In light of the tragedy that occurred in Orlando about a week ago, we can not all help but be saddened and shocked that such a thing could happen in our country. The question may arise in considering it: just who should we hate, those living a life of sin and debauchery in a nightclub (the victims) or the one who so ruthlessly shot them dead as they did so. The answer is that we should hate neither of them. Jesus gave His life on the cross because he loved the sinners of this world, so that they may have a way of being forgiven of their sins and be reconciled to God, the Father. We should love the sinner as well, so that we wish to do what we can to make them see the error of their ways and take advantage of the grace of God as given through His Son. God does hate sin (Proverbs 6:16-19; Proverbs 8:13), but loves the sinner, who was created in His image. We should do the same and really hate no one in this life.
Romans 5:8 says: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Almost all of us have not sinned to the extent that the killer in Orlando has sinned and many of us not even to the extent of those in the nightclub that perished, but we should be assured, whether we are saint or sinner we could suffer the same fate in this life that the victims here suffered (Luke 13:1-5).
The real tragedy of this event was that the victims never had the chance to repent of their sin and avoid perishing in hell come the next life. Their lives were cut short, many of them were very young, and the killer deprived them of further chance to be reconciled to God before the judgment that awaits us all. Were they really worse sinners than we because they perished in the gunfire. No way, as Luke 13 tells us that we are all in need of repentance or we will ultimately perish as well as they.
We surely hate the great evil that this killer perpetrated on his victims here, but we need to be careful that we don’t feel that great hatred for the killer himself. This is a hard thing not to do. I am not saying that we should forgive him, as only God can ultimately forgive and does not forgive without repentance, but we should not feel hatred toward the individual who at best was misguided and at worse full of such hatred himself that it drove him into this act.
We should try our best to not harbor any hatred in our hearts toward others at all. We can hate the great evil that he has done, as God does, but not hate the perpetrator. We should consider that even he who has done such abominable and outrageous sin could still be forgiven if he were to repent and be baptized, thus availing himself of the grace of God and being saved. If it is possible for even a mass killer to be forgiven of his sin, we should not hate him but love him and desire his salvation as any other sinner.
As it turns out, he will surely pay at the judgment day for his sin. Unfortunately, he took others with him to final condemnation as well. Still, let’s not be like him and harbor hatred for others in our hearts over the matter. Instead, we can hate the sin and evil enough that we will work to see it prevented and overcome. We can offer God’s solution to any that will listen (the gospel). As hard as it seems, we must learn to love the sinner and hate the sin, even as God and His Son have done since the beginning of time and forever.
May God bless and keep you until next time.