There is a common expression that seems quite true until you examine it closely:

“God hates the sin, but loves the sinner.”

That God hates sin is obvious; but does he love sinners in general? There is a general goodness of God shown to all men, it is true—the rain falls on the fields of the just and unjust. But are there some of the unjust (if only some) that he hates? For instance, how does the popular phrase in question stack up against Proverbs 17:15:

He who justifies the wicked and condemns the just are equally hateful to Yahweh?

Or, take Proverbs 6:5:

Yahweh hates every person who is proud in heart . . .

My, doesn’t that include a mass of people!

And, how about Psalm 5:5

The boastful cannot stand in Your presence; you hate all evildoers

My, My; now doesn’t that take in almost all of the rest?

And—if you have the time—check out Psalm 6:16, which includes all liars. Hmmm . . . another pretty comprehensive group! And don’t forget Malachi 1:3.

Does God send people to hell or sin? Even if there were no passages saying God hates people (and there are, as indicated), it really isn’t the point. God sends sinners to hell—which, as eternal punishment—is the greatest manifestation of His hatred possible.

That God loves some sinners—Jacob have I loved, but that he hates others, but Esau I have hated is clear enough. His love extends to the elect; where does it say that it extends to the non-elect? Think it through.