bend His bow (Psalm 7:12) against sin, but the sinner that is committing that sin, His wrath is against the sinner who sins, he does not separate the two. “God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.” (Psalm 7:11) We have been commanded to love our neighbor, (Mark 12:31) our neighbor is many times the wicked individual, the lost unrepentant soul, and herein is this fallacy most often administered, we tend to believe that love is an emotion only, but love cannot be exhibited by emotions, it is shown in actions, good feelings have never been shown as love. What we do expresses who we are, how we feel allows only us to render a decision, no one can see or understand another’s feelings unless they are outwardly expressed. “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.” (Psalm 11:5)
The actions are hated, the intent of the heart that commits the actions are hated, and the individual is hated by the Lord God, this nonsense that Almighty God loves wicked sinful people, that His love is poured out upon them is just that, nonsense, they are reserved for wrath, (Nahum 1:2) His wrath abides on them now, (John 3:36) and He is angry with them every day, they are an abomination to Him (Prov. 16:5) and they will suffer eternally in the Lake of Fire. (Rev. 20:15) Them, my friends, not their sins, the sinner, the human being down the street or perhaps even in your own family, God hates them and unless they come to Him in repentance and accept His Son as Lord, this hatred will become pitiless wrath forever.
That sinner is the neighbor you are to love, the action of love comes from the same place that the action of hate comes from, the heart of man. If that hatred for the lost becomes an action, you have sinned, if the love for them does not become an action, you have sinned. “Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” (Psalm 139:21) A man after God’s own heart said these words, but not once did he perform an action of hatred against them, perhaps he should not have done many of the things he did, but he understood fully that God hates sin, and He hates the person that lives in these sins, not just the sin, but the sinner.
We are in a very grave position here, we are to be Christlike, yet far too many who claim Him as Lord do not see Him as God Almighty, they believe this “new thing” (John 13:34) that He came to bring about meant that His position on sin has changed, that the sinner is no longer accountable for their sin, that we are to love the sinner, but hate the sin. Nonsense, God has always hated the unrepentant heart while still taking no pleasure in their deaths. (Eze. 33:11) Sin cannot be separated from the sinner except by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. His children He loves, but the hard and impenitent heart will feel His wrath, (Romans 2:5) those who will not obey the truth will receive tribulation and anguish. (Romans 2:8-9) God hates sin and He hates those who continue in their sins, and yet He loves them enough to give all an opportunity to repent. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
Are you beginning to understand the difference between emotion and action, the action of love creates an emotion of love, the emotion of hate creates a heart of sin. I have never met anyone yet that has extolled Hitler as a man worthy of praise and honor, but I am commanded to love them that are just like he was and at the same time to hate them, not just the sins they commit, but the person, the individual who is in open rebellion against Almighty God. His bow is not bent against the sin, but the sinner.
The action of hate is in open opposition against the Word of God, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” (Romans 12:19) The action of love is forgiveness, a forgiving spirit within a man is a contradiction in the extreme, for our sinful nature opposes it, hatred is our nature against the vile and evil man, we despise those who use the name of Jesus Christ as a curse word, we hate those who use the name of God only when in conjunction with the word “damn,” yet we are at the same time commanded to love them, our actions are to be those of compassion, concern, and care. We cannot do this, only the Holy Spirit of God within us can, and He must be allowed to override our sinful nature within us, the desire for vengeance, the desire to hate in our heart, for that type of action would be sin unto us.
Far too many who claim Jesus Christ as Lord are not well versed in this most important matter, they have determined that the love they possess is supposed to just be sloshed over all they meet, that correction and reprove is reserved only for God, that judging is always seen as judgmental, that they are to love the sinner while hating only the sins that they continually commit. In this they do greatly err. “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Eph. 5:6) Those who will not accept Jesus Christ as Lord do not need to wait for the wrath of God that will be upon them in hell to appear, it is upon them even today, (Romans 1:18) the sin of unrepentance, of denying the Most Holy One they are accountable for, the sinner is hated because he is the one willfully committing the sin, he is responsible, not some outside unseen force, not against his will does he do what he is doing, and so he is personally accountable for his thoughts and actions in every aspect.
The sinner is hated because of the sin he commits of his own free will, and until he falls on his face at the foot of the cross and begs for mercy and forgiveness, he will remain hated, and the wrath of God will abide upon him now, and for all eternity. Ask anyone in hell today about the love of God, about His unending mercy and compassion upon them, ask them if God loves the sinner but hates the sin, ask them if His wrath and fury, if His anger is poured out only upon their sins, but not upon the one who committed those sins. We are to show love to them by our actions, but our hearts are never to love the sinner, we are to treat them as we would one of our own brothers or sisters in Christ who willfully removes themselves from the presence of Christ and lives in sin, as a gentile, (Matt. 18:17) in disgust with love, in hope with prayer, but we are never to attempt to separate the actions of the sinner from their sins, they are accountable for their actions, as we all are.
All have been given an opportunity to turn from their sins and repent, the one who will not will die in his sins, (John 8:24) and he will be punished eternally for his actions, no others, he alone is accountable, not the sin, but him. The grace by faith unto salvation (Eph. 2:8) is freely offered to all, but until that offer is accepted the wrath of God abides upon that person, He is angry with them continuously, for the invisible things are clearly seen to them, (Romans 1:20) and they are without excuse.
We hate the unrepentant sinner because he is the one that is living in that sin, willfully denying Christ as Lord, but we do not act upon that hatred, we act in love towards them, it is the Lord God alone that will judge them, it is Christ alone that is responsible for the action of wrath and fury, and He will be pitiless in that action, His hand will not be stayed from executing vengeance upon them. (2 Peter 2:4-5) They will know no pity, they will know no mercy in that day and from that day throughout eternity, from the moment they leave this earth throughout all eternity, all hope will be gone. We are in love to warn them, that is our responsibility, not the Bible, not the church, not the traditions set before you, you and I are the chosen vessels set in place by Almighty God through Jesus Christ that are responsible to warn them of their fate if they die in their sins, to accomplish this task we must submit to the Holy Spirit, we must act in love against those that hate the One we love above all else. Can you do that?