Does God love villains? Absolutely, yes. God loves all of His creation. Everything that exists is sustained in being solely by the power of His love – nothing and no one could survive the next moment without God's love. Every breath a person takes – even the worst of individuals – is a gift of God's love. Creation is an act of love, and redemption is a work of love.
At the same time, Scripture tells us that God will punish wrongdoers. How can this be understood? The same reality can look like love and wrath, depending on our perspective.
I once spoke to a man who, in his youth, chose a slippery slope and became a professional criminal. Predictably, this led to him being apprehended by law enforcement and sentenced to prison – an undoubtedly grueling and painful experience. However, in prison, he heard the Gospel preached, repented of his former life, and emerged as a completely different person.
Now, he looks back with gratitude at his time in prison, realizing that it saved him from further descent into evil. He understands that it was the seeking love of God that arranged his arrest.
From the perspective of an embittered criminal confined behind bars, he experiences rage and anger, suffering and punishment. From the perspective of a repentant criminal who learned to view things from the standpoint of his genuine well-being, even his imprisonment was an act of God's saving love.
But what if the criminal did not repent and remained steadfast in his hatred towards God and others, perceiving no love in his confinement? Unfortunately, this happens too. Would his punishment still be an act of God's love for him? Yes, indeed – in either case, God's providence would restrain his progression in evil and protect others.
What is truly an expression of love and longsuffering, a hardened sinner may see as hatred, rage, and anger. Just because God loves wrongdoers doesn't mean the wrongdoers will be content; in fact, they will likely be discontent.
However, there is another characteristic of wrongdoers – they usually don't consider themselves as such. The worse a person's spiritual state, the more difficult it is for them to recognize that something is wrong. Wrongdoers are always someone else, and when we are uneasy about the idea of God loving wrongdoers, it's often because we don't identify ourselves as such.
The Bible tells us otherwise – we are all sinners, guilty, corrupt, and deeply rebellious. But God still loves us and seeks to save us – to restore us into a relationship with Him and transform us into heavenly rather than hellish beings.
To achieve this, we must acknowledge that the bad guys aren't just them; they're us too. We should humble ourselves, repent, place our trust in Christ, and rely on the Holy Spirit to deeply change our lives.
Original article: radiovera.ru/lyubit-li-bog-zlodeev.html