21 August 2015
“LOVE THE SINNER, HATE THE SIN”
Many mothers have stated that while their son was in prison for killing a person, “I hate what my son has done but I still love him.” A broken hearted wife has found out that her husband has broken their wedding vows by committing adultery. She is overwhelmed with grief and disappointment; but, she wants to save their marriage and expresses her feelings, “because I still love him.” A son is sent to prison for selling cocaine and will be incarcerated for several years. His father hates what his son has done; but, down deep in his father’s heart there remains a love for his wayward son and he will give him moral support. No doubt, there are Christian parents who may have a son or a daughter living with a member of the opposite sex without being married. The parents know the Word of God considers such an arrangement as being the sin of “fornication” and described in the book of Galatians to be one of “the works of the flesh”; and that they “who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). Don’t you know those parents still love their son or daughter and at the same time hate that sinful relationship? There are Christians parents who have sons and daughters who are homosexuals (Lesbians) and are actively engaged in such a lifestyle. Do not these parents love their children while hating that sinful way of living? Why, of course they do! It is my conviction that the majority of people accept that the foregoing illustrations are, in reality, common occurrences. And, we understand how you can ‘love the sinner and hate the sin’. It is mainly when Bible believing people speak out against the sin of homosexuality (actively engaged in such a life style) and ‘gay marriages’ that we are called ‘homophobic’ and ‘bigoted’. Also we are accused of actually hating the individuals. But, is it possible that a person can love the sinner, yet, hate the sin? Have you ever considered that God loves sinners but hates sin? In Proverbs 6:16-19, we read, “These six things the LORD HATES, (Emphasis, RE) Yes, seven are an abomination to Him” and then the writer list them. This passage is a continuation of the character of the person mentioned in verse 12 who is described as “A worthless person, a wicked man…” The Bible plainly teaches that God loves sinners yet hates sin. How do I know that? Please read the following passage: “But God demonstrates His own loved toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). As children of God we are taught to “LOVE your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). At the same time we learn from the Psalmist, “Through Your precepts I get understanding; Therefore I HATE every false way” (Emphasis, RE, Psalm 119:104). Therefore we can love the sinner and at the same time hate the sin. There is hope for those who live the lifestyle of homosexuality and that hope is found in Jesus Christ and the power of the gospel of Christ. Please read carefully the passage of Scripture found in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God” (NKJV). In Christ there is salvation from sin, strength to overcome our weaknesses and frailties of the flesh, and a blessed assurance of an eternal life with God when our journey on this earth has ended (1 John 5:11, 12). My friends, “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth” when I write “the truth in love” (Galatians 4:16; Ephesians 4:15)?
In Him, Raymond Elliott