There is a lot of hate being passed around on the internet and on the news media and all over our nation right now, and the world, for that matter. As Christians we need to read what God's Word has to say on it. We need to not take a verse here and a verse there and ignore others but to get the mind of Christ, the true heart of God on the matter. I am very disturbed by Christians who think it's okay to hate anyone.
I've seen Christians taking Old Testament verses and saying, "See? We are to hate those who are evil, not love them! How can we love those who are evil?" We forget that we too were considered evil in God's eyes, even if we think we are less evil than those who demonstrate their evil more outwardly. We forget what we were washed from and saved from. We also don't realize the extent or potential for the evil in our hearts that God saved us from. If we hate sinners, we have no concept of how much God has forgiven us, and we don't at all understand His salvation. We don't understand what His sacrifice meant.
I remember once when there was a serial rapist in the Twin Cities area, and he targeted teen girls who were alone, walking somewhere. He would snatch them off the sidewalk and throw them in his trunk, take them to some remote area and rape and kill them. One girl escaped to tell the story of all he did, which was horrendous. I had such a hatred for that man and as I struggled with the Scriptures that told me to "love my enemy," and pray for them, I could not. I cried out, "God I don't want that man to be saved. I want him to go to hell and get what he deserves! How can you love a man such as that or forgive what he did?" The Lord, I believe, spoke back to me clearly, in my spirit, "Aren't you glad that I can forgive sin that horrible?" I realized He took that horrible sin onto Himself, as though He Himself were the guilty party! I just broke down and realized just how horrible and evil sin is, and that there is none of it God will not forgive if we come to Him in repentance. Would I want God to limit what sins I could be forgiven of? What if He only forgave the "good sins" or the "acceptable sins?" But He forgives all. "All who come to Him He will in no wise cast out." (John 6:37)
If anyone from ISIS, who committed horrible crimes against the church, came in repentance (acknowledgement of themselves as a lost sinner having a change of heart toward God, believing in Him), then they would be forgiven. If Hitler had repented and turned to Christ, he would have been forgiven. Paul, who persecuted the church, caused Christians to blaspheme, and murdered them, was forgiven.
I've heard Christians reject the notion that we are to "hate the sin but love the sinner." They quote Old Testament verses. Yes, God indeed hates evil. He indeed hates sin. He "hates the wicked" and will one day punish them. But He also loves them enough to die for their sin so that they can be saved from that wickedness rather than receive His wrath. How can He do both? How can He tell us to hate evil, yet love and pray for those who do evil? Because He "wishes that NONE should perish but that all should come to repentance." He Himself has become a PROPITIATION for them, having taken unto Himself, the wrath of God due them. If they do repent, He has made the way for them to be washed, cleansed completely, and delivered once and for all of that evil, and made a new creation, so that they can one day stand before Him, perfectly holy and pure and spotless. It is all by the blood of the Lamb, not anything they do. If we think that only certain sins God will forgive but not all, we have no idea then for sure that He will forgive ours. We have not seen the potential to evil and gross sin in our own hearts. If we did we would humbly bow down before God in awe of this merciful God, and just weep with thankfulness of all He has forgiven and done in us.
If not for the sake of an evil person, for the sake of Christ Himself and His love, I pray for the evil person. Not because I could love anything about them, what's in their heart, or their actions, or even the kind of person that would give themselves over to such horrendous evil, but I pray for them for the sake of Christ... for the sake of His blood and sacrifice... because it is to His glory to save and deliver, and that His great unspeakable sacrifice was not in vain for that person. In fact, all the more is He glorified when evil is conquered. You can say, "well they will deserve everything they get." Yup, they will, and we who are Christians, are NOT getting what we deserve, yet we deserved the same - accept for Christ.
(6) For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
(7) For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—
(8) but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
(9) Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
(10) For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
(11) More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Christians sometimes act like God saved them because they were so loveable and good. We were repulsive to Him. We looked horrible and ugly to Him. He saw all the evil in our hearts, and yet, rather than pour out His wrath on us, He came in the flesh, taking on our likeness and weakness and gave Himself up in our place, becoming that very evil He so despised, becoming a curse for us, and imputing His own perfect, pure, holy, righteousness into all - whosoever - no matter how evil a sinner - into their hearts if they only confess their evil, agree with Him about His righteous judgment of it, and believe in (accept, trust in, adhere to, rely on) Him and that sacrifice, receiving His eternal life. Some of us, sadly, think there was very little of sin for the Lord to forgive in us. We then have no idea of the depth of His love. Paul said he was "the chief of sinners." All of us, if convicted by the Holy Spirit of our sin, will feel the same way.
(Luke 7:47) Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.
There are some sins that are more horribly wicked and have greater consequences and harm to others in this world, but in eternity, all sin is equally guilty of separating us from a perfect holy God. The greatest sin of all is to reject that sacrifice which alone can save us.
(28) Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses.
(29) How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?
(30) For we know him who said, "Vengeance is mine; I will repay." And again, "The Lord will judge his people."
(31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
It was the greatest show of love there ever was, and the only remedy for evil. To reject that is to embrace all evil, and to take sides with evil and the "evil one" who led the first rebellion against God, Lucifer, the devil. To reject that is to one day become completely empty of all good that even now they enjoy of the goodness of God and all conscience, that is as well, a gift from God where evil to any degree is restrained in them, and to become a full manifestation of evil just as satan is, and just as all those they despise as being evil are. In those who reject that marvelous provision God has made for them, evil will take over their hearts and minds. They think themselves to have some morals and goodness, but they will find out whatever good at all that they are capable of in this world has been granted them of God, by the presence of the Holy Spirit in this world Who was sent to convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). To the extent one rejects God's Word, the more evil will overtake his/her heart. That restraint will be completely gone after they leave this world. Those who accept God's great sacrifice will take on the nature of God Who alone is good and will be free from sin and evil in themselves and will be given new incorruptible bodies that will never have any evil in it, or never die or be corrupted again. This is only through God's provision through Jesus Christ. There is nothing in us that can save ourselves. Our greatest "goodness" is no measure at all to the holiness and perfection of God. It is unacceptable before Him and He sees our true nature for what it is - evil. It opposes Him, Who is goodness and holiness and righteousness and love. Our best acts are as filthy rags in His sight. He sees them for what they are - our trying to be our own god, and have our own righteousness. Not until we accept His imputed righteousness, can we be counted righteous before Him. His alone will suffice in Heaven.
Here are some verses to think on:
(43) "You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.'
(44) But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
(45) so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
(46) For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?
(47) And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
(48) You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
Luke 6:27 "But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
Luke 6:28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.
Luke 6:32 "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them.
Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.
*Note, He does not say love your enemies, as long as they aren't too evil or as long as they aren't too terrible or as long as they have not committed the most horrible acts of violence.
(17) Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
(18) If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.
(19) Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
(20) To the contrary, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head."
(21) Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
God is merciful beyond our comprehension!
2 Peter 3:9-10
(9) The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
(10) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.
His promise to those who come to Him in humility to find His salvation:
(3) And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
(4) He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away."
(5) And he who was seated on the throne said, "Behold, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."
(6) And he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment.
(7) The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
God is able to hate evil, and say, as in the Psalms He hates the wicked and is angry with them every day, and yet to send His only begotten Son that "whosoever" no matter how wicked, believes in Him, will have eternal life. He clearly says that He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, and that He wishes that none of them would perish but have eternal life, and yet in his "hating" them, it is not that He wishes their destruction but He must hate evil as He is perfectly good and evil cannot be allowed to harm what is good or to corrupt it if one truly loves. Love must not ever allow evil to corrupt all that is good or then evil would overcome good. But yet He most definitely loves the sinner as is revealed on the cross of Jesus Christ. So Jesus Himself was the One Who became the object of God's hatred... His wrath upon sinners. God's wrath was poured out upon Him for us. Because of this we are to love the sinner, as He loved them and made propitiation for them. To not see this is to despise what Jesus did for sinners. (Isaiah 53) The very reason we still see evil in the world and God does not instantly end it or judge it is because of His love for the sinner and His desire for "all to come to repentance." He is longsuffering and patient, still drawing as many as who will come, out of the evil in this world to receive His salvation and deliverance from evil. This world and its evil is very temporary. Eternity will be with Him and evil will be defeated.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11
(9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
(10) Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
(11) And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
So yes, we must hate the sin, but love the sinner, just as Christ loves the sinner, and gave Himself up for them, and just as He loved us in our sinful condition, seeing the very depth and potential for the evil nature that we once were controlled by. If we love Christ and understand His sacrifice for sinners, we will love the sinner for His name's sake, and for His glory.
1 John 4:7-12
(7) Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
(8) He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
(9) 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.
(10) Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
(11) Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
(12) No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.