Does God Love the Sinner and Hate Only His Sin?


The debate rages on. Should we tell sinners that God loves them or hates them? Or both? Or neither?

Here is an excellent article that offers some perspective; you decide if the author, Dr. John H. Gerstner, makes a few solid biblical points. Who’s Dr. Gerstner? He was R.C. Sproul’s mentor…

“Repent or Perish” forces people to ponder seriously the popular slogan, “God hates the sin and loves the sinner.” Is a necessary repentance consistent with “God loves the sinner?” If God loves the sinner while he is alive, it is strange that God sends him to hell as soon as he dies. God loves the sinner to death? Loves him to everlasting torment?

There is something wrong here. Either God loves the sinner and will not send him into the furnace of His eternal wrath; or He sends him into His eternal wrath and does not love him. Either “you are going to hell unless” because God hates you, as you are. Or, God loves you and “you are going to hell unless” is false. Read the rest of the article here.


  1. i can settle this entirely.

    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
    — Romans 5:8

    God loved us while we were yet sinners, even enough to die for us.

  2. Incredible article! Oh, if it were not for God’s immeasureable GRACE !

  3. Interesting article. It includes the on-going controversy of whom Christ died for “His people” as Dr Gerster says or “all people” as the non-reformed theologians would say.

    Although I don’t disagree with the premise of the article, I do have a problem with something Dr Gerster did that is often done to “prove” a point, to provide scripture for what we have already decided is a “truth”.

    If we look at the context of the verse Psalm 139:22, it clearly shows that the “I” in this verse is King David not God. So in this verse, it is David who hates the sinner, not God. Yet Dr Gerster uses this verse to show the God is the one who hates.

    Dr Gerster says, “God has no complacent love for the sinner at all. He has a perfect hatred of him, “I hate them with a perfect hatred.'” (Ps. 139:22)

    Psa 139:19-22 (KJV)
    Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. For they speak against thee wickedly, [and] thine enemies take [thy name] in vain. Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.

    Psa 139:19-23 (NIV)
    If only you would slay the wicked, O God!
    Away from me, you bloodthirsty men!
    They speak of you with evil intent;
    your adversaries misuse your name.
    Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord,
    and abhor those who rise up against you?
    I have nothing but hatred for them;
    I count them my enemies.

  4. “Does God Love the Sinner (yes/no) and Hate Only His Sin?” (God hates ALL inequity

    If there is sin, there must be a sinner. They are inseparable, unless, the sinner repents and trust in Jesus.

    Which will God send to hell, the sinner or the sin or both?

    God hates the sinner and the sin and He will punish both.

    Isaiah 1:28
    28 But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, and those who forsake the LORD shall come to an end.

    But, He loves us such as Rom 5:8


    I John 4:9-10
    By this the love of God as manifested in us, that God sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    God Bless.


  5. Josh –
    That has been my defense (Rom. 5:8) over the series of writings that have posed this question, but I have yet to read any kind of a solid Biblical defense that proves any otherwise.


  6. Remember: God demonstrated his love. Action. Not feelings.

    How does God feel? I don’t know…

    But all those who are in their sins, before Christ, it appears that he hates.

    It would be more appropiate to say to a sinner: God LOVED you.

    The article was meant to promote discussion.

  7. wow. great article. well…..God already knows who is going through life and will end up in hell. He created people He knew were only going to end up in hell. does He still love them? I find it hard to believe He hates them……..

    The fact that the author used a verse out of context is very disappointing. I just find it hard to believe that God would hate anyone He created. Perhaps I am wrong

  8. Oh, where to start?

    I do not believe this to be a Biblically sound conclusion. I do not believe the Bible teaches that God hates sinners; but that is not to say that He doesn’t. But even IF He does, it is not in the way that this article interprets it.

    I suppose the obvious place to start is stating the fact that God does not see things in the same way man does:

    From Isaiah 55:
    8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
    declares the LORD.
    9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.
    (If you really want a glimpse of God’s character and how he views the wicked, check out verse 7 of this same passage)

    In other words, God does not hate the way man hates. When God hates something, He hates it with a pure, perfect, untainted hatred; just as everything he does is pure, perfect and untainted.

    We cannot grasp this with our finite minds and limited human experience. The problem is that we tend to project our human interpretation of hatred onto God in such cases. Our flesh (sinful nature) corrupts us and causes our hatred to be affected. We, as humans, cannot love and hate at the same time:

    ” No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Matthew 6:24)

    However, God can… His love is not cancelled out by His hatred. God’s anger is not like man’s anger, and His jealousy is not like man’s… All of his attributes, feelings, actions are pure, perfect and untainted and He can do all of them at the same time: He is God!

    So, for us to assume that God cannot love and hate at the same time, based on our (human) view of love and hate, and therefore conclude that God must do one or the other is a false conclusion.

    And I’m not referring to the “benevolent love” that Dr. G speaks of in his article. This really is an affront to the “agape love” that the Bible speaks that God has for ALL of mankind. God certainly does cause it to “rain on the just and the unjust” but His love is far greater, far more significant than just “random acts of kindness” to the sinner!

    What is seemingly dangerous about this article is also the implication that God somehow loves someone “more” when they become a Christian. God’s love never waivers or increases or decreases. God loved us as much as sinners as He does now. God could never love us less or love us more.

    God’s ultimate love demonstration (Jesus on the Cross) was done while we were “enemies of the cross.”

    This whole article really puts forth a strong Calvinist (Reformed) viewpoint, but it lacks coherency in Scriptural references (Psalm 119:160 “The sum of Thy word is truth”) for it to be seriously considered as doctrinally sound.

    And I agree with Tom, that Dr. G’s use of Scriptures are with extreme latitude and make for a week argument that this is actually God’s viewpoint.

    Let’s deal with another false conclusion:

    That Hell was created for man and that God is as pleased as punch to toss sinners into it.

    “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘ Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels…” Matthew 25:41

    Hell (the lake of fire; Revelation 21) was not created for man. It was, according to the above verse created for Satan and his demons after they rebelled.

    A lot of mankind will certainly end up there, but in the above passage we get some much needed insight that it was not created for mankind; which again gives us a much needed glimpse of God’s character and His desire.

    “For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him.” -2nd Samuel 14:14

    “Do I have any pleasure in the death of the wicked,” declares the Lord GOD, “rather than that he should turn from his ways and live?”… “For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.” –Ezekiel 18:23, 30

    Have you ever done a study on the “Book of Life” (sometimes referred to as the ‘Lambs Book of Life’)? Most people think that when you become a Christian that your name is then written in the Book of Life. Can you show me a Scripture that verifies that process?

    Most Scriptural references to the Book of Life actually deal with names being ‘blotted out’ of the Book, not written in. In other words, everybody’s name (except the anti-Christ) is written in the Lambs Book of Life and when they die having chosen to reject Jesus then their names are blotted out. Why is this important?

    Because it shows the character of a loving God who desires ALL to be saved (1st Timothy 2:4/ 2nd Peter 3:9), not willing that ANY should perish, but that ALL come to repentance!

    There is so much more that can be written on this subject, but I will leave it at this for the moment:

    God does not “hate” the sinner, who was made in His image. He hates the sin. Jesus came to “destroy the WORKS of the devil” not the workers… God so LOVED the world…

  9. Thanks Pastor Doug! Enjoyable reading

  10. In relation to cults, sects, and various religions in the U.S. today…God makes a righteous judgment of each individual soul on this planet, “What does God see in the heart of man when He looks inwardly upon any man from Heaven?” Does He see a believer in Christ or an unbeliever? What’s the difference in God’s eyes?

    Lets examine the (Jews and Gentiles) who are enlightened to the Gospel as we are in the United States today…In light of Christ as Saviour and Redeemer…Acts 13:38,39 says…Through this man (Christ) is preached the forgiveness of sins…and man is thus Justified from all things.

    Who are the Justified? Who are those who receive the forgiveness of sins after trusting in the blood of Christ? Are they believers or unbelievers? Is there a difference? YES!

    What determines a believer or unbeliever. Is every man forgiven automatically if he prays five times a day, or chants too many God’s, or witnesses from door to door, or merely takes communion? NO! Only those who trust in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross are forgiven and Justified by God’s Grace. When is any man forgiven by God? “When” he believes in what Christ did for him personally and the power of a living Christ regenerates that soul. When man believes in the redemptive work of Christ he receives forgiveness and he receives a clean heart from Christ…on a personal basis. Believers are made righteous in the eyes of God through Christ. So…after man is forgiven what does God see? Does He see a believer or an unbeliever?

    He sees a believer in Christ and a believer in Christ is a changed man by the Grace of God. Does God see a changed man in the life of a believer? YES! A changed man by Grace is a forgiven man because of what Christ did for him personally. A forgiven man is a converted man because of the work of Christ? Cults, sects, and religions don’t experience this great privilege. The experience of this blessing of Salvation only comes to the believer through the power and presence of a living Christ.

    What’s the difference between a converted man and an unconverted man? A converted man trusts in Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for his own personal forgiveness of sins. And the unconverted man has no redemption or forgiveness for his sins through Christ. This separates the Hindu, the Moslem, and the Buddha, the Jehovah Witness, the Mormons, and many others from the child of God that BELIEVES AND TRUSTS IN THE DIETY OF CHRIST. Religious people do not experience the forgiveness of sins or the holy heart granted by God through the redemptive work of Christ at Calvary.

    • Col 1:13-15…Who hath delivered us (the child of God) from the power of darkness, and hath translated us (the child of God) into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

    Many cults, sects, and religions all claim to be believers in God but they miss the redemptive work of Christ. This deception causes cults, sects, and religions not to see the difference between the believer and the unbeliever. They don’t actually realize there is a difference…but God Almighty from Heaven… sees this group of people as “unbelievers”.

    • Rev 21:8…But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
    This religious crowd claims to know God but miss forgiveness and redemption that comes because of what Christ did for them personally. Without redemption through Christ man cannot have a clean heart or a clean conscience. This cleansing only comes to the human soul through the forgiveness of sins granted by God through Christ. This occurs “When” man personally believes in the redemptive work of Christ on the Cross for his own personal forgiveness of sin.

    This is how the Bible makes the distinction between a believer and an unbeliever. This is how God sees the heart of man from Heaven. This is how the distinction between the believer and the unbeliever is made. All witnesses for Christ should be able to make this distinction.

    • 1 John 5:10…He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

    Rick Roehm

  11. A Glimpse of Hell…(audio) by Brother Hubert Lindsey

    This audio on the truth about “Hell”was originally a sermon at the Church of Birmingham in Birmingham Mi. where Brother Lindsey served as a pastor of that local body for several years. During that time all the Church services and Bible studies were recorded for preservation of the Gospel that Brother Lindsey preached. I hope to re-publish all of Brother Lindseys teachings as time and God both allow.

    Brother Lindsey always proclaimed that modern day preachers have gotten away from teaching the truth about Hell’s Fire and Divine Judgment. Both subjects are taught in the Bible and were also taught by the Lord Jesus Christ himself.

    Brother Lindsey goes in depth to describe the “inner tortures” of Hell on this audio. This audio is truely an eye opener as it brings men to an accountability to God…before death. Examine the following to find out the truth about “Eternal Damnation” on the following audio.

    Rick Roehm

  12. Does anyone have any photos of Holy Hubert? If so please send to…

    Rick Roehm

  13. paul latour if you are reformed then you are believing another gospel- it is that simple the bible wasnt written to mechanically program people with false doctrine but for to reveal salvation .You should know Man was created in the image of God -So God created Man in his image who can and must choose to repent – I choose to reject calvinist error because it is not the gospel

  14. Holy Hubert for 35 years was a Calvinist and built 11 Baptist Churches. In the latter part of his ministry God sent him to Berkeley with the Gospel…Just before the Berkeley years Brother Lindsey was sanctified holy and baptized with the Holy Ghost and fire. His Calvinist Theology went straight down the drain. So did his erroneous misconceptions that were based on the Calvinist error.

    He learned that Christians could “depart from the faith”…He learned that Christians “walk in the Spirit not in the flesh”…He learned that the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit “did not cease” at the Early Church…He learned man could live a life for Christ..”holy and acceptable” to God on this side of Heaven…He learned a man could be “saved today and lost tommorrow”…and then be forgiven again…all being contrary to the error of Calvinism. Hubert Lindsey in the latter part of his ministry did not teach”once saved always saved”…as he did in his earlier part of the ministry.

    For more on this…Please listen to the audio titled… “Eternal Security” by Holy Hubert Lindsey at the following link…

    It refutes Calvinism…by rightly dividing the Word of God.

    Rick Roehm

  15. God not only hates sin…so does a Christian. Why does a Christian hate sin? Because God gives the believer a new nature…a divine nature. Yes, The nature of God is given to a believer. Therefore the Christian’s attitude toward sin is the same as God’s. To hate sin and love righteousness.

    Rick Roehm

  16. For all Californian readers and readers around the globe who knew and have read about Holy Hubert and his ministry. I have included a link to many of his teachings that are readily available for listening and personal Bible study.

    Rick Roehm

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