I suggested last week during a bible study, that the cliché; “God hates the sin but loves the sinner” is unbiblical and stated that God not only hates sin but He hates the sinner as well. This caused some to be a little upset. A couple of days later with regards to this being on my mind, I said on my facebook account; “Many Christians have a hard time excepting the Biblical truth that God not only hates sin but abhors the one who does iniquity. (Psalm 5:5) This is not something to reject but a truth that makes the gospel all the more beautiful. That God would pour His righteous Holy wrath out on His Son, who never sinned, redeeming by His blood through faith the object of His Devine hatred, evil and wicked men. It is beyond words, it is Amazing Grace!” This too caused some others to become angry, you would think that I had spoken against some great and honored doctrine of the church.
First of all I retract from my original statement that “God hates the sin but loves the sinner” as being unbiblical, to say it is unbiblical would be to say that there is no truth in it at all. First of all this is not a doctrine that I am dispelling it is a cliché’ and a modern American evangelical cliché’ at that. So it’s not totally unbiblical, it has truth in it, but just enough truth missing to mislead, and isn’t that the deception of the modern false gospel. Isn’t that the deception of many false gospels, just enough truth to deceive even the believer to thinking it is the truth; “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Mathew 24:24)
Before I talk about what is wrong with this cliché’, what about the cliché’ is true? First of all God does hate sin! In fact no one would deny that God hates sin. In Hebrews 1:9 God the Father said of Jesus Christ, God the Son; “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness above Your companions." Secondly God does love the sinner! “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)” (Ephesians 2:4-5).
So what is wrong with the cliché’? But! That’s right, But! But implies instead of something; “God hates the sin but loves the sinner” the word but put in the sentence, implies that instead of hating the sinner as justice would demand, God loves the sinner instead. I find that absolutely repulsive and grotesque, because the implication is that God is unjust. God is righteous and will always do what is right and just, always; “Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne” (Psalm 89:14).
"The cliché, God hates the sin but loves the sinner, is false on the face of it and should be abandoned.
Fourteen times in the first fifty Psalms alone, we are told that God hates the sinner, His wrath is on the liar, and so forth.
In the Bible, the wrath of God rests both on the sin (Romans 1:18ff) and on the sinner (John 3:36)." ~D.A. Carson
One of the arguments that people have given in their reviling against the biblical truth that God hates the sin and the sinner both; is that in order to see this outside of the Psalms and Proverbs you have to imply that every where scripture talks about the wrath of God being against sinners, that God hates the sinner. In other words they are saying that unless the scripture specifically says God hates the sinner as it does in (Psalm 5:4-6, Psalm 7:11, Psalm 11:5, Proverbs 6:16-19) then he doesn’t hate the sinner and it cannot therefore be implied. You have to make that implication in the New Testament, because it doesn’t use the exact words hates and sinners. First of all God is the same God in the New Testament as He was in the Old Testament, He is never changing. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) So if it says in the Old Testament that God hates sinners; then God hates sinners. Secondly if God’s wrath abides upon the sinner it does mean that He hates the sinner given what it means to hate. “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides in him.” (John 3:36)
Let’s define hate. To hate; is a desire to destroy, to make something no more, and to be done away with, a want or desire to kill. I hate abortion (the murder of children in the womb) I desire for abortion to be done away with, for it to no longer exist. That’s the real issue and the real reason why it makes people so uptight when you say that God hates the sinner, because they know what that means. Their consciences testifies to the fact that they have broken God’s laws and are therefore a sinner; so if God hates sinners, that means He hates me the sinner and desires to destroy me. It is offensive for many to hear that God hates them. This is why the apostle John said; “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer” (1 John 3:15) because to hate someone is a desire to see them dead. God is righteous (Psalm 89:14), God’s hatred therefore is righteous; God’s desire to kill the sinner (Ezekiel 18:4) is because it is the right thing to do.
Even believers in Jesus Christ, who have repented of their own personal sins and put their faith alone in Jesus Christ will revile at this. David Platt said; “It is one of those places where we can find ourselves in a bit of trouble for quoting the bible.” The reason for this I believe is the same reason that the majority of believers do not evangelize (do not go out and preach the gospel as Christ commanded). They have this vale of unbelief that somehow everyone is ok. They believe the gospel on a personal level that Christ has paid for their sins in full but are under a delusion that all of their friends, families, coworkers and people that they consider nice in general are ok. But when you say that “God hates all who do iniquity” (Psalm 5:5) it destroys the façade, the illusion that they are ok and causes them to almost revile at the notion as much as an unbeliever reviles at the gospel itself. Now understand, I am not advocating that we preach condemnation, saying to the unbeliever “God hates you.” This is in all since a deeper understanding of the revelation of God and the gospel.
What I am advocating is; let us do away with worthless; misleading cliché’s and preach the word of God and gospel of Jesus Christ. We must accept Scripture in its entirety, and scripture alone is the authority of God on earth. The truth that God hates the sinner is explicit in scripture (Psalm 5:4-6, Psalm 7:11, Psalm 11:5, Proverbs 6:16-19). The truth that God loves the sinner is explicit in scripture (John 3:16, Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5). So the question isn't does God hate the sinner; the question is why does God hate the sinner? The answer is because God is righteous and just, "Righteousness and justice are the foundations of your thrown" (Psalm 89:14). The question isn't does God love the sinner; the question is why does God love the sinner? The answer is because, "God is love" (1John 4:8). How can these two attributes of God reconcile in-regards to sinful man? At the cross of Jesus Christ; it was at the cross that the wrath of God and the mercy of God collided, it was at the cross that the hatred of God for sinners and the love of God for sinners kissed, it was at the cross that the sinless Son of God was crushed by the Father for the sins of man, it was at the cross that God the Son stood in the law place of His people. God the Father crushed His Son under the Holy wrath of God for sinners "to demonstrate His righteousness" (Romans 3:25). Jesus bore the full wrath of God for sinners, for His people "to demonstrate His own love toward us" (Romans 5:8). Jesus said; "'It is finished' And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, He was buried, and He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). “Repent and believe in the gospel!” (Mark 1:15)
Mike Peek a slave of Jesus Christ