The following video from desiringGod.org definitely challenged me.
Piper, points out that there are a couple places in scripture where God does hat sinners. This isn’t something that I had thought about and it wasn’t a thought I liked.
Psalm 5:4: “You are not a God who delights in wickedness. Evil may not dwell with you. The boastful shall not stand before your eyes. You hate all evildoers.”
Psalm 11:5: “The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.”
As I wrestled with this I came to the following truths:
1) God hates sin. (Psalm 5:4, James 1:15, Romans 6:16)
2) The only thing that separates sin from sinners is Christ. (John 14:6, Acts 4:12).
3) Thus, if God hates sin those without Christ have no way to separate themselves from their sin.
My immediate reaction to this was “this can’t be”. I serve a God of love (John 4:8-9), not a God of hate. How can both of these truths stand?
The Bible clearly teaches that God is love. First John 4:8–9 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.” Mysterious but true is the fact that God can perfectly love and hate a person at the same time. This means He can love him as someone He created and can redeem, as well as hate him for his unbelief and sinful lifestyle. We, as imperfect human beings, cannot do this; thus, we must remind ourselves to “love the sinner; hate the sin.” www.gotquestion.org
Got Questions answered my questions first: God can both love and hate perfectly. How often though, do I forget that I serve a perfect God? A God who does love, and is also just and will bring wrath to the evil in the world. Am I truly living my life based on the truth that Christ is the only thing that separates sin from all sinners? Does my life reveal that I hate sin?
As I returned to the Desiring God article, I found that he came to the same conclusion (the importance of reading on).
Sins do not suffer in hell, sinners suffer in hell. I wonder what people who say that believe about hell, because he is not punishing sin in hell, he is punishing sinners in hell. He hates—now here is the paradox—and he loves at the same time. For God so loved the world that he hates. Hate and love are simultaneous as God looks upon hateful, rebellious, corrupt, loathsome, wicked God-dishonoring sinners. John Piper DesiringGod.org
But does this not further expose the scandal of grace? That while we were still sinners, while we deserved the wrath of God, while God hated us for the sin and unbelief in our hearts… Christ died for us.
but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8 ESV