The above cliche has now become quite a common saying in our Churches and from our pulpits. Both Clergy and laity use this phrase frequently. It is particularly used in those situations to express our response to "unsaved" sinners whose lifestyle consists of abortion, homosexuality, drug use, etc.
But is the above cliche true? Should this cliche be coming from the Church? Does this cliche accurately reflect a Christians attitude and position toward the worldly, the ungodly, the unsaved?
Lets first review a few Old Testament bible passages and see what God's attitude and response has been toward such who practice such things:
God is a just judge, And God is ANGRY with the WICKED every day.
26 Total darkness is reserved for his treasures. An unfanned FIRE will consume him; It shall go ill with him who is left in his tent.
27 The heavens will reveal his iniquity, And the earth will rise up against him.
28 The increase of his house will depart, And his goods will flow away in the day of His WRATH.
29 This is the portion from God for a WICKED man, The heritage appointed to him by God."
But because our fathers provoked the God of heaven to WRATH, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who DESTROYED this temple and carried the people away to Babylon.
For I was ashamed to request of the king an escort of soldiers and horsemen to help us against the enemy on the road, because we had spoken to the king, saying, "The hand of our God is upon all those for good who seek Him, but His power and His WRATH are against all those who forsake Him."
For the WICKED are reserved for the day of doom; They shall be brought out on the day of WRATH.
For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the UNGODLY shall PERISH.
Therefore the UNGODLY shall not stand in the judgment, Nor SINNERS in the congregation of the righteous.
8 Your hand will find all Your ENEMIES; Your right hand will find those who HATE You.
9 You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your ANGER; The LORD shall swallow them up in His WRATH, And the FIRE shall DEVOUR them.
10 Their offspring You shall DESTROY from the earth, And their descendants from among the sons of men.
Who knows the power of Your ANGER? For as the fear of You, so is Your WRATH.
The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the WICKED is WRATH.
30 The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise.
31 If the righteous will be recompensed on the earth, How much more the UNGODLY and the SINNER.
The destruction of TRANSGRESSORS and of SINNERS shall be together, And those who forsake the LORD shall be CONSUMED.
8 And they will be afraid. Pangs and sorrows will take hold of them; They will be in pain as a woman in childbirth; They will be amazed at one another; Their faces will be like flames.
9 Behold, the day of the LORD comes, Cruel, with both WRATH and fierce ANGER, To lay the land desolate; And He will DESTROY its SINNERS from it.
10 For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not give their light; The sun will be darkened in its going forth, And the moon will not cause its light to shine.
9 Silver is beaten into plates; It is brought from Tarshish, And gold from Uphaz, The work of the craftsman And of the hands of the metalsmith; Blue and purple are their clothing; They are all the work of skillful men.
10 But the LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His WRATH the earth will tremble, And the nations will not be able to endure His INDIGNATION.
11 Thus you shall say to them: "The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall PERISH from the earth and from under these heavens."
(Israelites Will Be PUNISHED in Egypt- Jeremiah Prophesies to the Jews in Egypt )
1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews who dwell in the land of Egypt, who dwell at Migdol, at Tahpanhes, at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,
2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "You have seen all the CALAMITY that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah; and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them,
3 because of their WICKEDNESS which they have committed to provoke Me to ANGER, in that they went to burn incense and to serve other gods whom they did not know, they nor you nor your fathers.
4 However I have sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, "Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I HATE!"
5 But they did not listen or incline their ear to turn from their WICKEDNESS, to burn no incense to other gods.
6 So My FURY and My ANGER were poured out and kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are WASTED and DESOLATE, as it is this day.
2 God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take VENGEANCE on His adversaries, And He reserves WRATH for His ENEMIES;
3 The LORD is slow to ANGER and great in power, And will not at all acquit the WICKED....
Now, from the New Testament, God's current attitude and response toward such who practice such things.
God's Righteous Judgment
1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.
2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth AGAINST those who practice such things.
3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the JUDGMENT of God?
4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself WRATH in the day of WRATH and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
6 who "will RENDER to each one according to his deeds"
7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality;
8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness--INDIGNATION and WRATH,
9 TRIBULATION and ANGUISH, on every soul of man who does EVIL, of the Jew first and also of the Greek;
10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
11 For there is no partiality with God.
5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the WRATH of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
7 Therefore do not be partakers with them.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, EVIL desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these things the WRATH of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
2 Thessalonians 1
7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
8 in flaming FIRE taking VENGEANCE on those who do not know God, and on those who DO NOT OBEY the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
9 These shall be PUNISHED with EVERLASTING DESTRUCTION from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
1 Peter 4
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?
18 Now "If the righteous one is scarcely saved, Where will the UNGODLY and the SINNER appear?"
2 Peter 2
5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the UNGODLY;
6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live UNGODLY;
7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the WICKED
2 Peter 3:7
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for FIRE until the day of JUDGMENT and perdition (destruction) of UNGODLY men.
The nations were ANGRY, and Your WRATH has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should DESTROY those who DESTROY the earth."
7 He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.
8 But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the LAKE which BURNS with FIRE and BRIMSTONE, which is the second DEATH."
We see from the above sampling of verses that God says he is angry with the sinner, the ungodly, and the wicked and intends to do something about it. The point of all this is to reveal how "unsound" teaching and doctrine easily infiltrate the Church. Probably most Christians don't realize how unscriptural the above cliche really is.
The problem with the stated cliche is that it takes Jesus Christ out of the equation when responding and confronting the activities of the wicked. Its true that Jesus said he didn't come to condemn the world, but to save the world (Jn 3:17). Nevertheless, the unsaved exist and are operating under God's patience and forbearance. The reason the cliche is wrong is because God's love for the sinner is ONLY made available in His SON, Jesus Christ:
8 But God demonstrates His own LOVE toward us, in that while we were still SINNERS, Christ died for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from WRATH through Him.
10 For if when we were ENEMIES we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be SAVED by His life.
1 Timothy 1:15
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS, of whom I am chief.
38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,
39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the LOVE of God WHICH IS IN Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Thessalonians 2
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.
16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has LOVED us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace,
17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.
1 Timothy 1
13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and LOVE WHICH ARE IN Christ Jesus.
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save SINNERS, of whom I am chief.
4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,
5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who LOVED us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,
6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who LOVES Me. And he who LOVES Me will be LOVED by My Father, and I will LOVE him and manifest Myself to him."
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My LOVE, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His LOVE.
for the Father Himself LOVES you, because you have LOVED Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one DIE; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to DIE.
8 But God demonstrates His own LOVE toward us, in that while we were still SINNERS, Christ DIED for us.
9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from WRATH through Him.
2 Corinthians 13:11
Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of LOVE and peace will be with you.
2 Corinthians 13:14
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the LOVE of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of WRATH, just as the others.
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great LOVE with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Peace to the brethren, and LOVE with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
1 John 2:5
But whoever keeps His word, truly the LOVE of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him.
keep yourselves in the LOVE of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We probably can't stop the future use of this cliche, but you need to be aware that it is not scriptural and shouldn't use it. God's love is manifested toward sinners by His offering of Jesus Christ to them. We need to do the same.
Some Christians use the cliche because it is non-confrontational and is non-convicting to the sinner. The sinners like it for the very same reasons, plus, they can expect an attitude of love toward their lifestyle without reproach. But the scripture says:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them.
We need to be on guard as to what is creeping into our Churches. We as Christians have an obligation to preach the Gospel to the lost and warn them of their impending doom as was the case of Noah before the flood. Restoring John 3:16 to its proper place seems to be in order when confronting darkness and avoid worthless sayings....
GOD HATES the SIN, BUT LOVES the SINNER - (UNTRUE and UNSCRIPTURAL) After believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, thus entering the Kingdom of God, we (believers) become recipients of God's LOVE:
For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever BELIEVES in Him should not PERISH but have EVERLASTING LIFE.
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the WRATH of God abides on him."
1 John 4:9
In this the LOVE of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might LIVE through Him.
1 John 4:10
In this is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that He LOVED us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
1 Corinthians 16:24
My LOVE be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1 John 4:14
And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world.
A new cliche has already been submitted which would be well to use . . .
Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
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