(Article for publication week of 8-18-2010 AD)
"Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" (Romans 9:13b).
Contrary to popular opinion, God does not love everybody indiscriminately. Our text is clear and plain; God loved Jacob and hated Esau. If you back up to verse 11, you will see that the reason for this is, that God's purpose according to election might stand. Romans chapter nine is one of the clearest and plainest passages in the word of God concerning eternal election and reprobation. I just wish you would stop now, and go and read the ninth chapter of Romans. As long as this chapter is in the Bible, no one has any excuse for rejecting the sovereignty of God in salvation.
Nor is this the only scripture that speaks of God's hatred. For example, we read in Psalm 5:6, "the Lord will abhor the bloody and deceitful man." Again, in Psalm 11:5, ""the Lord trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence, His soul hateth." Also in Proverbs 6:19 we read that God hates him "that soweth discord among brethren." Now, I want you to note these texts speak of God's hatred for the persons of the wicked. It is a half-truth that is often parroted that "God hates the sin, but loves the sinner." It is true that God loves elect sinners, and sent His Son to die for them and sends His Spirit to regenerate them and make them holy people, but God hates those who are reprobate and will punish them in the lake of fire forever.
Now, there is a sense in which the Lord loves everyone, and that is that He will treat all men right. God will deal justly with every person according to His law. And this is one definition of love according to Romans 13:8 where we read that love is the fulfilling of the law. God will treat you right, stubborn sinner. If you persist in your rebellion until the bitter end, God will send you to hell for breaking His perfect law. There are countless billions already in hell, and God is treating everyone of them right. No one can say that God has not treated him or her right. In that sense, God does love everybody.
But my text this week is plain, God has not set His saving affections on the whole world. He has set His saving affections on His elect that He chose in Christ before the foundation of the world. And He has loved them with an everlasting love that had no beginning and will have no end. God loved His elect so much that he sent His Son into the world to die a sustitutionary death for them. He loved them so much, that He has washed away all their sins in the blood of His Son. He loves His elect so much that he sends His Holy Spirit into their hearts to make them holy people like unto Himself. It is an amazing thing that God would love any sinners, but He sovereignly chose to set His affections on a remnant of Adam's lost race so that they might be saved. God was not obligated to love Jacob nor you nor me, but in His mercy and grace He did!
And I want to say this before I close. If you sincerely love the Lord, then you are one that He loved in eternity. We read in I John 4:19, "we love Him because He first loved us." If you love the Lord, and are trusting in His Son for justification, and mourning over your sins and turning from them, then it is evidence that you are one of His. May the Lord bless each of you, my dear readers.