General Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, once said he feared the day when the Salvation Army would have a salvation without regeneration, faith without repentance, and Heaven without Hell. He could have added “love without hate,” for it is impossible to have true love without hate. One cannot love flowers without hating weeds. He cannot love health without hating disease. He cannot love God without hating Satan. He cannot love peace without hating war.
The truth is there is no quality without its opposite. There is no high without low, no hot without cold, no large without small, no tall without short, and no in without out. There is no merit in a plus without the potential of a minus. There is no true patience without the potential of impatience. There is no true good without the potential of bad. There is no courage without fear, no true gentleness without strength, no admirable kindness without the potential of temper, and certainly one cannot love if he does not hate its opposite and its enemy.
Patience without potential impatience is laziness. Courage without potential fear is recklessness. Gentleness without potential strength is pacifism. Kindness without potential temper is weakness.
A smile without a potential frown is unawareness. Love without hate is hypocrisy and is not love at all.
The truth is that one loves as much as he hates. The more a mother loves her child, the more she hates the cancer that would take that child’s life. The more a gardener loves his flowers, the more he hates the weeds that surround them. The more a mechanic loves his cars the more he hates the rust that paralyzes them. The more a judge loves justice, the more he hates the crime. The more a doctor loves his patients, the more he hates the germs. The more a Christian loves God, the more he hates sin and the things that are anti-Christ.
Now what should the Christian hate? He should hate what God hates.
1. He should hate quitting.
Psalm 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.”
2. He should hate every false way.
Psalm 119:104, “Through Thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way.” When someone says a person can go to Heaven by good works, the Christian should hate it. Now he should not hate the person who says it but he should hate the false way. When someone says that one can go to Heaven by taking of the sacraments, joining the church, or getting baptized, the Christian should find hatred swelling in his heart for the false way. There is no way to love God’s way to Heaven without hating Satan’s false ways to Heaven.
When I was in college, there was a fellow student who was married and had six children. He had not been saved for long and had been saved from a life of extreme wickedness. His vocabulary had been something less than Christian in his past life. Soon after he came to college, a small country church called him to be its pastor. One Sunday morning he was preaching on Calvary. He was describing what they did to Jesus on the cross. He blamed this on the Devil. He got so mad at the Devil that he began cursing him with the most profane language that one can imagine. He cursed and cursed and cursed as the people sat stunned in disbelief.
Suddenly, he realized what he was doing. He closed his Bible and walked quietly to the door, got in his car, and drove off. For several minutes the congregation sat silently until the chairman of the board of deacons who was sitting on the front row rose to his feet. He looked at the people, cleared his throat, and said something like this: “Folks, I heard what you heard. I have never in my life heard such a display of profanity. However, I have been sitting here for several minutes thinking about what our pastor said. I have come to the conclusion that he expressed perfectly my opinion of the Devil. Now we all know our pastor lived a wicked life before he was saved, and though he used words he should not have used, at least we do have a pastor who hates the Devil. Why don’t we vote to give him a raise in pay and keep him as our pastor!”
The congregation enthusiastically endorsed this action. (Now I would not suggest that pastors who read this attempt to secure a raise of pay in this manner.)
I myself do not think the pastor should have used these words, but I do have more respect for a preacher who will curse the Devil than I do for one who will ask him to lead in prayer on the platform.
3. He should hate empty ritual.
Amos 5:21, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.”
4. He should hate an evil heart against his neighbors.
Zechariah 8:17, “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.”
5. He should hate lying.
Psalm 119:163, “I hate and abhor lying: but Thy law do I love.”
6. He should hate idolatry.
Jeremiah 44:4,5, “Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.
But they hearkened not, nor inclined their hearts to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense to other gods.”
7. He should hate vain thoughts.
Psalm 119:113, “I hate vain thoughts but thy law do I love.”
8. He should hate a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood.
Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among the brethren.”
One Sunday morning one of our fine ladies brought a visitor to the services. While I was preaching, the visitor looked over to the member and asked, “Who is he mad at?” Whereupon my member assured her that I was not mad; it just appeared that I was. After the service I heard about the conversation, and I announced that I was preaching the next Sunday on, “I Am Mad, Too.” In the sermon I said that the Christian should hate. He should hate the narcotics which is ruining our young people. He should hate the liquor which destroys so many lives and homes.
He should hate communism which is dedicated to the destruction of our Christian society. He should hate the atheism and humanism that is pervading our college campuses. He should hate the nudity that is destroying our morals. He should hate the permissiveness which is ruining our youth. He should hate the adult bookstores, the sensitivity parlors, the dirty movie industry, and, for that matter, even the sin of his own life that causes him so much heartache.
Yes, the Christian does have a hate life. God does!