Some view God as a being who is all-loving, who hates nothing and no one. This is not the God the Bible reveals. He is both good (Romans 2:4), severe (Romans 11:22), and wrathful (John 3:36; Romans 1:18, 2:8, 5:9, Ephesians 5:6, Colossians 3:6; Revelation 14:10). He does not look kindly on evil practices.
GOD HATES SIN
God hates sinful practices. He hates “every abomination” practiced in idolatrous worship (Deuteronomy 12:31). There are seven things He hates, things that are an abomination to Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet swift to do evil, a false witness and one who sows discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:16-19). He hates “robbery for incense” (Isaiah 61:8); sacrifice to idols (Jeremiah 44:3-4); evil in a person’s heart toward his neighbor and a false oath (Zechariah 8:17); “divorce” (Malachi 2:16); and the deeds of the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6). A prophecy concerning Jesus stated, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness” (Psalm 45:7; quoted in Hebrews 1:9).
God also hates the worship of the wicked. Isaiah wrote that God hated Israel’s worship because they were sinful, “Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me. I am weary of bearing them” (Isaiah 1:14, NKJV). Amos echoed the same, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not savor your sacred assemblies” (Amos 5:21).
HATE SIN, BUT LOVE SINNERS
Does God also hate sinners? The saying, “God hates sin but loves sinners” is familiar to almost everyone, but is it true? Does God hate sinners?
He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die for their sins. He loves sinners, but does He love all sinners, those who defiantly turn their backs on Him because they do not love the truth and refuse to do His will?
God must hate wicked people who will not believe the truth. He will send strong delusions to cause them to believe a lie so that they will be damned (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12). If He loved them, He would not seek their damnation.
The Lord hates evil doers. “The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity” (Psalm 5:5). “The Lord tests the righteous. But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates” (Psalm 11:5).
Solomon listed seven things “the Lord hates. . . . (which) are an abomination to Him” (Proverbs 6:16). Two in the list that He hates are people who do evil: “A false witness who speaks lies, and one who sows discord among brethren” (Proverbs 6:19). “My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest; It cries out against Me; Therefore I have hated it” (Jeremiah 12:8).
LOVE NO MORE
Will God ever cease to love those who are wicked? Some preach that after God sends evil people to hell, He will continue to love them. Is this true?
Notice what God said (Hosea 9:13) to Ephraim (used in reference to the northern tribes of Israel, Hosea 7:1). “All their wickedness is in Gilgal, for there I hated them. Because of the evil of their deeds I will drive them from My house; I will love them no more” (Hosea 9:15b). Did you catch that? God will hate them and love them no more?
People can become so rebellious to the will of God that He will cease loving them. This will be the result of defiant disobedience. In order to understand the wickedness of Israel that led God to hate them, read Hosea chapter 4-9.
The love of God is conditional. He continues to love everyone unless and until they become hardened to Him. In order to remain in God’s love, people must continue to obey Jesus. “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love” (John 15:10). If we do not continue to keep His commandments, we will not remain in His love.
Even though God loves all people, they must obey Him in order to continue in His love. He will cease to love those who defiantly rebel against Him. He will love them no more.
The lesson for us is that we must continue to have obedient hearts that are receptive to God’s Word. Living obedient lives is the basis of our hope of eternal life (John 12:49-50).