Does God hate the sinner, not just the sin? I was listening to a Christian radio show and a man called up asking questions regarding this and one of the passages brought up was Psalm 5:5 “The arrogant cannot stand in your presence; you hate all who do wrong” (NIV). There were some other Old Testament verses they used to support this as well. The apologist and the caller both agreed that based on the scripture, God indeed hates the sinner.
You can’t use Old Testament quotes to describe God’s New Testament relationships, and here’s why. Setting aside the fact that we’re all sinners and based on their conclusion that would mean God hates all of us, look at John 3:16, “For God so loved the world …” Titus 3:4-5, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done but because of His mercy “ and 2 Peter 3:9 “God doesn’t want that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”
Jesus didn’t just die for those who aren’t sinners, He died for everyone who accepts His death as payment for their sins. And didn’t Jesus die for you while you were still a sinner? And can’t any sinner, even now, come to Him and be forgiven? Why would He do that if He hated you, or them?
The fact is, God is not like us. He can’t express any of His emotions at the expense of any other. In the Old Testament, His Love had to be restrained because His righteousness couldn’t tolerate man’s sin, and his justice demanded the penalty be paid. But when Jesus died for our sins, God was able to reconcile Himself to us, making peace through His blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20). The sin problem was solved and the penalty had been paid. He was now free to love us. Therefore, the cross changed everything for us.