It has been said that God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. Is this true?

(Charles Naylor)

What is God's attitude toward unregenerate man?

It has been said that God hates sin, but He loves the sinner. Is this true?

Let us hear the voice of inspiration:

"You hate all workers of iniquity . . . The Lord abhors murderers and deceitful men" (Psalm 5:5, 6).
Does that express an attitude of affection on God's part?

Again, we read, "The LORD examines the righteous, but the wicked and those who love violence, His soul hates. On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot!" (Psalm 11:5-6).

"Because they did all these things, I abhorred them!" (Leviticus 20:23). 

"I will destroy your high places, cut down your incense altars and pile your dead bodies on the lifeless forms of your idols, and I will abhor you." (Leviticus 26:30). 

"And when the LORD saw it, He abhorred them!" (Deuteronomy 32:19). 

We read further, "God is angry with the wicked every day!" (Psalm 7:11).

"The LORD detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished!" Proverbs 16:5

God is not so meek and indulgent that nothing will arouse His indignation. He hates all that is sinful. He could not love righteousness, without hating iniquity. He could not love the righteous, without hating the wicked. To love both, would be to abolish all moral distinctions. Of the impenitent sinner it is said, "The wrath of God abides on him" (John 3:36). It is only sin that renders him hateful, but man is responsible for his state of sinfulness and chooses evil; therefore to deal with the sin, God must deal with the man.

Not only does God hate man's sin, every sinful word, thought, and deed—but He also hates every evil desire.

The natural man loves evil. That love of evil, which is a part of his nature—God abhors. All desire that runs out after impurity or for that which is unholy—merits and excites God's indignation and abhorrence. Every evil ambition that arises in his soul, repels God. Every evil disposition, every evil feeling, hatred, envy, malice, revenge, selfishness, pride, jealousy, deceit, hypocrisy, and all the long catalog of evil things, of which man's heart is the source—are obnoxious to God. All tendency to oppose the will of God, all rebellion at His providences—can only excite hatred in God.

God can love only what is what is pure and holy. All else He hates, and must hate with all the strength of His righteous character!