When born-again believers speak out against sin we are perceived as judgmental, being filled with intolerance and hatred. Truth is, God's Word instructs us to hate. Perhaps a startling statement when we realize we are to love our neighbors and our enemies (Matthew 5:43, 44), one another (John 15:12), friends (Proverbs 17:17a), and GOD (Mark 12:30). Yet Psalm 97:10(a) and Romans 12:9 instruct us to hate - to HATE evil. "You that love the Lord, hate evil" and "Abhor what is evil." But what exactly is evil? Noah Webster's American Dictionary explains evil as "depravity; corruption of heart, or disposition to commit wickedness; malignity." In the simplest of terms, evil is sin.
Yes, God is love (I John 4:7, 16), but Scripture makes it quite clear that God possesses righteous anger (hatred) toward sin. Hebrews 1:9 reveals Jesus "?loved righteousness, and hated iniquity?". In Proverbs 6:16-19 we are told that "?six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look (pride/arrogance), a lying tongue, (deceitful talk) and hands that shed innocent blood (murder). A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations (ungodly thoughts/plotting/scheming), feet that be swift in running to mischief (eager willingness to participate in sin). A false witness that speaketh lies, (a perjurer/liar) and he that soweth discord among breathen (troublemaker causing discord among family members, including God's family)." (These things exhibit Webster's definition of evil.)
In the above list note the use of body parts. Give thought to that. Sin wheedles its way into a person's whole being, from head to toe, causing one to utilize his/her members in ungodly and unseemly ways. Because sin camouflages its filthy and deceptive nature by providing temporary pleasures and fleeting happiness, it can easily take the body captive. Jesus said, "?Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34) Is it any wonder we are to hate Satan's instrument of destruction?
We have watched our world drastically change around us. We have witnessed abortion's steady ascension to the top of women's rights. We have seen deceit infiltrate every facet of our lives, from the government to rank apostasy in many churches. We have observed homosexuality and same-sex marriage escalate with increasing approval. Sexual promiscuity has become commonplace and X-rated programming now pollutes the airwaves. Should we meekly cower in the safety of our churches, sit back in the pew, shake our heads in disgust and accept the altered renderings of God's teachings by following the philosophy of 'live and let live' (Colossians 2:8)? Believers, if we do, we are guilty of dismissing sin and ignoring the lost.
If we remain silent, being smug in our own salvation, we are playing directly into Satan's hands. Satan doesn't care if believers silently hate sin, but he wars against us vocalizing it. He will do anything to mute the voices that speak out about Calvary, the place where God displayed the GREATEST act of love, forgiveness, mercy and grace any mortal would ever witness. Loathing sin, God sent His Only Begotten Son (I John 4:7-10) to die on the cross for us wretched sinners in order to pay our sin debt. Without Jesus' shed blood and His miraculous resurrection (Romans 10:9), there would be no remission of sins (Matthew 26:28), no victory over death, and each of us would die owing sin's debt, forever paying the price in the Lake of Fire. "And whosever was not found written in the book of life (unbelievers) was cast into the lake of fire." (Revelations 20:15) "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23) As these biblical truths fade from the sermons of today, Satan rejoices when less attention is focused of him, thus allowing him to roam freely to spread his lies of deceit and destruction. (I Peter 5:8)
Believers, we must be heard. We must share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The Gospel Truth will be hidden if we do not "give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (II Corinthians 4:3-6) By holding our tongues when we should be proclaiming the dangers of sin, we are concealing truth, and ignoring the issues of righteousness.
Nancy Hamilton is an author of Christian books and a member of Souls Harbor Baptist Church. She can be reached at website wordsontheword.com and by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thoughts of Faith is a weekly column written by various ministers and lay people. Those interested in scheduling a date for writing a Thoughts of Faith column should contact Christy Hudson at 376-5446 or email@example.com. Or, if a Thoughts of Faith column is written at the writer's convenience and sent to The Times, it will run the first available date.
Perhaps Spurgeon said is best - "We need to be ashamed at the bare suspicion of unconcern." Believers, we must be burdened for the unsaved, and resolute in our unveiling of the ugliness of sin. Not with a 'holier-than-thou' attitude, disrespect, or violence ("Recompense (repay) to no man evil for evil?" Romans 12:17), but with a caring and righteous anger that's anchored in our love, trust and faith in our Savior Jesus. Because of the horrid price sin will exact from those who reject Jesus, let's not be hesitant, but bold, even brave, in exposing sin for what it is?DEADLY!
"The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way:?(Proverbs 8:13)