Does God Love Me When I Sin?

I heard a pastor of a large church tell his congregation, “God hates you, God is sick of you, God is frustrated with you, God is weary of you.” And why is God in such a dark mood? Because of our sin and apathy. Jesus went through hell for us, but we can’t even show up to church on time.

I wish sermons like this were rare, but they are not. Religious manipulators love to frighten those Christ died for because those who are afraid are easier to control.

The truth is God loves you like crazy.

He loves you when you’re up and he loves you when you’re down. He loves you when you get it right and he loves you when you get it wrong. Whether you’re preaching condemnation from the pulpit or receiving it in the pew, he loves you.

“But Paul, does he love me when I sin?”

Aren’t you listening? Haven’t you seen the cross?

The proof of God’s amazing love is this: that it was while we were sinners that Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8, Phillips)

You need to settle this in your heart. God loves you. Period. Whether you’re in the zone or the gutter, the one constant you can count on is your Father’s unwavering love for you.

1 Corinthians 13 gives one of the best descriptions of God’s love.

Love endures long and is patient and kind … it endures everything [without weakening]. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. (1 Corinthians 13:4,7–8, AMP)

The love of men is frail and weak but your Father’s love endures forever (Psalm 136). The real question is not whether God will always love you but whether you know and enjoy his love.

Every one of us needs our Father’s hugs. Every one of us needs a home where we are loved for who we are. If you have not found a home in your Father’s embrace, your legitimate desire for love and acceptance will lead you to inferior sources, like dead religion.

The strange thing about that “God hates you” sermon was that it came packaged as a message of love. “God loves you, but he hates you.” Why do people listen to such nonsense? Because they hunger for love. If bearing God’s anger and hatred is the price of his love, they’ll pay it. It’s a tragedy. We need love, God has love, but between us is the pimp of religion, prostituting the love of God and charging us for what is already ours in Christ.

Don’t listen to his diabolical sales talk. Don’t let him tell you that your sins are causing God to withhold his love from you. Listen instead to the gospel of God’s grace and acceptance:

Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ’s love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in scripture. (Romans 8:35, MSG)

Extracted from The Gospel in Twenty Questions, pp.127-129.

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44 Comments on Does God Love Me When I Sin?

  1. A great article, If we ever need to preach a sermon of a bipolar God, just show we lack a good understanding of the gospel. God is love!

  2. Amen. Always something more to do. It’s guilt motivated. I’m not being murdered for my faith so I must work harder to prove my worth.

  3. It wasn’t until recently I heard people talking about passages that talk of sinners being enemies of God and that God hates them. I’ve known God loved the world, demonstrated his love by dieing for sinners, sees us beyond our fallen state but as his creation, knitted us together in the womb, and longs for us to know Him and be known. But I do admit I have to reconcile the passages that speak of another perspective. Curious how you reconcile these. Is it appropriate to tell people in the congregation knowing that there are plenty who are not saved yet (either they think they are but aren’t or they are unbelievers who know they aren’t):

    Psalm 5.5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

    Leviticus 20:23 And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.

    Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

    Psalm 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

    Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

    Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

    Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume all adversaries. (the interpretation here being that those not saved will be consumed, I’m not talking about Christians when they stumble)

    • Does the Bible define God or does God define the Bible? The Bible can only define God if God defines the Bible. When man interprets scripture the result is a representation of man’s heart. Without Him, we can do nothing. So we need Him to help us sort through decades of teaching that painted a picture of a Heavenly Father who was not even as loving as earthly fathers. The cross should be an extreme enough example of His unconditional love that we can question our own interpretation of verses which might seem to paint another picture.

      • I agree. The only way to define agape love is through the lens of the cross. Any other lens than a God who loved us even when we were dead in sin gives a distorted photoshop of the real God.

  4. Great message of the gospel, Paul! 2 thumbs up my friend!

  5. Thank you for addressing this, Paul.

  6. Dear pastor who said these things to your congregation,

    Your words are an expression of what is in your heart, not God’s. You are frustrated with the people not measuring up to a standard you have set. If the people are truly as bad as you say, it is because the strength of sin is the law. The people will be set free, so why don’t you lead the way? It is the goodness of God that draws men to repentance.

  7. I might just send a link of this article to everyone I know! Paul you are an excellent wordsmith. Thank God you use this gift to powerfully lift up “the truth of the gospel” which so few of us “believers” actually do. So many of us lift up and defend “the truth” of religion instead – which serves only to make us spiritually confused, enfeebled, blind, insane, inebriated or dead.

    Want a demonstration? Just ask ANY “Chistian” to explain what the GOSPEL is in one word. For that matter ask any “publisher of the good news” or any “Christian” missionary or any “pastor”.

    The answer is almost always the same as a motorcar salesman who when being shown a picture of a FORD says it is a GEARBOX instead of a MOTORCAR. Laughable. Shameful. And worse.

    But let’s keep things as civil as we can for the sake of the liberating gospel of grace!

  8. Kenneth Crum // April 27, 2017 at 2:55 am // Reply

    Praise God. No performance required!!
    He loves me. PERIOD

  9. He sends his rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. I always loved that verse you quoted that He died while we were sinners. We hadn’t even made a choice yet, and He had already chosen. Grace was alotted for us before time began.

  10. For 30 years I was willing to put up with just about any amount of duty and guilt sermons because beautiful Jesus was mentioned in there somewhere.

    So much better to have grace without the chains.

  11. Brent Hillenga // April 27, 2017 at 3:32 am // Reply

    Jesus didn’t come here to be like us, He came here to give us the relationship He has with the Father! His love is “uncreated”. It never had a beginning. IT IS WHO HE IS! The depth of this article and the truth of His great gifts are only really appreciated when spiritually discerned. 1Cor. 2:12 – We have been GIVEN the Spirit of God so that we might know the things that He has freely GIVEN us.

  12. Thanks so much for this Paul. It seems we have to keep fighting this same battle. The religious manipulators as you say hate unconditional love because it takes away their ability to control . I think it’s not just control but also in my close experience it is used for status to imply that someone is a better Christian than you – looking down at others with the implication ” they don’t understand ” but we do . Sadly it is themselves who struggle to be confident in Gods love and acceptance . So sad ; heartbreaking really

  13. Brandon Petrowski // April 27, 2017 at 4:12 am // Reply

    The fear mongers have made the Gospel and religion an arranged marriage when they were never meant to be more than passing acquaintances (OT to NT).

  14. I remember hearing Pastor Joseph Prince speak on this matter. He and Andrew Wommack by far, are the best grace preachers ever. Oh, and an Pastor that died, Eddie Long, yes, he may not have been perfect in his conduct of a sexual nature, but he’s preaching of grace was amazing. I do not condone what he done, but I trust he is in heaven now. Pastor Prince spoke of those that preach condemnation. He said something like, there is a new Testament curse, that is, if any man preaches another gospel, let that man be accursed. That is a serious warning. I got to thinking, preaching and teaching is two different things. I trust the Holy Ghost will enlighten me. Get under good quality grace preaching long enough and you will be able brush off condemnation far more easier. Talking by experience. You will be so bold in refuting anything other than grace; from your heart, it won’t even get that far.

  15. Is it possible some are speaking to the unbelievers in their pews? How do you reconcile these with the truth that God loves sinners?

    Psalm 5.5 The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity.

    Leviticus 20:23 And you shall not walk in the customs of the nation that I am driving out before you, for they did all these things, and therefore I detested them.

    Proverbs 6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

    Psalm 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous, but his soul hates the wicked and the one who loves violence.

    Romans 5:10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

    Colossians 1:21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled

    Hebrews 10:26 If we deliberately go on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins remains, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and raging fire that will consume all adversaries.

    • A question I’m asking myself and Him lately is “is it possible for God to both love and hate at the same time? Are these mutually exclusive? and are statements about God’s hatred the same as Jesus to us about hatred in our heart towards another?” I know God loved the world and sent his son, he demonstrated his love for sinners by dieing for them, even those who don’t end up choosing him, and he prayed for his enemies and forgave them. It’s clear as day he loves those who are his enemies. But can he also hate them in the midst of their sin and evil ways?

      • tonycutty // April 30, 2017 at 9:10 am //

        This is a good question, and part of our problem is when we assign identical ‘weight’ to all Scripture passages the same. The thing is that some Scripture passages ‘trump’ others. So for example we might well read in the Old Testament (OT) about God hates this, God hates that. But we cannot read those passages without taking into account the New Testament (NT) and specifically the message of Jesus, which was ‘Actually God likes you’. Sometimes, we tend to read the OT as if the NT didn’t happen; but to do Scripture any kind of justice, we must always read the OT in the light of the ‘higher revelation’ of the NT and specifically God’s love revealed in Christ. In some ways (but by no means entirely), the OT is almost a manual on how NOT to ‘do faith’. If anything, one of the things Jesus did was to correct our faulty views of God that we would get by reading the OT alone, which was really all the people of His day had. I know it wasn’t the OT as we know it now, but still the point stands.

    • Brandon Petrowski // April 28, 2017 at 3:32 am // Reply

      And yet, the Bible also says God loved the whole world. You can’t be selective in your application of scripture. You have to take it all in context. Many English translations use the word hate when the original text is meaning to convey the concept of rejection. It all depends on the context, the audience, and how you are defining hatred.

  16. I see allll the sermons on God loving us, where are all the sermons on us loving him back, which is defined in scripture as “obeying him”? Why don’t we talk about that more? Why would I want to be in a relationship with my wife if all she wanted to do was talk to me about how much I loved her? I would want her to love me back through actions, as anyone would. I don’t agree with you a lot of times, but I agree here with you 100%, He always loves us, saint and sinner alike.
    Nothing will ever change that.

    • In my experience 90+% of sermons are focused on us and what we must do for the Lord. Very few are focused on him and what he has done for us. Some start out that well but quickly swing the emphasis onto you and what you must do in response. This is called mixture. We are changing by beholding Jesus. We are transformed by his love. We are not changed by being told what to do.

      • You are so right. I can’t go to church anymore because I think one day I just might jump up and scream “This does not sound like Good News to me”. I watch on-line and attend church activities, I have noticed a new word they are using for mixture. Blending. I could have missed it but you should post your “Who I am ” poem sometime. I would love to see churches doing a sermon series on your poem.

      • Brandon Petrowski // April 28, 2017 at 3:34 am //

        Well said.

    • Brandon Petrowski // April 28, 2017 at 3:34 am // Reply

      Many English versions using the word obey when the original text is attempting to convey the concept of believing God. If you believe Him, you will follow Him, but that doesn’t mean you will not stumble if you take your eyes off Him.

      • Marjorie // May 11, 2017 at 4:03 pm //

        Thanks for that comment Brandon! I get so tired of hearing OBEY! God wants us to believe Him and to walk in faith with the assurance of the truth of His promises. He is not a man that He should lie, but all of His promises are yea and amen! My Father God is a gentle guide, and Jesus is my best friend and they want relationship and trust, not “obedience”. Faith pleases God!

  17. Just love it, Thank you for serving willingly for Father’s lead in risen Son for you to share the rest in Father and Son given us in belief to his done work for us to walk new in Faith to his love, of Son revealed to us fro the new life given us. No more self work to do to get, keep or have.

  18. Diana Hanby // April 27, 2017 at 9:33 am // Reply

    This is an awesome message! Thank you!

  19. His unconditional love brings security and peace. Thanks a lot Paul!

  20. Thank you for this timely post, Paul.

    Many are not being told that the sins of the whole world has been taken care of (2Cor 5:19). Jesus is NOT holding our sins against us.

    Christ loved us first and forgave us BEFORE we did or didn’t do anything (1Jn 4:19; Eph 1:4; Col 2:13).

    “Charizomai” forgiveness describes what Christ DID for the whole world (1Jn2:2; Jn 1:29). “Aphesis” forgiveness is what we choose to ACCEPT – His grace (giving us what we don’t deserve). Only when we accept “aphesis” are we free to allow His Spirit to produce His fruit in our lives. Otherwise we reap the results of walking after the flesh.

  21. “God loves you. Period.” That is the Gospel.

  22. Erik Richey // April 28, 2017 at 6:31 am // Reply

    I hope we remember that Romans 8:35 in the original text doesn’t actually say what ‘The Message’ bible says. I am not really sure why we read these kinds of translations, but I personally think we should only read and convey what was actually written by inspiration of the Spirit. They are fine without needing changed or “amplified.” Intent and context lead to right understanding.

    “Every word of God is tested; He is a shield to those who take refuge in Him. Do not add to His words Or He will reprove you, and you will be proved a liar” (Proverbs 30:5-6).

    Just an idea. Other than that, this is an excellent article.

    • Erik, I heard someone say: “If the King James Bible was good for the apostles, it’s good for me”. Is this what you are inferring?

      • Erik Richey // April 30, 2017 at 12:55 pm //

        I was referring to using The Message bible, written by Eugene Peterson, for inspired teaching. It is a new age spirituality book replete with doctrinal, theological errors.

    • Colleen G // May 1, 2017 at 1:52 am // Reply

      I love my King James bible but I have surprisingly found that the Message bible is a lot more accurate than many other modern translations. It pops holes in the traditional legalistic views while keeping the meat readable for people who may have trouble with their reading skills. I was reviewing it for someone who has such problems and while not perfect(is any bible?) I do recommend it as it will lead no one astray from Christ, His gospel or salvation.

  23. Jim Tennant // April 28, 2017 at 8:48 am // Reply

    Thank you so much for this article Paul. Not only are the manipulators in the pulpit but also in the pews because they think the example they are being set (from the pulpit) is the right thing, and ordinary members of congregations don’t dare challenge their pastor: I mean he’s a professional, isn’t he/she?
    We too, sitting at home, dangling our feet into the very sin which God cannot touch and which we ourselves hate, believe the lies of the enemy too easily “you’re not good enough”. Praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives his good gifts to his people to share and encourage. Bless you brother.

  24. Such a good article pointing out the love and acceptance of the Father. We have grown up in a religious society where we feel we are unacceptable and we have to put forth effort to earn what God already gave us in Christ. We need to hear more message such as this, that God loves us and accepts us no matter what.

  25. I watched a bit of that notorious sermon by MD. I lasted about a minute and a half before I had to stop listening…I know you put a reason in the OP as to why people sit still and listen to that sort of stuff, but I for on would be out that door like a flash.

    But I bet they lock the doors so that everyone has to stay and be grilled by that diabolical (and I mean that in its true sense) rubbish. I have actually seen that happen, albeit not in one of MD’s meetings (maybe because I have never been to one of his meetings and never will…)

  26. Darryl P // May 1, 2017 at 2:15 am // Reply

    Some people have God as an inventor who knows he will make a toy that will break and then gets mad at it when the inevitable happens it breaks. Jesus was crucified before the foundation of the world not because of the justice of God. Jesus was always the plan and love was always the motivation for creating us.Imagine you know ahead of time your child will be lost and you can provide the way of escape. This to me is PREDESTINATION I WAS FOUND IN JESUS BEFORE I WAS LOST IN ADAM. The destination of all mankind was always Jesus. But to say God needed a sacrifice to appease anger is to make him into a schizophrenic who one moment loves and in the next moment is Zeus throwing lighting bolts in anger. Is this our all wise ever present all knowing Father . Really!!!! Come on

  27. Stella Emmanuel // May 3, 2017 at 9:23 pm // Reply

    They make the people of God sin conscious which Christ hates.They think that they can change their fellowers with a magical wand but the word of God says in 2 cornthians 5 v 14 — for the love of Christ constrains us,it is very clear what does the job.Recently my son asked me a guestion “mum can Jesus forgive the terrorist ” and my answer was a big yes and he was surprised.He thought that His Mercy Grace kindness love & compassion has finished no they are forevermore thanks for this write up.

  28. Jeremy W // May 4, 2017 at 3:15 am // Reply

    Every week most churches use a mixed gospel…they’ll say God loves us unconditionally and sing songs about it but then berate people for the poor obedience….eg – use the tithing teaching to put people back under law – blessings or curses, when the New Covenant has done away with ”if you do this, then God will…..” threats.

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