What God Hates (II)
GOD HATES CERTAIN PEOPLE
(from a transcript of a sermon preached on 2/18/01 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Let's turn to Psalm 5. I'll be reading verses 4 through 6:
Psalm 5: (4) For You [are] not a God enjoying wickedness; nor shall evil live with You. (5) The boasters shall not set themselves before Your eyes. You hate all workers of iniquity. (6) You shall destroy those speaking lies; Jehovah will despise the man of blood and deceit.
This is the second sermon in a series entitled "What God Hates." This is the first sermon that specifically goes into what the Bible says God hates. Today, the Lord willing, we'll be going over the awesome and sobering truth that God hates certain people. This is a subject that is sure to rouse anger among most professing Christians. They would consider it blasphemy to say that the God of love hates some people. But as we saw last week, God hates because God is love. God loves Himself, and all who are wicked God hates. As we see in verse 5, God hates all workers of iniquity. The word translated "iniquity" means evil, wickedness, nothingness, or vanity. So God hates the workers of wickedness. Now some false religionists say, "God loves the sinner, but He hates the sin." But look at what the second part of verse 5 says. Does it say, "You hate all iniquity?" No, it doesn't say that, although that is true. It says, "You hate all WORKERS of iniquity." Who or what are WORKERS? Are they plants? Are they emotions? Are they rocks? Are they concepts? No - these WORKERS are PEOPLE. They are HUMAN BEINGS. God hates HUMAN BEINGS who work iniquity. So we need to see right from the outset that God is a HATER of WICKED PEOPLE. He doesn't just hate the wickedness and love the people; He hates the people.
In verses 5 and 6, God gives us a description of the people He hates and what some particular acts of iniquity are. In the first part of verse 5, God talks about BOASTERS as those who are wicked. Again, we see that God doesn't just say that He hates boasting and loves the person boasting. God hates boastERS. So what is a boaster? The Hebrew word comes from "ha-LAL", which means "to shine" or "to glory." A boaster is a "shiner," or "one who makes a show." He is a "glorier," or one who glories in himself. He is one who boasts in his own strength. He boasts of his own righteousness as forming some or all of the ground of his salvation. He boasts of his reforming and abstaining and obeying as that which recommends him to God. He glories in his own works as that which make the difference between him and the unsaved. Do you want to know how to find out what a person glories in? You just have to find out what he thinks makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell. Now if you go up to a religionist who calls himself a Christian and ask him what makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell, what's he going to say? Of course, he's going to say, "Jesus Christ." But this is just a deceptive cloak. What you really need to ask him is if Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception. If he says "yes," then you KNOW wherein he glories. He believes that Jesus Christ died for those in heaven and those in hell. Thus, he believes that it is NOT the work of Jesus Christ ALONE that makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell; instead, he believes that it is the work of the SINNER that makes the ultimate difference between heaven and hell. Thus, he boasts in, he glories in, the work of the SINNER. And since he thinks he's saved, he is glorying in HIS OWN WORKS as what makes him to differ between himself and other sinners. He believes that it is his FAITH or his REPENTANCE or his PERSEVERANCE or his GOOD DEEDS that make the difference. He is a boaster, and God hates him. Let me make it very clear: GOD HATES all who believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception.
In contrast to those who boast in or glory in themselves, true Christians are ones who boast in or glory in the cross of Christ. Let's turn to Galatians 6:14:
Galatians 6: (14) But may it never be for me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
The CROSS OF CHRIST is the only thing we glory in! We glory in the cross because we KNOW that it is what makes the ONLY difference between heaven and hell! We KNOW that the cross of Christ demands and ensures the salvation of EVERY SINGLE PERSON WITHOUT EXCEPTION for whom Christ died! We know that ALL those for whom Christ died on the cross WILL BE SAVED. We know that the cross of Christ is the ONLY ground of our salvation! Thus, we glory in the cross.
Now let's look back at Psalm 5, verse 6:
Psalm5: (6) You shall destroy those speaking lies; Jehovah will despise the man of blood and deceit.
How else are wicked people described in the first part of the verse? They are described as "those speaking lies." This is easy to understand. God hates liars. A liar is one whose life is characterized by lying. Now lying comes in many forms. Lying includes saying that something is true that one knows is not true, such as parents telling children that Santa Claus comes to bring them presents. And parents who tell their children such things are liars. God hates those parents. But the ultimate lie is about the gospel. Anyone who proclaims a false gospel is a liar. He is lying about the most important thing in the world - the ground of salvation. God hates all such liars.
Now look at the second part of the verse. We see that God speaks of "the man of blood and deceit." The reason blood and deceit are mentioned together here is that they form one concept. A wicked man deceives so as to kill. To deceive is to speak a lie or to do something deceptive in order for the victim to be put in a vulnerable position where it is easy to kill that person. God hates those who do such things. He hates all murderers. Yet there is a gospel significance to this as well. Think of the preachers who preach false gospels. They deceive the people by speaking the false gospel to them and by speaking peace to them. And by doing this, they are murdering the souls of men. This includes the Arminians who preach that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception, and it includes the Calvinists who preach that Arminians should be accepted as brothers. God hates such soul-murderers.
Let's turn to Psalm 11:5:
Psalm 11: (5) Jehovah tries the righteous, but His soul hates the wicked and the one loving violence.
Again, we see that God hates the wicked, not just the wickedness. And he describes a kind of wicked person, which is the lover of violence. This, too, can have a spiritual significance like the one I just stated, but we also should not forget the physical significance. God hates those who love violence. This includes those who ARE violent and those who ENJOY violence who are not necessarily physically violent. What is violence? The Hebrew word is kah-MAHS, which means cruelty, maltreatment, damage, violation, or oppression. One who loves to hurt others is violent. One who enjoys watching someone hurt others is violent. Let me bring it right home: those who love watching violent movies or television shows are violent. If you enjoy watching a murder or a beating, whether it is real or acted, you love violence. We Christians must abhor such things. You might say that you don't love the violence in the show, but you watch the show anyway. Although this is not necessarily love of violence, Christians should not be filling their minds with such things.
Let's go over to Proverbs to see what more God says about this. Let's first turn to Proverbs 3:32:
Proverbs 3: (32) For the perverse one [is] hateful to Jehovah, but His intimacy [is] with the righteous.
Now let's read Proverbs 11:20:
Proverbs 11: (20) Hateful to Jehovah [are] the perverse hearted, but His delight [is] the upright in way.
The word "hateful" is translated "an abomination" in the King James Version. The Hebrew word for "perverse" comes from LOOZ, which means "to turn aside." Those who are perverse do not walk in the straight paths of righteousness. They go their own way, which is not the prescribed way. Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." The perverse are ones who try to come to the Father by another way. They try to come by their own righteousness. God hates them. Notice that God does not here say that God hates perversion, which He does; God says that God hates the ONE - the PERSON - who is perverse.
Let's turn to Proverbs 16:5:
Proverbs 16: (5) Everyone proud in heart [is] disgusting to Jehovah; [though] hand [join] in hand he shall not be innocent.
One who is proud in heart is one who is a boaster or a gloryer in himself, which we went over. Now over to Proverbs 12:22:
Proverbs 12: (22) Lying lips [are] hateful to Jehovah, but those who deal faithfulness [are] His delight.
Lying lips come from a liar, which we also went over. Now let's turn to Proverbs 17:15:
Proverbs 17: (15) He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, even both of them [are] disgusting to Jehovah.
Here God shows that two kinds of people are hateful or an abomination to Him: those who say that the wicked are not guilty, and those who say the just are guilty. Now why would people who do these things be an abomination to God? Well, think about the sermon I preached last week. God is holy. God is totally righteous and just. The reason he hates those who would let the wicked go unpunished is that God NEVER lets the guilty go unpunished. According to God's holy justice, the guilty MUST BE punished, no exceptions. God says in Exodus 34:7 that he will by no means clear the guilty. Anyone who says that a guilty person is innocent and lets the guilty go unpunished is an abomination to God. The same goes for one who says that an innocent person is guilty and punishes the innocent person. God's holy justice demands that the innocent not be punished. Now some of you are probably thinking about the same thing I'm about to say. What about God not punishing some who sin, and what about God punishing Jesus Christ, who was without sin? How can it be said that these things are NOT an abomination to Him? The answer lies in IMPUTATION. God does not punish those who have Christ's righteousness imputed to them. In fact, because Christ's perfect righteousness is legally charged to the account of His people, God would be unjust to punish them! He would be condemning the just, which He cannot do. On the other side, the sins of all of the elect were legally charged to Jesus Christ on the cross, so God was just to punish Christ. In fact, God would have been unjust to NOT punish Him.
Now let's turn to Romans 9. I'll read verses 6 through 13:
Romans 9: (6) Not, however, that God's Word has failed. For not all those of Israel [are] Israel, (7) nor because they are Abraham's seed are all children, but "In Isaac a Seed shall be called to you." (8) That is: Not the children of flesh [are] children of God, but the children of the promise [are] counted for a seed. (9) For the Word of promise [is] this, "According to this time I will come, and a son will be to Sarah." (10) And not only so, but also Rebekah conceiving of one, our father Isaac, (11) for [the children] not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of the [One] calling, (12) it was said to her, "The greater shall serve the lesser;" (13) even as it has been written, "I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau."
Verse 13 comes from Malachi 1:2&3. Here, God NAMES the person He hated. He hated Esau. Now I want you to think about this: WHY did God hate Esau? FOR WHAT REASON did God hate Esau? Well, the first answer someone might think of is that Esau was a sinner. And it's true that Esau was a sinner. But God gives the ultimate reason in verse 11:
Romans 9: (11) for [the children] not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of the [One] calling,
God hated Esau before Esau had done anything bad! God had DECREED, had CHOSEN to hate Esau before the foundation of the world! This is called reprobation. Not only did God choose to have a people for Himself, He also chose to damn everyone else. God is not a reactionary God. He does not love or hate in reaction to the actions of His creatures. This would make him a changeable god. God's love and hate have been PLANNED from BEFORE He created the world. The verse we just read says that He hated Esau "that the purpose of God according to election might stand"! It had to do with His election of Jacob and His reprobation of Esau. This is quite a truth, isn't it? And God's people will bow to this truth.
Finally, we need to understand that WE, the people of God, are to hate what God hates. We have seen that God hates certain people. And WE are to hate certain people. We are to hate the wicked, the boasters, the liars, those of deceit and blood, those who love violence, those who are perverse, those who justify the guilty and condemn the just. Turn over to Psalm 139, verses 19 through 22. Remember that these words are expressing perfect concepts, because David was writing by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
Psalm 139: (19) Surely You will slay the wicked, O God; and men of blood will turn away from me. (20) Who will maliciously speak against You? Your enemies are lifted up with vanity. (21) O Jehovah, do not I hate those hating You? And am I [not] detesting those rising against You? (22) I hate them [with] a perfect hatred; they have become my enemies.
David here speaks of the wicked, the bloody men, those who speak maliciously against God, those who are lifted up with vanity, those who hate God, those who are God's enemies, and those who are David's enemies, meaning those who are enemies against the people of God. And David, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, speaks for all of God's people when He says, "I hate them with a perfect hatred." But some of you might be already thinking, "What about where Jesus says to LOVE your enemies? Isn't that a command to NOT HATE your enemies?" Let's turn over to Matthew 5:43-44:
Matthew 5: (43) You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor" and hate your enemy; (44) but I say to you, Love your enemies; bless those cursing you, do well to those hating you; and pray for those abusing and persecuting you,
Now how do Psalm 139 and Matthew 5 jibe? Didn't Jesus say that YOU HAVE HEARD to hate your enemies, BUT I SAY to love your enemies? Let's think about this. Where had the crowd heard to hate their enemies? Look over at verse 27:
Matthew 5: (27) You have heard that it was said to the ancients: "Do not commit adultery."
Where had the crowd heard to not commit adultery? From the Bible! Jesus said, YOU HAVE HEARD to not commit adultery, BUT I SAY. Was Jesus contradicting the law not to commit adultery? Was He saying that it was no longer a law that was to be kept? No. He was saying that they had misinterpreted and misused this law. The same goes for hating one's enemy. They had misused it. They had used it to justify doing harm or not doing good to their enemies. But Jesus said that they are to LOVE their enemies. Let's go back to Psalm 139:22:
Psalm 139: (22) I hate them [with] a perfect hatred; they have become my enemies.
What does it mean to hate in the first part of this verse? God gives us the answer in the second part of the verse. It means to count someone as an enemy. Are Christians to count the God-haters as their enemies? Of course they are. Now back to Matthew 5:44:
Matthew 5: (44) but I say to you, Love your enemies;
Jesus says "enemies," doesn't he? So he is confirming that we are to count them as our enemies, which is the same as hating them in Psalm 139. And how are we to behave towards our enemies, towards those we hate? We are to love them. And, as we have seen before in love toward the unregenerate, this means that we are to have their well-being in mind and to act accordingly. We are not to harm them or wish to harm them; we are not to seek revenge. We are to bless them, and do well to them, and to pray for them. They are still our enemies, and we are to hate them as such. But our hatred of them does NOT mean that we are to seek to harm them. We are to love them by doing good to them and praying for them. And one of the ways in which we do good to them is to tell them that they are lost and their deeds are evil. We do not tell them this out of malice, but out of love, because we seek the best for them. I hope that helps.
In the rest of this series, the Lord willing, we will be going into specific sins that God says He hates. But let us always keep in mind that God hates the PEOPLE who do such things. And let us always keep in mind that we are to hate what God hates, as we seek to become conformed to the perfect standard of Christ's righteousness in our character and conduct, NOT to attain or maintain salvation, but out of love to God, realizing that we are ALREADY righteous in our persons because of the imputed righteousness of Christ. Amen.