Love And Hate Can Co-exist
Read the book of Jude
Jude 1:22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.
In a world which increasingly approves of and applauds gay behaviors, we see more and more Christians afraid to say or do anything which would offend the gay community. Some are even going so far as to approve of gay actions as non-offensive to the one and only Holy God. Just recently, a well-intentioned FB friend posted a meme on the reasons why we can no longer “love the sinner, hate the sin.” It sounds good on the surface, because it is wrapped up in a package of “love and compassion.” However, it just doesn’t measure up to biblical truths.
If anyone can show me a scripture passage in which Christ loved the sinner, yet did NOT hate the sin, I would love to see it. I don’t expect to see that verse anytime soon. I believe these two verses from the book of Jude pretty much belie the message which I saw on FB.
Verse 22 begins the sequence of thought. There are men who are torn over whether same-sex actions are sin. They are a kind of ‘doubter.’ Some may think it perhaps is sin, but continue to hear the false message in the world that Christ understands and therefore they are willing to risk it. Others doubt that God has anything against it. In both cases, we are to be merciful to these ‘doubters.’ Mercy can be defined as love or forgiveness. We are to love and forgive all sinners; for we know that we also are sinners, completely without hope apart from the righteousness of Christ. There is no question but that we are instructed to love sinners.
Next, the writer acknowledges that there is a group of men and women who are ‘in the fire’ and need to be saved. Does this refer to unsaved men and women who will perish if they do not repent and submit to the will of Christ? Or is this part written to Christians who are out on the wrong pathway? I can’t say for sure, but I would think it could apply to both. Surely, we who are saved are compelled to have concern for those who are on their way to eternity without Christ. But we also should be concerned over our brothers in Christ who are flirting with disobedience to their Savior. Nothing good comes about when a Christian ignores God. He is headed for trouble.
Again, Jude instructs his readers to show mercy. It is obvious that Jude wanted to keep mercy uppermost in the minds of his readers, so that what he was saying would be fully encompassed by mercy, love, and forgiveness. His next phrases are the ones which finish the thought. As we deal with others who need to hear the truth about life and mankind’s battle with sin, we are to do so with fear and with HATE. Yes, Jude said hate! We are to hate all sin, coupled with fear over the welfare of those who are on the wrong path. I cannot imagine that this message from Jude could be any clearer.
The gay world today is stained by corrupted flesh. I do not understand how any Christian who has participated in same-sex actions could think of them in any way but corrupted and stained. For sure, I am horrified when I think of what I have done, and how despicable were my actions. The Holy Spirit is faithful to show us the ugliness of our disobedience. If we never come to the point of hating sin, how can we possibly wish to avoid it, or see it as something which grieves a Holy God? We cannot. In order to overcome sin, we must hate it. We must hate our own sins and hate the sins of other, all the while loving all sinners, including ourselves.
Ps 4:2 How long, O men, will you turn My glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?
Ps 97:10 Let those who love the LORD hate evil.
Ro 12:9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.
Prayer: Father, give us the ability and wisdom to be able to love all sinners, and at the same time hate sin. It is such a difficult task to balance these two ideas. Also, open the eyes of those who cannot see that loving sinners and hating sin must be combined in order to be in complete harmony with Your word.