Yes. Yes it does.
Among the things that the Bible tells us that God hates are idolatry (Deuteronomy 12:31), sexual immorality (Leviticus 20:1-23), child sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31, 2 Kings 3:27), and those individuals that do evil deeds and acts (Psalm 5:4-6). Proverbs 6:16-19 lists seven different things that the LORD hates. They include pride, lying, murder, evil plots, those who love evil, false witnesses, and troublemakers.
But wait. The Bible says that God hates the sin yet loves the sinner, right?
Well, not exactly. As you likely noticed in the list above, the Bible tells us that there are not just things that God hates. The Bible also says that God hates people as well. How can this work, you might ask?
The reason is not as complicated as it might seem. God’s Word consistently presents sin and the sinner as being reliant on one another, in that sin cannot be separated from the sinner except through repentance and belief in Jesus Christ. Since God hates sin and since sin exists in people, the Bible often discusses the two as being tethered to each other.
At the exact same time that God hates, God also loves the sinner. There is no greater example of God’s love for us than that which is described in Romans 5:8, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” God’s love for sinners is displayed in the fact that even before we would return love to God, Christ would die to pay for our sin. This is the greatest example of love that the world has ever seen, the righteous dying for the unrighteous.
This makes me really nervous. Isn’t it easier just to ignore this truth?
I understand your pain. That’s why it’s important to remember that the extent of God’s hatred for sin also shows us the extent of God’s love for us. God is not schizophrenic. His love and his hatred do not oppose one another. Rather, they work together as one, cohesive act that simultaneously opposes that which stifles God’s will. When you consider God’s hatred for sin, bask in the flood of grace, mercy, and love that God has offered sinners through Christ.
Ok. So what else should I remember?
This seems to be a difficult doctrine for many of us. What are some important truths to remember about God’s hatred?
- When we talk about God we should sound the way the Bible sounds. No matter how sexy or appealing some new statement seems, we should weigh it against the Word of God. If it doesn’t correlate with the Word, dump it and quit saying it. This includes when we talk about the love and hatred of God.
- The difference between God’s hatred and our hatred is that God’s hatred is completely righteous and pure while ours is not. I hate that Chipotle charges me extra for guacamole. I hate that most of the flights I take on American Airlines are delayed. I hate that there is a dog in our neighborhood that decides to howl at three in the morning. Others hate based on racism, greed, arrogance, or pride (like the KKK in the image above). But those hatreds are worldly and are fueled by sin. We could even say that God hates those hatreds because God’s hatred is based on his perfect love in that he hates that which opposes what He loves. Since His love is perfect, we can be assured that if He hates something it is truly worthy of His hatred.
- God hates sin so deeply that He did everything that it would take for you to be able to love Him. This is the good news that has been changing the lives of people for the last 2,000 years. Our sin is wicked in the eyes of a perfect, holy and righteous God. It deserves nothing but wrath and punishment. Yet God’s love overwhelms the sinner and draws them to Himself. Yes, sinner, that’s how much God loves you.
- God IS love. Be people of love. 1 John 4:7-21 is crystal clear. We are a people of love because God is a God of love. Take the gospel of love to a world that knows not the satisfying, quenching power of Christ crucified for sinners.
Here’s the point. Does God hate? Yes, absolutely He does. Does God love? You better believe it and be thankful for it. Do those two truths oppose one another? No way. In fact, they give us a total picture of the God that desires all people to come to repentance and to follow Him. You are loved, my friend. And understanding the scope and gravity of our rebellion against God can also help us to understand God’s gift of grace to us.