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You are listening to Search the Scriptures Daily, a radio ministry of The Berean Call. Still to come, Dave and Tom continue their weekly in-depth study of the Doctrine of Salvation, please stay with us.
CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
In this regular feature Dave and Tom respond to questions from listeners and readers of The Berean Call. Here’s this week’s question: Dear Dave and Tom, I have often heard from those in pulpits and pews that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. How does that square with Psalm:5:5: “Thou hatest all doers of iniquity.”
Dave, there are some other verses, I mean, people are always mentioning, “Jacob I love, Esau I hated.” Leviticus:20:23 says, “And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them” Proverbs, I mean, there are other verses, how do we reconcile, or should we go around saying, Well, God loves the sinner, hates the sin, you know, For God so loved the world, what about it?
Well, we certainly know He loves the sinner, because you just quoted it, God s loved the world, that includes sinners, doesn’t it? Now, I abhorred them or I hated them. I think if we studied that a bit, you know, you’re talking about “the nations that I’m casting out, I abhorred them.” Well, I think He abhorred them because of what they did. He didn’t abhor them because He just decided to abhor them. In other words, God doesn’t hate some people and love other people, the Bible never teaches that. But the workers of iniquity, the Lord is angry with them, He is angry with the wicked every day. So I think we would take it more in that light, but He does love them, He loved the world, the whole world it says, so much that He gave His Son. And on the cross Jesus said of those who were mocking Him, who had nailed Him to the cross, surely include the soldiers who nailed Him. It would include Pilate who sentenced Him, it would include the Rabbi’s who prosecuted the case. He said, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” And Isaiah 53 tells us it pleased Yahweh, it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him. Well, that’s an incredible statement, Tom. It pleased God to punish His Son for the sins of the world. So, we’ll have to understand such verses, “I abhorred them” or hate the wicked. We have to understand them in the context of the whole of scripture, and just to repeat myself, it doesn’t mean that God just decided some people He hates, and other people He loves. No, He loves them all, but there comes a point when He abhors them because of their wickedness, they are a stench in His nostrils.
Dave, let’s go back to the verse that atheists like to confront us with: “Jacob I loved, Esau I hated.”
Well Tom, let’s turn to Romans Chapter 9, and we have to read the Bible very carefully. “As it is written, it says, Jacob have I loved, Esau I hated” and when it says, as it is written, you had better find out where it was written. He’s not quoting from back in Genesis when Jacob and Esau were first born, He’s quoting from Malachi, the last book in the Old Testament, and it’s very clear—let’s look at it real fast—It’s very clear that He’s not talking about Jacob and Esau as individuals. You see, the Calvinists loves this verse because then they can say, Well, He’s decided to send Jacob to heaven and Esau to hell, it isn’t even talking about Jacob and Esau as individuals, it’s talking about their descendants, and that is very clear. Rebecca, she couldn’t have children, and Isaac entreated the Lord, Genesis:25:21, entreated the Lord because she was barren and the Lord was entreated and she conceived. The children struggled together within her, and she said, “If it be so, why am I thus?” She went to inquire of the Lord, and the Lord said unto her: Well, you’ve got two boys in there and one of them I’m going to hate and the other one I love. No, it doesn’t say that, it says, Two nations are in thy womb, two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels, but one people shall be stronger than the other people, and the elder shall serve the younger, the elder people. Now, the fact that this is—there are many reasons why this is not a prophecy about Jacob and Esau as individuals, had it been, it’s a false prophecy, because Esau never served Jacob, but the nation descended from him, the Edomites, they served Israel. So, God loves all, but when you rebel and you are just in sin and wickedness, God is not going to love that, and He will abhor you because of what you do but not because you as a person He wanted to send to hell.
Well, Dave, we have the example of Hebrews chapter 12, Jesus, very simple, Jesus loves, and you know, we have this sort of humanistic concept of Jesus, but He says, Those whom I love I scourge, I chastise. There is a discipline involved in there. Some people would say, No, that’s evil, that’s abuse, and so on.
So, Tom, it’s wonderful we have to think these things through, and that’s one of the things that I have against so-called paraphrases, or they’re going to dumb it down— Oh, we want to make it so everybody, any idiot can understand this. Well then, you ruined it because Peter says, There are many things hard to be understood that Paul wrote. What does that mean, I’ve got to think about it, I’ve got to meditate on this, I have to learn some lessons, and there is a depth to the Bible.
Plus, as we’ve seen, Dave, to our horror we have an individual claiming to speak for the Lord in a paraphrase like The Message , which is the worst case that I can think of.