Do I not hate those who hate You, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against You? I hate them with the utmost hatred; They have become my enemies. (Psalm 139:21-22, NASB) 

So How Does God View Sin?

In Everyone’s Going To Be Saved Eventually…Aren’t They? we began our look at this crucial issue but to answer the question of how God views sin it’s important that we look at how God Himself feels about sin, and sinners. And not by our emotions, nor by our own “way of thinking,” but by our only reliable guide in these critical matters the Holy Bible, the Word of the living God. Unfortunately his involvement with the compromising ECT document has seriously injured the testimony of Anglican theologian Dr. J.I. Packer though was right when he wrote in his classic book Knowing God:

People have [gotten] into the way of following private religious hunches rather than learning of God from His Own Word…modern man thinks of all religions as equal and equivalent, and draws his stock of ideas about God from pagan as well as Christian sources; and we have to try and show people the uniqueness and finality of the Lord Jesus Christ, God’s last Word to man (144)

So let’s look first at the question: How does God view sin? The short answer is: He hates it! It is sin that lead to death in the first place. The Bible says in Romans 5:12 — sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned. When God created man in His Own image—which means His Own moral character—He never intended man to have to die. But because the Lord did not want robots programmed to love Him, He created Adam and Eve as literal people with a free will to choose to love and obey God, or to rebel against Him. When they made the choice to follow the desires of their own hearts mankind itself was then plunged headlong into the curse of sin.

In theological circles this is known as the doctrine of original sin. The Evangelical Dictionary of Theology defines original sin — “not [as] a biological taint or physical deformity, but a spiritual infection that in some mysterious way is transmitted through reproduction.” So now we have a cursed creation. and we live in a world full of sinners. Some of us walking in daily forgiveness through personal faith in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior by confession and repentance, while others are but a single heartbeat from Hell—but sinners we are. As it is written — for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).

Now you might ask: What is sin? I think Dr. Martin put it very well when he defined sin as “any transgression of God’s Law, and all unrighteousness is sin.” The Greek word most often used for sin in the New Testament—hamartia—means “a missing of the mark.” It’s an old archery term. That “mark” being the perfect holiness of God as mirrored in the Law of Moses, and fully revealed in Jesus of Nazareth—the incarnate Word. This ought to begin to give you an indication of just how easy it is to sin—to “miss the mark” of Jesus Christ. Just take a look around this world and you can easily see that we human beings have proven quite adept at falling well short of His sinless life!

However, what is missing from our lives today is an understanding of just how far it is by which we do miss this mark of the holiness of our Lord. This is because we humans tend to measure each ourselves by each other; but the standard God will judge each of us by is the perfect life of Christ Jesus. Outside and inside of the Church through the cancer of the Cult of Liberal Theology—and its natural daughter the Emerging Church of postevangelicalism—sin has been trivialized to protect our self-esteem until God has been made to seem more and more like man. So instead of man being made in the image of God it has now become reversed—God has been re-made into the image of man. We’ve attempted to take the Lord down from His glorious throne and make Him conform to our image rather than us conform to His image as God has always intended.

The Awesome And Dreadful Holiness Of God

The Holy and righteous LORD God Almighty—Creator of the universe—is quite often referred to in joking and irreverent ways in our blasphemous culture, or worse yet, has His Name used in vulgar profanity. O but how insensitive and foolish we are to refer in this demeaning way to a Being so pure, powerful, and holy, that we’d literally disintegrate in His awesome presence! How arrogant of God’s creation to misuse and ignore His Word in a futile attempt to conform Him to our corrupt image; to demand that Almighty God explain His ways to us, or in an futile effort to try and force Him to think as we do. To those who accuse God of being unfair, or of not explaining Himself to us in the ways we’d prefer—the LORD God would say to you: “Take off your shoes, you’re on Holy ground. Don’t you ever ask Me about Who I AM, or what I AM; just be thankful when I tell you that I AM!”

Christian theologian Dr. R.C. Sproul writers in his book The Holiness of God:

We have not used the gift of life for the purpose God intended. Life on this planet has become the arena in which we daily carry out the work of cosmic treason. Our crime is far more serious, far more destructive than that of Benedict Arnold. No traitor to any king or nation has even approached the wickedness of our treason before God.

Sin is cosmic treason. Sin is treason against a perfectly pure Sovereign. It is an act of supreme ingratitude toward the One who has given us life itself. Have you ever considered the deeper implications of the slightest sin, of the most minor peccadilo? What are saying to our Creator when we disobey Him at the slightest point? We are saying no to the righteousness of God. We are saying, “God Your law is not good. My judgment is better than Yours. Your authority does not apply to me. I am above and beyond Your jurisdiction. I have the right to do what I want to do, not what You command me to do” (164)

Dr. Sproul is absolutely right; anytime that we refuse to let God guide us in any part of our lives—we sin—period! And sin is nothing less than rebellion against the Laws of the Holy living God. Many times you’ll hear a minister encourage you to make Jesus your personal Lord and Savior—and we should—but let me point out that Jesus is the Lord and Savior of His universe whether you acknowledge Him or not! And one day you will stand before His awesome and dreadful presence to account for what I’ve just told you. Friend, it is a fact you’d do well to think about. Now you have no excuse. It will do you no good to say, “but the Church is full of hypocrites.” You are absolutely right, it is; but the world is as well, so that’s irrelevant. “But what about the people in Africa who die, and they’ve never heard of Jesus?” What of them; the point before you right now is: You now have heard, so you have no excuse. The Lord is talking to you and you now know Who Jesus is. There won’t be any escape! The truth is that you personally will have to give an account of your life to your Creator.

God Loves SinnersSince When?

So then how does God view sinners, those who decide to reject the Lordship of Christ and continue on in willful sin once they’ve heard the Gospel. We’ve probably all heard the phrase — “God hates sin, but He loves the sinner”; however, is that really the case? There’s a book called The Other Side Of The Good News (TOS), which I highly recommend to every serious student of the Bible. It’s written by Dr. Larry Dixon, who points out that one of Christianity’s greatest theologians, the great 16th century Church Reformer John Calvin said: “We are taught by Scripture to perceive that apart from Christ, God is—so to speak—hostile to us, and His hand is armed for our destruction.”

In his article “Does God Love the Sinner and Hate Only His Sin?” Dr. John Gerstner also brings out:

“Repent or Perish” forces people to ponder seriously the popular slogan, “God hates the sin and loves the sinner.” Is a necessary repentance consistent with “God loves the sinner?” If God loves the sinner while he is alive, it is strange that God sends him to hell as soon as he dies. God loves the sinner to death? Loves him to everlasting torment? …

God is perfectly displeased with the sinner. The sinner hates God, disobeys God, is ungrateful to God for all His favors, would kill God if he could. He is dead in trespasses and sins. (Eph.2:1) “The thoughts and intents of his heart are only evil continually.” (Gen.6:5) He is the slave of sin (John 8:34), the servant of the devil, (Eph.2:2). God has no complacent love for the sinner at all. He has a perfect hatred of him, “I hate them with a perfect hatred. (Ps. 139:22) (Online source)

Then in TOS Dixon goes on — “Seldom do we consider the malevolence of God, and almost never do we hear, or preach sermons on God’s wrath and the justified perfect hatred God has of sinners.” We need to remember that God is infinite and to our limited, finite, minds many things about Him are a paradox. Paradox meaning things that appear to contradict but actually don’t. At the same time God loves the you He will regenerate if you come to Him in Christ—He hates the you that rejects Him—that very you which actually hates Him. You must understand that apart from Christ we are simply not the delightful little creatures we like to think we are. Here is what Jesus said about man in Matthew 7:11 — If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him. Did you get that? The Master, your Creator, says — though you are evil.

Let’s go to the Book of Romans chapter 8 for a moment. The Apostle Paul tells us that without the Holy Spirit dwelling in us our basic nature is selfishness, as our minds are set on the “flesh”, the “carnal” — in other words on our-selves. Romans 8:7 — the sinful mind — [if you have the King James Version it reads — the carnal mind]. The Greek word here is sarx and it refers to your body, your flesh, the carnal nature…you. With this in mind then, let’s begin again — the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. The absolute Truth is that all who are without Christ are controlled by the carnal, sinful, human nature—those not regenerated i.e. born again — cannot [possibly] please God. And this is not just my opinion, that’s the very Word of God the Holy Spirit Himself.

In commenting on this verse John Calvin put it this way, “the will of man is in all things opposed to [God’s] will; for, as much as what is crooked differs from what is straight, so much must be the difference between us and God.” Still need convincing? Then listen to what Jesus tells us about mankind here in Mark 7:21-23 — For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside. And Paul once again, I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature…What a wretched man I am! (Romans 8:18, 24).

Meet The Malevolence Of God

Does that wound your self-esteem? Good; it was meant to. This is not a matter to take lightly. Here is what God tells us about Himself through the prophet King David in Psalm 5:4-6 — You are not a God Who takes pleasure in evil; with You the wicked cannot dwell. The arrogant cannot stand in Your presence; You hate all who do wrong. You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the Lord abhors. So much for those rap-music self-styled “gangstas” who unapologetically brag about loving their so-called “thug life.” The above also fits way too many TV evangelists; sports figures, and politicians, who so often fall into this category as well.

Space doesn’t allow me to go into this further, but I ask you to make the time to take your Bible and look up the following Scriptures: Leviticus 26:27-28; Psalm 11:5; Proverbs 3:31-32; and Isaiah 61:8. And if you still have doubts about what God thinks of sinners, I suggest you read Ezekiel chapters 7-9. And then try to tell yourself, as our not so modern mystics muse, that all religions please God. Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:8). If you sow hate toward the Lord by violating His Laws then you will reap the perfect hatred of Almighty God. Bible commentator Adam Clarke did put it in perspective when he wrote: “Alas; what a fate awaits those who continue in willful sin, the hatred of God Almighty!”

Now some people today like to think that Yahweh, the so-called “tribal” God of the Old Testament, was the One Who has a very harsh view of sinners. But for those of you who think that somehow Jesus changes all of this, let me remind you that Holy Scripture teaches Jesus is Yahweh; and Malachi 3:6 so clearly says — I, Yahweh, do not change that not even N.T. Wright can slither around it. And keep in mind that while talking with His disciples in the 14th chapter of John the Master Christ Jesus tells them in verse 9 — Anyone who has seen Me has seen the Father. In other words, “We’re exactly alike.”

In 2 Kings chapter 19, when the Assyrian army mocked Yahweh Elohim—the LORD God—and came to attack His chosen people Israel, we read in verse 35 — That night the Angel of the Lord went out and put to death a hundred and eighty-five thousand men in the Assyrian camp. If you do a little background study you will quickly find that the traditional view of orthodox Christian scholars of the Bible is that the Angel of the Lord is Jesus in a pre-incarnate form. And you need to know that Hebrews 13:8 enlightens us to the fact that — Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Again, the absolute Truth is that God hated wicked people yesterday, and He still hates them today.

Why, you ask. Who do you think it is who brings all the suffering and bloodshed upon his innocent fellow man? Think about this for a moment; every time a child is molested, every time a human being is murdered—in the womb or otherwise, every time the innocent are wronged—God sees it; and He grieves over it. Listen to what Jesus tells us in Luke 17:1-2 — Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. No, one simply cannot escape the holy judgments of the righteous God in either the Old Testament or in the New; nor can they ever escape His pure and justified hatred for those who sin.

If you are beginning to feel condemned, and without hope, then you are getting the message. Romans 6:23 — For the wages of sin is death — this is talking about spiritual death, eternal separation from God. In John 3:18 Jesus says — Whoever believes in [Me] is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already. Now you can understand what Paul was talking about earlier; in our human condition we are literally condemned to sin against God; with no ability whatsoever on our own to stop. John 3:36 — Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on him. That’s upon all who reject God’s only provision for the forgiveness of sins, the sacrificial death on the Cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. And I think we are safe in saying that one doesn’t feel wrath toward someone you are pleased with.

The Absolute Certainly Of Hell

So no matter what else you have heard or whatever you’ve been trying to convince yourself of the proper view of mankind’s state before our Holy God, apart from His grace in Christ Jesus, is: Man is totally depraved, corrupt, degenerate, sinful, and hopelessly lost. As such he is eternally, helplessly, and desperately, in need of a Savior. You say: “Alright, maybe I do need to be saved, but what is it that I need to be saved from?” I’m so glad you asked. Remember back to the initial text of this message, Matthew 25:41 — “Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” Elsewhere in the Gospel of Matthew Jesus refers to this fire as Hell. Do you realize that it was the Master Himself Who originated the doctrine of eternal, conscious torment of the wicked dead in a literal place He called Hell as we hear it today? Anyone wishing to deny this doctrine ala Emerging dreamers like Rob Bell will find himself immediately staring into the face of the Creator of this very universe, Christ Jesus of Nazareth. An extremely precarious place to be to say the very least!

This is not the place for an apologetic concerning Hell; suffice to say that the Bible unquestionably teaches that all who die apart from a saving relationship to God through the blood shed on the cross by Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins—no matter what culture, no matter what race, no matter what religion—all who die apart from Christ will follow the Devil and his angels into Hell. They will be forever shut out of the presence of God, with no second chance. And not even the mystic musings of Emergent Church Guru Brian McLaren or Emerging Church Pastor Doug Pagitt can help him. Now let’s not get bogged down here either with exactly what Hell is, or isn’t, because we do know this much for sure: Hell is so awful that Christ Jesus was willing to undergo crucifixion to grab the keys to the gates of it. Not only that, but consider that it also took the power of the life, death and resurrection of God the Son to keep all of us from going there!

Many will say at this point: “Well, this is an awfully narrow view, isn’t it?” And I will answer with the words of the Lord Jesus Christ Who says in Matthew 7:13-14 — Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Yes, Jesus says the road to eternal life is narrow; but praise God, there is a road! And you can be one of those few if you’ll give yourself to Christ. And that’s the Good News of God in Jesus Christ! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to Godthrough Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:24b-25). Paul tells us in Romans chapter 5, beginning at verse 6 — that at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for [us] the ungodly…God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

And right now, if you believe that He died for your sins, and that He rose from the dead; if you place your complete trust in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then you can say with Paul — Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life! And then you will never have to fear Hell, the fire prepared for the Devil and his angels. But don’t put this off; because remember, the Bible also says — For He says, “In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:2)

None Of God’s Children Are In Hell

However, there are those who will still say: “I’m sorry, I just can’t believe that a loving God could ever send any of His children to Hell.” That is the view of the overly tolerant postevangelical and postliberal ones who dominate the Christian landscape today. It’s without a doubt the prevailing belief of these tepid times in which we live. In fact, that very statement was made to me by that Mormon Missionary I talked about at the beginning of Part One of this message. And let me say that I totally agree; God will never send any of His children to Hell. But John 1:12 says — Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. You don’t need the right to become a child of God, unless you were not one to begin with. You are not born a child of God; you become one by adoption when you believe and repent surrendering your life to Jesus as your Lord; asking Him to forgive your sins and to come live inside of you (see—John 14:6-23; Romans 8:9-17; 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). And if you’ve already done that, then you’ll never have to face the certainty of God’s coming wrath—His perfect hatred of sinner and their sin—because Jesus has already borne that for you.

You see, Romans chapter 8 clearly shows just what the Master meant in John chapter 3. You may remember that Jesus Christ was talking with Nicodemus, who was an upstanding, moral man, and a leader within the “church” of that day. While discussing how to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus said to him — “You must be born again.” The Greek can also be translated “born from above,” but in either case it is something that God the Holy Spirit—third Person of the Holy Trinity—–has to do inside of the natural man in order for him to be born again from above. The term we use to refer to this work of God is regeneration, which you’ve seen me use above. 2 Corinthians 5:17 — Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! You see only then does a man or woman become a child of God; and only then can we even hope to please the holy and pure Lord God Almighty.

Earlier we discussed Romans chapter 8 verse 7, and we saw that those who aren’t regenerated, or born again — cannot [possibly] please God. Now you can understand Romans 3:10-12 — As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” How’s that for self-esteem; no human being—not even the “nice little old lady” across the street nor even someone as “good” as was Mother Theresa in the eyes of man—can possibly do anything in the flesh to please God in regard to his sin. This is because no matter what you do before you are born again, on some level before an all Holy God, it is still done for yourself. 19th century Baptist minister Charles Haddon Spurgeon—a man so powerful in Christ he was known as “Prince of Preachers”—put it quite well when he said: “Some of you are hanging over the mouth of Hell by a solitary plank of wood; and that plank is rotten.”

No, it’s not pleasant to talk about, and it certainly doesn’t win me any friends in today’s apostatizing evangelicalism so in lust with the neo-Gnostic myths spread e.g. by Living Spiritual Teacher and Quaker mystic “Roshi” Richard Foster along with his spiritual twin Dallas Willard as they are matriculating The Cult Of Richard Foster. But it seems that instead of worshipping the Holy God of the Bible we are all too willing to settle for a kind of “cosmic Santa Claus.” In The Other Side Of The Good News Dr. Dixon writes — “T.S. Elliot said: ‘If we eliminate the doctrine of the final judgment, then we turn God into a divine Santa Claus who declares — “Everyone shall get toys, and be glad.’” Well, I completely do mean to burst your bubble, just like the story of Santa Claus, it’s a fantasy.

So in answer to the question: Everyone’s Going To Be Saved Eventually…Aren’t They? let me answer categorically — No. Certainly, one has the right to believe whatever one wants to believe, that most—or eventually everyone—will be saved. This view is called “universalism.” As I previously pointed out it a very popular belief right now—it’s rapidly gaining ground even within mainstream seminaries—and even in the alleged evangelical community e.g. Spencer Burke: The Emergent Road To Universalism. However, it is crystal clear that you will find no actual support for this heretical view in the Bible, as you have now been shown. The eternally fatal false hope of avoiding the bloody Cross of Jesus Christ and the absolute certainty of Hell for all those who reject Him, collapses with the precision laser beam light of God the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures of Lord’s Word—the Bible.

Bringing It Up Close And Personal

I close with this: Any one of us can have our lives changed in a mere instant, and it can happen at any moment. It happened to my family one Spring evening several years ago. As my family waved goodbye to our Mom, just as we’d done for years each evening as she left for her work as a Nurses Aide at Valley Regional Hospital, we had no idea that five minutes later we were going to receive a phone call that would forever change our lives. A drunken driver going seventy miles an hour down the narrow, twisting, Old Claremont road she’d driven to work on hundreds of times, smashed directly into her car killing her—instantly. In a split second her eternal destiny was sealed; with no second chance.

Perhaps this hould give you pause for concern. There was an old Nazarene preacher who gave some advice to a young minister who was just starting out. Sound wisdom, which the young man never forgot: “Son,” he said, “I sure like the way you preach the Gospel, and I’d like to give you a little bit of advice.” The young minister eagerly told him that he would love to hear anything the more experienced man of God might wish to share. And the old preacher looked at him and said, “When you go out, always preach the love of God, and the grace of God, in Jesus Christ. But, if they don’t want Jesus—then leave ’em with the Law according to Moses.”

The choice now lays before You: grace alone, the unmerited favor of God through faith, alone, in Christ Jesus, alone; in the only One Who perfectly fulfilled that Law. Or, you have the righteous judgment of this very same Lord according to the perfect Law of God—which no mere mortal man could ever even dream of fulfilling. And to answer the call to come to Christ is the all-important decision that only you alone can make. If He calls to you right now; What say ye?