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Answering The Atheist
April 15, 2007 / Volume 7, Issue 15

THE ATHEIST'S COMPLAINT:
Does God love everyone? Some verses say yes (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; 4:16), but others indicate that He hates some people (Leviticus 20:23; Psalm 5:5; 11:5; Proverbs 6:16, 19; Hosea 9:15; Malachi 1:3; Romans 9:13). Is there a contradiction?

RESPONSE:
Does God love everyone? Yes. There is no need for us to discuss the first set of texts, as they affirm (as do we) that God loves everyone. So, let us turn our attention to the second set of verses listed.

Though He loves the world, God hates sin. Now, we must pause and realize that the world is compromised of those who have sinned, "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." (Romans 3:23). And yet, God loves us enough to send His only Son to die in our stead, and to provide redemption.

However, though God has expressed His love towards us, because sin is detestable to Him, those who continually engage in sin become a source of abhorrence and hatred for the Lord. That is not to say that His love is not still directed toward these, for Jesus died for all. However, those who continue in sin bring upon themselves the judgment of condemnation.

Among men, generally we either love an individual or hate an individual. With God, He both loves (as seen by the gift of His son for those who are sinners, Romans 5:8) and hates (as seen by his judgement against the wicked). Though He hates those who habitually continue in iniquity, they remain the object of His love, for He calls them to salvation through Jesus Christ.

There is no contradiction.

This article is a response to Skeptic's Annotated Bible