This question or the answer to this question has been rolling around in my head for a few weeks after a discussion with a group of women. We as humans look at people’s actions and lifestyle and judge people based on their sin. We think, “They are living in sin. God hates sin and therefore hates those people.” Many times we think we need to correct people’s behavior so that God loves them, but I don’t think this fits God’s character.
I grew up with this thinking directed towards myself and slide into these thought patterns from time to time. I would sin and think how disappointed God was with me. I would try not to sin only to find myself sinning again and be so sad I made God angry with me. This is a separate conversation.
This post is going to first deal with the unbeliever or those who do not yet believe in Christ’s death for forgiveness of sin and eternal life. The next post deals with, “Is God disappointed with me?”
So does God hate sinners? I think these passages say quite the opposite:
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.
I John 3:16
We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.
God loved us while we were sinners. The question now is how do we get sinners to stop sinning. We don’t! Our responsibility, as a person saved by grace, is to share the message of the Good News of Christ with all of those who are neither free from sin nor Satan. Just as God loved us before we believed, we are to love sinners with God’s love, bringing them to the understanding of freedom from sin and death that comes from believing in Jesus as the payment for their sin. The Gospel is the power of God.
For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Only the Gospel has the power to save a sinner from sin, not being a better person or fitting into social norms. Only belief in Christ’s death on the cross makes a person right with God. Pointing out individual sins or a lifestyle of sin to a sinner does nothing to make them right with God. It is only their belief in Gospel that can make them right. We should be compelled or controlled by love and tell others about the freedom, life, and grace we have found by faith in Christ (II Corinthians 5:14).
This same Good News that came to you is going out all over the world. It is bearing fruit everywhere by changing lives, just as it changed your lives from the day you first heard and understood the truth about God’s wonderful grace.