Disclaimer: The following is written exclusively to believers in Jesus Christ, persons who have personal relationships with the Living God through the blood of Jesus Christ and the power of God’s Holy Spirit.
“The Opposite of Love is not hate; it’s indifference.” Elie Wiesel
There is some disagreement among Christian leaders on the matter of God’s hating sinners. Psalm 5:5 supports this idea. To be sure, the Bible makes clear God hates sinful behaviors and attitudes. Also clear is the fact God does not directly communicate with the workers of iniquity.
Starting with a contrast in the meanings of love and hate, the opposite of both words is indifference. Regardless of the antonyms listed in American dictionaries, hate is not an antonym of love and love is not an antonym of hate.
What is love? “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth… Love is as love does. Love is an act of will — namely, both an intention and an action. Will also implies choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” — M. Scott Peck, American psychiatrist, and best-selling author
What is hate? Hate is love betrayed.
One example: the birthright of the first born to Isaac. I suggest all firstborn sons throughout the Bible and to this present day represent the firstborn of God. Jesus, being the firstborn of God, inherits the Father’s kingdom.
Esau was the firstborn of fraternal twins. Esau was automatically the inheritor of his father Isaac’s estate. But, Esau, the Bible says, “despised his birthright” thereby betraying God’s love.
“I have loved you,” says the Lord. “But you ask, ‘How have you loved us?’ “Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.”Malachi 1:1-3, NIV
The world’s human population had become wicked. God decided to destroy all mankind except one righteous family, the family of Noah. God advised Noah of the plan to destroy all mankind.
God ordered righteous Noah to build a huge ship, an ark, to preserve the lives of Noah’s family and select animals. The construction of the Ark took 120 years.
During those 120 years of Ark construction, the unrighteous people had many opportunities to change their ways and follow Noah’s lead, but they did not. God loved the people but they betrayed his love in that 120-year frame of time, I see in the Holy Scriptures a God-given opportunity for people unrelated to Noah to repent.
Noah served the role of intermediary between God and mankind. The people outside his family were unresponsive to God’s will for their lives, but Noah’s family served to repopulate the earth.
Nineveh is a city in present-day Iraq. At the time of Jonah, the people of Nineveh had become greatly wicked and this displeased God. The wickedness of the people of that ancient city betrayed God’s love.
Jonah also despised the people of Nineveh.
God commissioned Jonah to preach to the people of Ninevah to turn them from their wickedness, but Jonah wanted nothing to do with them so he went the other way. After a little adventure by which God changed Jonah’s direction and restated the order to go to Nineveh, Jonah walked through the city over three days calling the people to repentance. When Jonah’s message reached the King, the King called for his people to give up their evil ways and repent. They did and the city was saved from God’s wrath.
Jonah served the role of intermediary between God and mankind. Although Jonah was reticent to preach repentance to the hated people of Nineveh, the mission accomplished what God wanted for the people of that great city.
God empowered Moses to lead the children of Israel out of bondage in Egypt. While Moses was with the Lord on a mountain where he received the first set of stone tablets bearing the Ten Commandments, the Israelites were behaving sinfully, according to God. The Israeli people betrayed God’s love. When God told Moses he would destroy the wicked people and give Moses a replacement people, Moses pleaded for their lives and God withheld his hand from destroying them.
Moses served the role of intermediary between God and mankind.
God established Ezekiel as a prophet to warn the people of God. Ezekiel would get orders from God and deliver them to the people. The prophet’s prime duty was to turn the people from wickedness to righteousness.
Ezekiel served the role of intermediary between God and mankind.
Why did Jesus come to the earth? The question is not how Jesus did what he did; the question is why he came to do the things he did.
One verse in the Bible answers the question: why did Jesus come to the earth?
Before introducing this key verse, an abbreviated history of mankind and sin is in order.
The historical account of Adam and Eve, the first humans, attributes the introduction of sin to Adam. The Bible refers to Adam as the first Adam; Jesus Christ is the second Adam. In another section of the Bible, the two persons of Adam (the first Adam) and Jesus Christ (second Adam) are compared. Sin came into the world through the first Adam and was taken away through the second Adam.
Now to the why of the appearance of Jesus Christ on earth. Look to 1 John 3:8, “The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.”
Context is everything. The word ‘destroy’ means loosen, undo. The Spanish word ‘deshacer’ better describes the work of Jesus in our lives. This Spanish verb means to undo, unmake, as used in this second sentence of 1 Juan 3:8, “Para esto apareció el Hijo de Dios, para deshacer las obras del diablo.” Spanish is close to Greek in the meanings of words.
Jesus came into the world to undo the works of Satan. Think of 2 Corinthians 5:17 which explains how those who are born again become new creatures; not refurbished, not fixed up to look good, but new. Think of a comparison between a new car and a used car. Being a new creation is tantamount to not ever having sinned, at least in God’s eyes.
The appearance of Jesus Christ on earth to take upon himself the responsibility for all the sins of mankind makes our eternity with God possible.
Jesus was, and is still today, an intermediary between God and all mankind.
What is YOUR Story?
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-19
“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”
1 Peter 3:15-16
The history of sinful mankind underscores the fact God hates sin to such a degree he is willing and proven capable of destroying sinful people. This was evident in the days of Noah, Jonah, Moses, and Ezekiel. This remains true in YOUR day.
“But when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship.” Galatians 4:4-5 NIV