God hates sin; God is love

God hates sin; God is love

There are some books of the Bible that are hard to stomach.  Take Nahum, for example.  The short book explains how God will utterly destroy Nineveh.  Nahum states that God is against these people.  He planned their devastation.

This goes against what we are told about God.  Common teaching paints God as a cosmic cheerleader that loves everyone.  At the very least, He delights in our success.

So which is true?  Does God love or does He hate?

I think the biblical answer to that question is yes.

God hates wickedness. He hated the evil deeds of Nineveh, especially their treachery against Israel.  The Bibles does not lie when it says that God is against them.  He is against them because they are against His nature.  He hates their wickedness and sin.

But First John 4 repeats the phrase, “God is love” (vs. 7, 16).  In fact, this chapter says that God defined love itself when He sent Jesus to pay the penalty for our sin.  That’s right; God loved us to such a great extent that His own Son died for us.  That action shows that God is on our side.  Unlike His attitude towards Nineveh, He is for us.  Romans 8:31, 38-39 says,

If God is for us, who can be against us?  … For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God.

Does God hate?

Yes.  He hates sin, which is an abomination against Him.  He hates murder, lies, and merciless destruction (Proverbs 6:16-19).

Does God love?

Yes.  Love is His name, His nature, His character.  He loves us more than anything else, and nothing has the power to separate us from His love.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

– First John 4:10


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