Not only does Scripture affirm that God hates certain individuals, it also declares that God abhors some kinds of sinful people, or that they are an abomination to Him. Note once more that the following scripture quotations do not say that what these people do is an abomination to God, but that they themselves are an abomination to God. They do not say that God abhors their sins, but that God abhors them:
For everyone who does these things, everyone who acts unjustly is an abomination to the Lord your God (Deut. 25:16; emphasis added).
Further, you will eat the flesh of your sons and the flesh of your daughters you will eat. I then will destroy your high places, and cut down your incense altars, and heap your remains on the remains of your idols, for My soul shall abhor you (Lev. 26:29-30; emphasis added).
The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity. You destroy those who speak falsehood; The Lord abhors the man of bloodshed and deceit (Ps. 5:5-6; emphasis added).
For the devious are an abomination to the Lord; but He is intimate with the upright (Prov. 3:32; emphasis added).
The perverse in heart are an abomination to the Lord, but the blameless in their walk are His delight (Prov. 11:20).
Everyone who is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; assuredly, he will not be unpunished (Prov. 16:5; emphasis added).
He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord (Prov. 17:15; emphasis added).
How are we to reconcile such scriptures with those that affirm God’s love for sinners? How can it be said that God abhors and hates sinners, but that He also loves them?
It must be recognized that not all love is the same. Some love is not conditional. It could be called “merciful love.” It is a love that says, “I love you in spite of.” It loves people regardless of their actions. That is the kind of love God has for sinners.
Contrasted with merciful love is conditional love. It could be referred to as “approving love.” It is a love that is earned or merited. It is a love that says, “I love you because of.”
Some think that if love is conditional, it is not love at all. Or they belittle such a love, saying it is purely selfish, and unlike God’s love.
The truth is, however, that God does possess conditional love, as we will soon see in Scripture. Thus approving love should not be sneered at. Approving love is the primary love that God has for His true children. We should much more desire God’s approving love than His merciful love.