Have you ever said or heard, “God hates when you do that.” Since God is love (1 John 4:8), that seems contrary, doesn't it? And maybe a little scary, because if God can hate, does that mean He can hate US? How can love and hate exist together?
God has emotions and feelings, which is why we have emotions and feelings. Since we can feel both hate and love, we know that God can also hate and love. But unlike human hatred, God’s hatred is always justified. We need to be clear on that right at the beginning here. The way humans feel hatred and the way God feels hatred are two completely different things.
God is perfect. Humans are flawed. God is good. Humans are sinful (Romans 3:23). When we hate, we have no love (1 John 4:20). When God hates, He does so while also fully loving. How? Because God has perfect love and perfect hate.
God's hate does not stem from sin because God cannot sin (James 1:13; Hebrews 4:15). God’s love and hate stems from His perfect glory, holiness, and righteousness. God wants all people to accept His gift of salvation from sin, but if they reject Him and choose sin, He has every right to judge (Mark 16:16).
Simply put: God hates sin. Because God is perfect and holy, He cannot tolerate sin. He hates and abhors sin. Sin is contrary to God's nature, and in the end, God will quarantine all evil for eternity (Revelation 21). Until then, God may be patient with us, but that doesn't mean He won't hate sin.
Proverbs 6:16-19 lists several things that God hates: “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” God also hates sexual sins, idolatry, adultery, lying, gossiping, being a false witness, murder, child sacrifice, all forms of wickedness, and people who do evil.
Hang on. Did you catch that?
Yes, God hates the person who acts in wickedness and evil (Psalm 5:4-6). That's a tough one, right? While it's true that God loves all people, He cannot separate the sin from the human being who commits the sin. After all, it's not things that are sinful, but it's people who commit sins (Romans 3:23).
Sin is always connected to the person committing the sin. That's why we need the saving grace of Jesus. Someone must pay the death penalty due for your sin, and you don't want it to be you (Romans 6:22-23). Without accepting Jesus's sacrificial payment for sins, God still sees all the sin and wickedness that is attached to the person.
Believers in Christ's salvation have placed their faith in Jesus, and their sins are forgiven. They are covered in God's grace and mercy. Titus 3:4-7 says, "When the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life."
For those who have not placed faith in Jesus, they are still identified with their sins before a holy God. And God has to bring that person under judgment for their unforgiven sin (Matthew 25:46).
No, no, no. God is grieved when we sin and when unbelievers die in their sin. 2 Peter 3:9 says that God is patient and not willing for anyone to perish, but for all people to repent and turn to Him. Remember, God loved us SO MUCH that He sent His only Son to die in our place so that we could live with Him in eternity (John 3:16). Now that is REAL love. A hateful, vengeful God would not sacrifice a vital part of Himself to die for sinful creatures.
Just like in the days of Jonah, God relented from destroying Nineveh—even though the people were wicked and corrupt (Jonah 3). In response to God's patience, the Ninevites repented and turned to Him. God is still patient today, waiting for all who are lost to turn to Him (Romans 5:8).
God loves you and every person on earth. Yet that doesn't change the fact that every person must individually choose to either accept God or reject Him. If someone chooses to remain in their wicked state, unsaved from a life of sin and evil, then yes, God hates that with a passion (Psalm 11:5). Woah. With a passion? YES. That goes to show the severity of God's hatred for sin.
God does hate sin and wickedness, but He still loves each person, which is why He gave us a choice. For those who go throughout life continually rejecting Jesus unto the moment of death, they will endure harsh judgment as the penalty for their sin (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27). Yet all people have free will, and all people have the ability to freely choose to accept Jesus (John 1:9). If they choose to reject Him though, they also choose to live and die with the consequences.
God can hate, but not in the same way as humans. God is love (1 John 4:8), so He is able to hate sin while also fully loving every person. God hates all sin and wickedness, yet He does not delight in the death of the wicked. God does not want anyone to die in their sin. He wants all people to accept Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection (John 3:16; Romans 6:23). But if they don’t, there has to be judgment because God is holy and righteous (2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27). The good news is that God is ready to forgive anyone who would choose to repent and place faith in Him (John 1:9).
Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.