Why Christians Should Not Be Angry With Lost Sinners and Their Sin

by Jack Wellman · Print Print · Email Email

Christians should not be angry at lost sinners but rather love them and pray for them.

God’s First Move

Christians should not be angry at lost sinners but rather love them and pray for them. First of all, there go we but by God’s grace, and secondly, God loved us first before we ever loved Him (1 John 4:19). God made the first move so we must also make the first move. We ought to feel compassion for those who have rejected Christ because their eternity will be indescribably horrible. We wouldn’t want that for our worst enemy, would we? Of course not. We know that judgment starts with the house of God or with the church. God will judge those outside the church so we cannot and have not the right to judge them. We can judge whether what they are doing is good or not good, but beyond that, we must leave judgment to God and the throne of God is a one-seater. Only He knows their hearts and only He can save them, but it is our duty to share the gospel with the lost and then it’s up to God to save them or not.

Judging Sinners?

The Apostle Peter wrote, “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God” (1 Pet 4:17)? Church leadership is required by God to discipline members who are openly sinning and failing to repent of that sin once it’s brought to the light, but God will judge those outside the church. That is His job, not ours. It is His right, not ours, but it is our right, in fact, our duty to judge sin within the church.

Church Discipline

Matthew 18 contains instructions for the church to discipline members of the body of Christ. The basic model for church discipline is found in Matthew 18:15-20. In the first step of church discipline methods that Jesus taught, He says “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matt 18:15). Hopefully you can persuade them of their fault and they repent of it, but if “he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses” (Matt 18:16). That doesn’t mean take a posse with you and show up at their front door or confront them at church publically. This is still a private matter, however, even after all this, he or she “refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector” (Matt 18:17). This sounds harsh, but we know God disciplines every child whom He loves (1 Cor 11:32; He 12:5-8).

Have Compassion

We should never, ever be angry at sinners because we too were once in their place, having the wrath of God abiding on us. Even in the face of intense persecution against us, think about this: It could have been us who were lost and headed for the judgment of God (Rev 20:12-15). It could have been us who were the persecutors of those who believe. If not for God, we would not have escaped the wrath due upon us except that God intervened supernaturally on our behalf (Eph 2:1-5). Only the Spirit of God can show them Who Christ is and open their eyes and unstop their ears. It’s like they are helpless victims…helpless to see the need to repent and seek after Christ. God’s Word tells us that “The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Cor 2:14). Consider the fact that God loved us first even while we were ungodly, wicked sinners who were once enemies of God (Rom 5:6-10). How can we hate or be angry at sinners since even Christians still fall into sin?

Rescue the Perishing

What can we do then for those who are headed for hell? We can share the gospel…we can love them first as God did us (1 John 4:19). We can pray for them to be saved. God wants us to be in the business of rescuing the perishing. Besides, didn’t someone share Christ with us at one time while we were still lost? How can we not do the same for others? When I see people I believe are lost, my heart breaks for I know that God doesn’t desire anyone perish (2 Pet 3:9) and takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezk 33:11). Neither should we.

Planting Seeds

Alone, we cannot save anyone. We are not able to. It’s not our responsibility to save anyone. It is their response to His ability, but it is our responsibility to plant the seeds (Matt 28:18-20). Someone else may come along and water the seed we planted, or another may fertilize it…but we must plant the seed of God’s Word. It takes a person of God and the Word of God with the Spirit of God to birth a child of God (John 3:3-7). God alone saves (Acts 4:12), but God can use us as a means to His end to plant the seed so He can send His Spirit to save them. Please don’t be angry with sinners…have compassion and share Christ. Love them and pray for them and leave the results up to God. Only God can give the increase (Acts 2:47).


Love your enemies and pray for the lost because at one time, “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor 6:11). If you yourself are not saved, today is the day because today, even right now, “is the acceptable time” (2 Cor 6:2). After He returns (Rev 1:7) or after we die (Heb 9:27), it is too late. I pray you have repented and believed the gospel. If so, share it and pray to the Lord of the Harvest to send forth more laborers as Jesus commanded (Matt 9:38).

Here is some related reading for you: God Hates the Sin but Loves the Sinner – Is This in the Bible?

Resource – Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), Crossway Bibles. (2007). ESV: Study Bible: English standard version. Wheaton, Ill: Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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