You must have always heard God is love and that we must love. The question comes is that are we to love anything and everything? The Bible doesn’t teach us that. If you read the Bible and consider all of it not just the verses about love then you’ll realize that it does tell us what to hate.
And be not deceitful in your love, but hate evil and cleave to the good. Romans 12:9
Would a sane person love going to hell? No way. So that person must hate going to hell. He must hate everything that may make him lose his faith in the Lord Jesus. In the church there are times when there is overemphasis on love that other things such purity and faith are not given due importance. Now I’m totally aware of the following scripture; And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13). This scripture reminds us to love all things that God wants to us to love, not evil things but things that give glory to God and also that we are to love God.
Some people however have a shoppers mentality and they are more fixed on the words ‘greatest of these is love’ from the above scripture than the words like faith and hope. So due to their wrong mindset they only choose love and leave out all other ingredients and stuff that should accompany love. Its like buying only cheese for all meals and avoiding bread, water etc. If a person in real life only had cheese while not having other foods, he would soon grow obese and have health issues. This works the same way when you choose only love and neglect other things of the Bible.
Now you might say God is love and he won’t hate. I agree that God is love. Also it’s true that he won’t hate those who trust in Christ and believe in the Gospel. However, I can’t vouch that he will love sinfulness by any standard especially refusal to believe in Jesus Christ. This reminds me of the following Scriputure; In flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 2 Thessalonians 1:8
We are called in live in love. This is means that we are not driven by hate. You can hate evil and love good at the same time. The problem arises when one gets into the habit of following only certain teachings of the Bible but avoiding the remaining teachings. Such a habit easily opens doors to deceptions and heresies. So we must have a balanced approach to things in the spiritual sense. We must not waste time in hating sinners, for even once we too sinned. Otherwise this might make us shift all the glory on ourselves instead of God. Focus on loving Christ instead because only he can make anyone free from their sins. However for all due reasons hate all sinfulness and unbelief.
Now there are things that you are not to hate. The following scriptures abound in meaning towards this:
- You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. (Leviticus 19:17)
- But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going, because the darkness has blinded them. (1 John 2:11)
- “For I hate divorce!” says the LORD, the God of Israel. “To divorce your wife is to overwhelm her with cruelty,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. “So guard your heart; do not be unfaithful to your wife.” (Malachi 2:16) (Here this means avoiding hate which causes divorce)
Also there are certain things that you should NOT love and these things mentioned very clearly in the Scriptures. Though some of these were spoke to a few specific individuals the principles still apply to us. Here we go:
- But Jehu the son of Hanani the seer went out to meet him and said to King Jehoshaphat, “Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the Lord? Because of this, wrath has gone out against you from the Lord. (2 Chronicles 19:2 )
- Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the Lord, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. (Amos 5:15)
- Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels. (Hosea 9:15) (This calls for hating worship of idols of false gods)
- The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. (Psalm 5:5) (Hate boasting about yourself)
- The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence. (Psalm 11:5)
- O you who love the Lord, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)
- Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. (Psalm 119:104)
- There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19)
- The fear of the Lord is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate. (Proverbs 8:13)
- “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. (Matthew 6:24)
- But you have this in your favor-you hate what the Nicolaitans are doing. I also hate what they’re doing. (Revelation 2:6) (The Nicolaitans seem to be heretics who ate food sacrificed to false gods and also indulged in sexual immorality. Clement of Alexandria said this about them, “They abandoned themselves to pleasure like goats, leading a life of self-indulgence.” Their teaching perverted grace and replaced liberty with license.)
So to sum it all up, love all that is good because this is the will of God. And also hate all that is evil because even this too is the will of God.