Table of Contents

Table of Contents II

Search This Blog

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The Place of Hate in a Christian’s Life

It goes without saying that Christians do not associate hate with the characteristics God would have his children possess.  Christianity is about love for God and for our fellow man.  Hate would seem to be the antithesis of all Christianity stands for and yet there are things a Christian must come to hate if he is to become like God in his character.  If God hates a thing can I as his child love the thing he hates?  "Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" (Amos 3:3 NKJV)  God's child must learn to hate what God hates to walk with God.  Please note I say things, not people.  We strive to hate the things people do, not the individuals.

One of the best known passages in the Bible regarding things God hates is found in Prov. 6:16-19, “These six things the LORD hates,  Yes, seven are an abomination to Him:  A proud look,  A lying tongue,  Hands that shed innocent blood,  A heart that devises wicked plans,  Feet that are swift in running to evil,  A false witness who speaks lies,  And one who sows discord among brethren.” (NKJV) 

Another very well-known passage is found in Malachi 2:16, “The Lord God of Israel says that he hates divorce.” (NKJV) 

The Lord says he hates thinking “evil in your heart against your neighbor.” (Zech. 8:17 NKJV) 

In a prophecy of Jesus found in Psalms 45:7 the Psalmist says, “You love righteousness and hate wickedness.” (NKJV)  If you turn to Heb. 1:9 you will find this Old Testament passage quoted and applied to Jesus.

This short list is far from an all-inclusive list of the things God hates, for example we know he hates idolatry, but all the things he hates can be summarized by saying God hates sin.  We must also come to hate it if we are to be like him. 

There are, however, some passages found in the scriptures that tell us specifically things we ought to hate.  “A righteous man hates lying.” (Prov. 13:5 NKJV)  A wise man will hate “pride and arrogance and the evil way and the perverse mouth.” (Prov. 8:13 NKJV) 

In Rev. 2:6 the church at Ephesus was commended for hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans which the Lord said, “I also hate.” (NKJV) 

The bottom line is we must come to hate all sin.  “You who love the Lord, hate evil!” (Psalms 97:10 NKJV)  “Hate evil, love good.” (Amos 5:15 NKJV)  “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil.” (Prov. 8:13 NKJV) 

We might talk a little bit about hate.  When we think of hate we generally think first of hate directed against people, ill will accompanied by deep emotion to the point the person hated is detested and we wish him/her nothing good.  However, the word hate can mean more than one thing so one must beware of how the word is used in context to determine its true meaning in each instance.  Even in the use of the word as already given one must remember not all persons hated are equally hated with the same passion and to the same degree. 

Sometimes all the word hate means is an aversion to something evil.  For example, I hate poison ivy and sunburns.  One is to hate in scriptural language "iniquity" (Heb. 1:9 ASV). 

Another usage expresses a preference for one thing over another.  For example, I hate pecan pie compared to cherry pie.  In the New Testament one hates his/her parents, even his own life also, in comparison to his love for Christ (Luke 14:26).  Nowhere does the New Testament teach hatred of one's parents or of one's own life, just the opposite (see Matt. 15:4, Eph. 6:2-3, Eph. 5:28-29). 

There are those today here in America, and their numbers are increasing, who see the Bible as a book of hatred because it condemns sin in the flesh (sin in humanity).  They are unwilling to admit the actions they are engaged in are sin and do not want to hear it or hear it preached.  The only sin they can see is the Bible itself, a book of hatred from their point of view because it is intolerant of the sin in their life. 

Many of them would like to see hate speech legislation enacted to control any condemnation of what the Bible calls sin.  They are at war with God, with Christ, with the Bible, and with all Christians who hold to the word of God and they are growing in political power.  Perhaps that will change; time will tell. 

God is not a God of hate but of love.  He is "not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance" (2 Peter 3:9 NKJV) which is one reason the earth still stands today, because of God's longsuffering toward sinners.  "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." (John 3:16 NKJV)  "'For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,' says the Lord God.  'Therefore turn and live!'" (Ezek. 18:32 NKJV)  This has always been God's plea to man—turn from sin to me and live.  Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Heb. 5:9 NKJV)  That excludes no one except for those who prefer their own way of life to God's.

Race, age, gender, nationality, intelligence, talents, looks, education, social class, or standing, no one is excluded from eternal salvation save for those who just will not have it because of their preference for self over God.  God is a gracious and generous God.  "For you, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon you." (Psalm 86:5 NKJV)

A God who loves and who is good cannot tolerate that which is unloving and evil.  Only God as God has the knowledge or ability to know what is best for man, only he knows right from wrong for we can only know as he reveals this knowledge to us.  We are all born knowing nothing.  As human beings, we are all limited in every aspect of our life even as we grow and acquire knowledge and understanding.  There is only so much we can know; only so much we can do.  We are continually changing for the better or the worse.  God does not change.  "For I am the Lord, I do not change." (Mal. 3:6 NKJV)  Who God is, what he is, his nature, his character, cannot change.  God cannot quit being God.

Gamaliel gave good advice to the men of Israel in Acts 5:39 when he told them they could not fight against God and win.  One will either fight against God and lose or bring his will into accord with the Lord's will and be found as a friend of God.  The ramifications of the choice made are eternal and cannot be altered once our final breath departs from us.

In bringing our will in line with the Lord's will we must learn to love what he loves and hate what he hates.  While God hates sin he does not hate the sinner for he has done everything in the world he could possibly do to save the sinner except for saving the sinner in his sins unrepentant.  God would have to love sin (evil) to do that.  What would be good about a God who would save an unrepentant Hitler or Stalin?

In 1 Cor. 2:16 Paul says, "We have the mind of Christ." (NKJV)  Let us love what Christ loved and hate what he hated. 

[To download this article or print it out click here.]

No comments: