Is it true that God hates the sin but not the sinner?
Yes, God is love (1 John 4:8 and 16) as we all know but...He hates as well. What? Yes, that is right. By now a lot of those reading this will tune it out but hear me out first as I come bearing scriptures to discuss this seemingly taboo subject.
Also, God’s Word says that one is a fool if they answer a matter before hearing it first. He that answereth a matter before he heareth it, it is folly and shame unto him. Proverbs 18:13 In the flesh we can never understand this concept that I am going to share here but if you are born again and understand how holy and righteous God is then you should not struggle with this at all. One of the most ungodly so-called Christian catch phrases that is embraced by most today is that God hates the sin but loves the sinner. Yes God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son (John 3:16) and He would rather none to perish but that all would come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9) but we must not be so quick to forget that those who oppose God, hate Him (Exodus 20:5) and are at war with Him (James 4:4). Even a compromised life sets one as opposed to God even if they emphatically claim to be for Him (Luke 11:23), if they are serving other god’s or masters (flesh, sports, money, etc) they cannot be serving the God of the Bible as well (Matthew 6:24). The incomplete understanding of God’s character along these lines has resulted in a wide-spread degradation of the much required fear towards God. The church no longer fears God as they have neglected in accepting Him wholly. He is a God that hates the sin (Revelation 2:6) and the sinner (Psalm 5:5, Psalm 11:5 see below for these verses) yet He loves the world so much that He choose to die for all (John 3:16). In our flesh we do not have the ability to love and hate perfectly so we are commanded more towards the love (charity) side of the equation. I have provided but a few of the many verses available for this topic below that support this. Bible verses can be cited where hating those who hate God is seemingly justified (Psalm 139:21-22) but there are far more that directs us to love others over all. All the while we cannot lose sight of the fact that we ought not to stop hating sin itself (Psalm 97:10, Psalm 101:3). A true believer should be repulsed by sin as graphically pointed out by the Bible in the dog returning to his vomit or the sow to the mire (2 Peter 2:22). When we do hate others for the wrong they have done towards God we must always keep ourselves in check and ensure that we ourselves are not also amongst those that are against God. David gave us a great example of this when he called on God to check his heart after saying he hated those who hated God (Psalm 139:21-24). Here are the above mentioned verses along with several others that pertain to this topic. Read them yourselves and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you to understand God’s council on the matter. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. James 4:4 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. Luke 11:23 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Matthew 6:24 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. Psalms 5:5 The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. Psalm 11:5 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate…So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate. Revelation 2:6,15 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; Exodus 20:5 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Peter 2:22 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm 101:3 Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies. Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:21-24 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. Proverbs 6:16-19 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Proverbs 8:13 A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. Ecclesiastes 3:8 For I the LORD love judgment, I hate robbery for burnt offering; and I will direct their work in truth, and I will make an everlasting covenant with them. Isaiah 61:8 Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph…I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Amos 5:15, 21 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD. Zechariah 8:17 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:43-44 Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake….But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you. And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloke forbid not to take thy coat also. Luke 6:22, 27-29 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. John 7:7 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. John 15:18 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:13-18 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them. Isaiah 1:14 He that hateth me hateth my Father also. John 15:23 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes. 1 John 2:9-11 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love him, because he first loved us. If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 1 John 4:8-20 Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. 1 Corinthians 8:1 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing… And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. 1 Corinthians 13:2-3, 13 Let all your things be done with charity. 1 Corinthians 16:14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. Colossians 3:14 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 1 Peter 4:8
The fact that Gandhi agrees with this catch phrase should lead one to ask if God does as well...