Does God Hate Sinners?

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Does God Hate Sinners?

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Did you ever wonder what God’s attitude is toward sinners? We might reasonably expect God to be against sin, but does that mean He hates sinners, just as He does sin? God hates sin, but what exactly is sin? How do we know what is sin and what is not sin?

This is an important question that affects all of us, since the apostle Paul tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23 Romans 3:23For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
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What are the consequences of sin? Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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emphatically states that “the wages of sin is death .”

Again, what is sin? The apostle John tells us, “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law” (1 John 3:4 1 John 3:4Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
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, King James Version). He later adds that “all unrighteousness [wrongdoing] is sin” (1 John 5:17 1 John 5:17All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not to death.
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).

When God created man, He gave him freedom of choice, the opportunity to choose how he would live. Although He tells us how we should live, He doesn’t force that way on us: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life , that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:19 Deuteronomy 30:19I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both you and your seed may live:
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, emphasis added throughout).

However, Romans 8:7 Romans 8:7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
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explains why so few choose to live God’s way of life. It’s because “the carnal [physical] mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”

Satan’s influence on humans

Another factor comes into play, unseen and spiritual: Satan the devil. His influence on humanity is enormous. It is so great that he is described as a being “who deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:9 Revelation 12:9And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceives the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
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When God first began to communicate with man, Satan was already lurking in the background. His work of deception began when God allowed him to deceive Adam and Eve, the first two humans on earth. Appearing to Eve in the form of a serpent, Satan asked, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 Genesis 3:1Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
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Eve replied that God allowed her and her husband to eat of the fruit of every tree except one, but if they ate of its fruit they would certainly die.

Satan then began his work of deception: “Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate” (verses 4-6).

From a strictly human point of view, what was wrong with eating this fruit? Apparently it wouldn’t harm anyone, and it looked so good-at least it appeared so to Eve.

She was deceived, but Adam then took willingly of what God had forbidden. What Adam and Eve and all their human successors throughout history have overlooked is the vital importance of obedience to God. It is not always immediately apparent just why something is harmful; often that tragic lesson comes later. It pays to take God at His word.

The ugly scars of sin

Romans 5:12 Romans 5:12Why, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed on all men, for that all have sinned:
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shows us the consequences of what Adam and Eve started, that, “just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin,” death has “spread to all men, because all sinned.”

“Death spread to all men” as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. They chose a way that all humans since have chosen to follow: the way of sin that inevitably brings death.

However, notice other serious repercussions of our choosing to sin: “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2 Isaiah 59:1-2 1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.
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The result of being cut off from God by our sins has been disastrous. Notice Isaiah’s description of sin’s deadly impact on mankind: “. . . Your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perversity. No one calls for justice, nor does any plead for truth. They trust in empty words and speak lies; they conceive evil and bring forth iniquity” (verses 3-4).

“Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways . . . [Our iniquities are] in transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing from our God, speaking oppression and revolt . . . Truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter . . . Truth fails; and he who departs from evil makes himself a prey” (verses 7-8, 13-15).

Sin’s vivid consequences

Paul continues this theme with the stinging words: “There is none righteous, no, not one; there is none who understands; there is none who seeks after God. They have all turned aside . . . There is none who does good, no, not one . . . [Their] mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes” (Romans 3:10-12 Romans 3:10-12 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that does good, no, not one.
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, 14-18). The apostle here describes raw human nature untempered by God’s influence.

Human sin is leading inevitably to the worldwide crisis described by Christ Himself in Matthew 24:21-22 Matthew 24:21-22 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
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: “For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.”

God’s attitude toward sin and sinners

Now back to our original question: Does God hate sinners?

Absolutely not. In fact, His Word tells us: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved” (John 3:16-17 John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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Does this mean that God the Father and Jesus Christ are accepting of or tolerate sin? Hebrews 1:9 Hebrews 1:9You have loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
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explains Their attitude toward sin and sinners. God, addressing Jesus Christ, says, “You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness [sin]; therefore God, Your God, has anointed You with the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”

They clearly hate sin, but that does not mean They hate those who are caught up in sin. As John 3:16-17 John 3:16-17 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
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tells us, God sent His only Son, not because He hates sinners, but because He loves all people and wants to offer us a way to avoid death-the ultimate consequence of our sins (Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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).

God demonstrates this love toward us in spite of our sins. “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly . . . But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6 Romans 5:6For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
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, 8).

Jesus’ death allows us to be reconciled to God, making possible a relationship with Him. “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation” (verses 9-11). Through Jesus Christ giving His life to pay the penalty for our sins for us, God offers us a priceless gift: eternal life, an escape from the consequences of sin.

God’s love for humanity

Psalm 103 explains God’s attitude of love toward the human race: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits: who forgives all your iniquities, . . . who redeems your life from destruction; who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies . . . The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in mercy. He will not . . . keep his anger forever. He has not dealt with us according to our sins” (verses 2-4, 8-10).

“As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions [sins] from us. As a father pities his children, so the LORD pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust . . . The mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children, to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them” (verses 12-14, 17-18).

Earlier we read from Romans 6:23 Romans 6:23For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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that the wages of sin is death. But, for those who are willing to repent, change their ways and accept Jesus Christ’s sacrifice, the rest of the verse applies: “. . . The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” GN

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