God is love. God is love incarnate, the very embodiment of love. Although this word, love, is a very broad term that can be shown in many different ways, one of the required characteristics of love lies in its voluntary nature. For instance, I could not demand for my wife to love me, she must make that choice voluntarily or else it would not be true love. Love is shown in the choices we make, what we may offer to someone, such as the choice to give of ourselves in return for all that God has done for us. When we look at the scriptures, there are many verses telling us how God proves his love for us. God loves us through His actions and expects the same from us. Consider, for example, the verse found in John 14:15, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Our eternal heavenly Father, God, and His Son, Jesus, had never been apart in eternity before our sin and death separated them. God did that to save His creation of man. That is love. Did you know that not one of the other world’s religious scriptures tells them that their god loves them? Not one. Go check. Not the Qur’an, not the Hindu Vedas, nor any other. Only God’s Word in the Holy Bible clearly states that God actually loves us and offers proof of it. Incidentally, if none of the many other scriptures state this then all those other so-called gods are not God since they are missing the key characteristic in their personality; only the true God is love. Love is an action word. Did you know that nowhere in the Bible does it say that love is a feeling or an emotion? The Bible always says that love is proven by what is done, such as: it is charitable, it endures, it is longsuffering and kind, among other things. It is also defined by what it does not do – it does not envy, is not prideful, “is not easily provoked and thinketh no evil.”
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. I Cor. 13:4-7
There are many modern churches in this present day that are teaching people that love is the most important thing. For example, once a well known emergent church leader, Rob Bell, wrote a book called, “Love Wins”. It basically said that there is nothing more important than love and that love will even defeat Hell. In the context of salvation, Michael Coren, a television host and staunch Catholic said, “A loving, decent person is not going to be rejected by God who is love.” So, love will save you. Many emerging church leaders will go even further to teach you that you are not allowed to critique anything or anyone and that to do so is not loving. In fact, they tell you that to do so would be a sign of hate and pridefulness and will result in turning the unsaved away. Instead, they say we need to personify Christ through our lifestyles and certainly never preach at the lost nor tell them they are sinners. This is a major tenet of New Evangelicalism. They will tell you to look at God and His example on the earth and that He never did anything except, love, love, love…
But, I must ask them, what about those times when God hated? After their blood pressure returns to normal they all invariably say, “God does not hate the sinner, just the sin.” But, is that true? I think we all better go back to the Bible and ask, did God ever actually hate? Is teaching an unbalanced dosage of love scripturally sound or is it just humanistic reasoning? Did God ever hate anyone, or just the sin? What we find out through the careful study of scripture may surprise some of you.
What Is Hate?
If God is the person of love, how could it be that God would hate anything? Is God even capable of hating? From our human intellect’s standpoint we certainly would not want to think that God hates anything. However, God’s Word must be our final authority in all matters of faith and practice even if it goes against our thoughts and emotions. As such, we need to go to scripture. We already know God loves and that God is love because of what He gave, so we need to look at some verses to understand the truth of this matter. Firstly, we should look up the words found in the Bible that are synonymous with this word, “hate”, words such as, “despise”, “abhor”, and “abomination”. We need to find out how these are defined and what is the first occurrence of these words, in the Holy Bible, in context with God, Himself.
First, some definitions. These are taken from the Webster’s 1828 dictionary:
Abhor: “1. To hate extremely, or with contempt; to loath detest or abominate.
2. To despise and neglect. 3. To cast off or reject.”
Abomination: “1. Extreme hatred, detestation.”
Despise: “1. To contemn; to scorn; to disdain; to have the lowest opinion of; 2. To abhor.”
If we are to accept the definitions of these words, which exist in the Bible, they clearly define the sense of hatred. Now, we must determine who is speaking and who is being spoken of. The very first occurrence of hatred within the personal context of God is found in Leviticus 20:23,
“And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.” Lev. 20:23
The first occurrence of the word where God hated a person or people is found in Leviticus, the book of the law for the Israelites as governed by the Levites. God is found here giving the Levitical law to His people through his priests and prophets and written down for their posterity. If you look at the previous verse, v.22, this is a summary verse in which God states the Israelites are to keep his statutes and judgments or be kicked out of their land that flows with milk and honey. Then v.24 says that He, “separated you from other people”; and, to v. 27, that they are to be separate from those that He hates. So, in these verses God is saying, if you love me, keep my commandments and do not do as the heathen nations, because I, God, hate them! To be clear: does God hate them or just the things that they do? God does not say that He hates their works, but that, “therefore”, He hates, “them”.
Whom God Hates
We may not enjoy to think of God as The Sovereign God of power and great vengeance who can actually hate and punish us. I know I would prefer to think of His loving side rather than His punishing side the same as my own son would of me, but is there not some wiggle room here? Maybe this verse in Leviticus 20: 23 is only a one-time occurrence and is not talking about us. Of course, today’s world is not really as bad as they must have been in that day, so that must have been the only time where God hated someone personally, right? Let us look up a few more verses in the Old and New Testaments to see whether these things are so:
Deut. 32:19; “And when the LORD saw it, he abhorred them, because of the provoking of his sons, and of his daughters.”
Psm. 5:5; “The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.”
Psm. 10:3; “For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.”
Psm. 11:5; “The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth.”
Psm. 53:5; “There were they in great fear, where no fear was: for God hath scattered the bones of him that encampeth against thee: thou hast put them to shame, because God hath despised them.”
Psm. 73:20; “As a dream when one awaketh; so, O Lord, when thou awakest, thou shalt despise their image.”
Psm. 78:59; “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel:”
Psm. 106:40; “Therefore was the wrath of the LORD kindled against his people, insomuch that he abhorred his own inheritance.”
Prov. 3:32; “For the froward is abomination to the LORD: but his secret is with the righteous.”
Prov. 22:14; “The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein.”
Mal. 1:1-3; “The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness.”
Zech. 11:8; “Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.”
Romans 9:13; “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.”
Rev. 2:6. “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.”
God is love, but clearly, God does hate. He hates certain people. It is crystal clear from these verses that we can even learn whom God hates. According to these scriptures, God hates those who provoke His children. God also hates the wicked and the prideful and all the workers of iniquity. God hates those who love violence. God abhors Israel, His own inheritance, for their iniquities. He hates the froward, or, the unyielding, ungovernable, and disobedient; they are an abomination to Him. Those whom God hates will fall into the mouth of the strange woman. God hates Esau in the Old Testament, (the Edomites, or the present day Arabs, generally); as confirmed in the New Testament. And, God hates the Nicolaitans, who taught false doctrines to His church.
Should we be surprised that Pastors are scared stiff to preach the whole counsel of God? They have no alternative but to leave out the fact that God hates. This is simply because Christians have been brainwashed into accepting a worldly definition of love and rejecting the biblical one. They are afraid to demand of people to be obedient to an angry and vengeful God, that same God who loved us so much that He paid the ultimate price for us to live. Our liberal Christian friends will say we should emulate Christ’s love; then, should we not also hate what God hates? What does the Bible say?
Should We Hate?
When we look for the truth in God’s Word, we cannot be buffet style Christians; we cannot take what suits our taste and leave out the rest of scripture. All scripture is profitable. We cannot look to the world for our doctrine and follow the positive-minded psychology crowd. Eventually, that crowd will grow to reject everyone who will stand in allegiance with their Bible. Eventually, they will not let you keep anything the Bible says as truth, so we may as well stand up now. But, the question is, should we hate?
Firstly, we should hate our sin. Not only that, we should hate the temptation before we even get to the sin. We cannot be hypocrites, the Bible is clear about that too. If you are guilty of a sin, who are you to point out the sliver that is in your brother’s eye?
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” Matt.7:3-5
We should be hating the beam of sin in our own eye before we can see clearly to care about helping anyone else. We will never be capable of hating sin sufficiently enough without addressing our own problems. But, after all, sin should be hated, and yes, according to scripture that means even the unrepentant sinner. However, that is not to say that we are to be mean spirited against them in any way, nor does it mean for us to act out in the flesh. But, we are to do what God commands and that means scriptural separation. Look again at Lev. 20:23, at His example with the Israelites, and then, to the New Testament church in this verse,
“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” 2 Corinthians 6:17
After all, there will be a clear separation from sin in Heaven. God cannot be near sin and therefore, His example is the same for His saints here on Earth. Should we hate? Look at David’s example in the following verse,
“Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” Psm. 139:21
Clearly, David hated the sin and he hated what God hates, the unrepentant sinner. What grieves the Holy Spirit must grieve us since we have the Holy Spirit inside us. But, I ask you my dear brethren, have we quenched the Holy Spirit? God forbid.
So finally, it may be hard to conceive that such a loving God, who is love, could hate anyone. But, He does. We have seen scripture bear that out here in our study. There are many dear people who reject the fact that, “God hates” so they can go on making excuses to love the world, to be liberal minded, and indulge in whatever they want. But, what about what God wants? Many of the New Evangelical and modern churches want to ignore the angry and jealous side of God who is capable of hating. Rather, they focus only on His love character so that they do not have to examine themselves too closely in the mirror of truth. The result of this is unrepentance and not separating themselves from the dangers of this world. In case anyone does not recognize it, this is a carefully orchestrated attack by the enemy to create the one world church as spoken of in the Bible. It has been a very slow infiltration of a dangerous teaching that will eventually allow the wolves to enter in and take over.
What is our defence? We need to study God’s Word to find out what He hates and then we need to hate it too! Be sure, if God hates something, it is not good for you either. God does not hate for no reason. God knows everything and knows what is best for us. Because of love He has given us the choice, but He is trying all He can to protect us. He knows that what He hates is dangerous for us. Would we not want to protect our children from harm as well? Our Heavenly Father does! We need to recognize and admit that sin is serious for there to be a revival in our hearts and a pure hatred of sin is the best way to illustrate it. We need to take a firm stand to remove sin from our lives. Then, we need to take a stand to remove others’ sinful influence away from us and our families if they are unrepentant. God’s Word is right again! It only takes a little leaven to creep in and corrupt us all. May God help us! ~R.
“A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” Gal.5:9
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” I Cor. 5:7-8