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“Does God have it in for wicked people? Does He want to damn them to hell for all the bad they have done?”—Brian
The Bible makes it clear God is not happy about “wickedness.” He issued specific commands to keep it in check (Ex. 20:1ff). The writer of Proverbs told his readers what God abhors (Prov. 6:16-19).
There were some pretty severe judgments upon wickedness in the Old Testament (e.g., Gen. 19; Josh. 7)
The New Testament provides several lists of serious infractions (I Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 5:19-21; Col. 3:5-9).
This sort of behavior is clearly not what God intended for His highest creatures. He “hoped” for better, in a manner of speaking.
But hear two other pertinent thoughts:
First, God doesn’t relish the destruction of the “wicked people.”
The Book says as much (Ezek. 18:23, 32). God has gone to unimaginable lengths to reach all people (the “world” of Jn. 3:16) in our brokenness, to rescue us from an eternity apart from Him (Rom. 1:17; 5:6-10; Eph. 2:4-10; I Tim. 2:4). He does not want any to perish (II Pet. 3:9).
Indeed, Jesus did not come to condemn the world, rather, He came so that the world might be saved (Jn. 3:17-21).
Second, the Scripture presents a cautionary message to those who wish to identify the “real” sinners and condemn them to hell.
Before we draw the line, attempting to spell out who is worthy of grace and who is not, we should remember that “all are sinners and fall short of God’s perfection” (Rom. 3:23).
Thus, from God’s standpoint, all of us may be considered “wicked” and desperately in need of rescue by His grace (Eph. 2:1-9).
God’s great desire is that all people will come to faith in Him (I Tim. 1:12-15; I Thess. 5:23; II Thess. 3:3-5; Titus 3:1-7; I Jn. 1:5-10).