Are Christians ever to hate? Is hate always a bad thing? Is it ever a godly thing to hate? Perhaps an answer to these questions is another question. Does our Lord ever hate? One of the characteristics of a good ruler is that the ruler be one who hates. Look at this Royal Psalm:
"You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows (Ps 45:7)."
The book of Hebrews quotes this passage in Heb 1:9 and applies it to Jesus. In order to be a good and just king, the king must hate evil and love good. This is a must for any ruler, governor, or leader. God hates evil; therefore we are also to hate evil. Indeed, Amos said,
"Hate evil, love good, And establish justice in the gate! Perhaps the LORD God of hosts May be gracious to the remnant of Joseph (Amos 5:15)."
Does this mean we are to hate sinners? If you are not careful, you can come away with the wrong conclusion about that. In Revelation, a glorified Jesus praises a church for hating evil deeds, not evil people.
"Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate (Rev 2:6)."
To hate them would mean wishing them to be eternally condemned, which is not what God wishes. This is why we are told…
" … save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear, hating even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 1:23)."
We hate the sin with passion, but love the sinner with passion. After all, that is what Jesus did. That is why Jesus tells us…
"… love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. (Matt 5:43-45)"
It is a godly thing to love your enemies. It is also a godly think to hate their sin. God's ultimate solution was to remove the sin and effect an inner transformation on the hearts of all people who are willing to accept Jesus as their Lord.
It is hate for sin, evil, and wickedness, along with a love for people who were made in the image of God that should drive our outreach efforts. If our outreach efforts are weak or non-existent, I wonder if we love the lost as Jesus did and hate the sin that separates them from God? The lies, deceit, and schemes of Satan that keeps people away from God sometimes makes me mad. Evil and sin keeps your family, friends, loved ones, and neighbors out of Heaven and dooms them to Hell. Doesn't that make you mad? Don't you hate it? God has provided a way to combat it through the Gospel. The Gospel is more powerful than the evil and sin that separates us from God; it reunites us with God.