While keeping in mind the Hebraism of comparative affection, there are passages in the Bible that do present the hatred of God, not as something less, in comparison, but as an active manifestation of His hatred for sin, and thus the sinner. The two cannot be separated in the day of ultimate judgment. God will sent the sinner into a place of eternal separation from Himself.
It is divine loathsomeness for sin that God expresses through His prophets.
The Solemn Assembles are Despised by God. “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies” (Amos 5:21).
The Sacrifices Sicken God. “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats” (Isaiah 1:11).
This strong language speaks of the fury of God against hypocrisy. God hates wickedness. “To the chief Musician upon Nehiloth, A Psalm of David. Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. 2 Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. 3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. 4 For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee. 5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man” (Psalm 5:1-6).
God hates the wicked. He abhors the bloody and deceitful. God is so holy; He cannot even look upon iniquity. “Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” (Hab. 1:13) The Biblical language and concepts must be taken seriously in considering what the attitude of God is toward the unbelieving, unrepentant, and unregenerate soul.
When considering a man such as Esau, the Biblical language must be taken seriously, for Esau was a vile man who invited the wrath of God upon his eternal soul.
Others have manifested the spirit of Esau, and invited the wrath and hatred of God. There were the Jews at the crucifixion of Christ. “Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children” (Matt. 27:25).
If the language and imagery of God’s hatred of sin and sinners is frightening, it is meant to be. If the love of Christ does not arrest a person in their sin, eventually, the wrath of God will.
If Christ does not pay the terrible penalty for sin, the unrepentant soul that sinneth must die, not just physical death, but the second death.
It might be kind, or just clever to say that God loves the sinner but hates the sin. That is utter nonsense, for God sends the sinner to hell, along with sin to wallow in for all eternity. “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still” (Rev. 22:11).
God abhors the impenitent sinner. The sinner becomes the object of His utter wrath. What the Bible ultimately teaches on this subject, is that there is a boundary of the love of God that a person dares not cross. The transcendent majesty and love of God is tempered by many fearful warnings to turn the heart of a person from the madness of their ways.
Does it work?
Not always. No matter how terrifying God displays His hatred of sin, there are souls who remain defiant. Like Lucifer, they would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. In the midst of great tribulation on Israel between AD 66 and AD 70, multitudes of Jews remained obstinate. “And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16).
The question comes. “How hard is your heart when it comes to sinful behavior?” “Does the love of God compel you to cease from sinning?” Or, “Is your heart so desperately wicked, you are consumed with passion that defies not only logic, but the outpouring of the wrath of the Lamb?”
One contributing factor to the hardening of the hearts of many sinners is that a false gospel message is heard and embraced.
The main theme of the false religious message is that God has unconditional love towards everyone.
When an unconverted person hears this, the message is eagerly accepted, because the person says to himself something along the following line. “God loves me just as I am. I do not have to change. I do not have to be different. I do not have to repent. I will continue, just as I am. I do not need a Savior. I do not have to worry about going to hell. I do not have to be concerned about offending God. The God who loves everybody, loves me, unconditionally.”
The popular message of God’s unconditional love provides sinners a heavenly way to go to hell.
The motive for this popular message is often rooted in an overflow of having received the grace and mercy of God. The person who owes much is forgiven much, and the person who is forgiven much wants to tell others how much God loves sinners. And He does. But not unconditionally. That is the fatal flaw in the modern message of evangelism.
God has placed a condition on salvation. A person must embrace Christ, by faith, as Lord and Savior. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18).
If you understand this to be true, then fear God. Tremble at His word. Call upon the Lord for grace and mercy. Only then will you know His grace and mercy.