When the Bible does speak of God’s hatred, the object of His hatred is sin and wickedness. Among the things God hates are idolatry (Deuteronomy 12:31; 16:22), child sacrifice, sexual perversion (Leviticus 20:1–23), and those who do evil (Psalm 5:4–6; 11:5). Proverbs 6:16–19 lists seven things the Lord hates: pride, lying, murder, evil plots, those who love evil, false witnesses, and troublemakers. Notice that this passage does not include just things that God hates; it includes people as well. The reason is simple: sin cannot be separated from the sinner except by the forgiveness available in Christ alone. God hates lying, yes, but lying always involves a person—a liar—who chooses to lie. God cannot judge the lie without also judging the liar.
The Bible clearly teaches that God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). God spared wicked Nineveh, bringing them to repentance (Jonah 3). God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:32). He is patient to an extreme, “not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). This is all proof of love—God wants what is best for His creation. At the same time, Psalm 5:5 says about God, “You hate all evildoers” (ESV). Psalm 11:5 is even harsher: “The wicked, those who love violence, he hates with a passion.”
1. The gospel is rooted in specific, literal historical events. It is also rooted in humanity’s position before an unchanging and uncompromising God. As such, the gospel message is the same today as it was in Jesus’ day. The gospel does not change.
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