Does God Love or Hate People?

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Some argue that the Bible is contradictory concerning whether God loves or hates people. The argument is that John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and 1 John 4:7-8, 16 say that God loves people, but Psalm 5:5, 11:5, Proverbs 6:16-19, and Hosea 9:15 say that God hates people. However, the solution to this alleged contradiction in the Bible is extremely simple.

Scriptures – Does God Love or Hate People?

God Loves People

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love… 16 So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

1 John 4:7-8, 16

God Hates People

The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers.

Psalm 5:5

The Lord tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

Psalm 11:5

16 There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: 17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, 19 a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.

Proverbs 6:16-19

Every evil of theirs is in Gilgal; there I began to hate them. Because of the wickedness of their deeds I will drive them out of my house. I will love them no more; all their princes are rebels.

Hosea 9:15

The Answer – Does God Love or Hate People?

God Has Special Love for His Elect and Hates, or Has Wrath, Towards Sinners

The Bible teaches that God has special love for his elect, or for those who believe in Christ. These are the people John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and 1 John 4:7-8, 16 are talking about—people who have faith in Christ, or in other words, have been chosen and called by God to be saved.

At the same time, God hates both sin and those who commit sin. His wrath, or hatred, is upon people who sin until they turn to faith in Jesus, at which point their sins are completely forgiven, they are granted Jesus’ perfect righteousness, and God’s wrath towards is fulled satisfied. All of this occurs because Jesus purchased this salvation for sinners with his substitutionary sacrifice on the cross.

Foundational Principles Regarding Bible Difficulties

There are some foundational principles that apply to all alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible. To read more, see Bible Difficulties: Foundational Principles.

More Answers to “Contradictions” in the Bible

To read more answers to alleged and apparent contradictions in the Bible, see “Contradictions” in the Bible Answered.

These books are also excellent resources:

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