Adolf Hitler was responsible for the genocide of about six million Jews and the killing of over 50 million people overall. That’s an unfathomable level of evil. So would it seem right to you if, after unapologetically sinning until he committed suicide, God rewarded Hitler and welcomed him into heaven with open arms?
Of course not. And the reason that idea is so repugnant to us is that we are created in the image of God. God is perfectly just, so we are made with a deep yearning for fairness and justice. We can even see it in our children. Virtually as soon as they can communicate, they begin to let us know what they believe is “not fair.” I say that as someone who was recently told to “Take a chill pill, Dad” by a five-year-old.
Because we naturally yearn for justice, deep down, we know that sin must be punished. God cannot be perfectly good and also be apathetic toward evil.
In contrast, what we’ll often hear from unbelievers is, “Jesus preached love, so you’re not living like Jesus unless you support [insert virtually anything].” Sound familiar?
Do you see the error in that position? The argument basically says: God is love, so He cannot hate. But the reality is that God is love; therefore, He must hate (that which is evil).
This illustration from Pastor Paul Washer helped me understand that, to truly love that which is good, we must hate that which is evil.
- I love babies. Therefore, I must hate abortion.
- I love Jews. Therefore, I must hate the holocaust.
- I love African Americans. Therefore, I must hate slavery.
Friend, as Christ-followers, we are in the business of loving what He loves and hating what He hates. Naturally, that information is not determined by what pop culture deems offensive this week; rather, we find it in the unchanging authoritative Word of God, the Bible. We’re living for an audience of One.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” -Romans 12:9-10