Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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One of the great Christian myths is that the greatest evil is all evil, but what we find in the Bible is that the evil that God hates the most is that of a mixture of good and evil. Satan was “full of wisdom” and “perfect in beauty” (Ezek. 28:12), and God said to him, “You were perfect in your ways from the day that you were created until iniquity was found in you” (Ezek. 28:15). Satan was a combination of good and bad, a mixture of holy and unholy, of righteousness and wickedness. There were glorious things about Satan mingled with sin, and that’s what made him an abomination to God.
The Israelites failed to destroy God’s enemies out of Canaan’s land because those enemies were a mixture of good and bad, and a mixture of good and bad is not repugnant to men as it is to God. Men typically will not get rid of evil if that evil is mixed with some good things; the flesh is satisfied to settle for something less than purity, but God is not.
In Revelation 3:15, Jesus sternly warned the pastor of the Laodiceans that he was about to spew him out of his mouth because he was not committed to either God or the world. Jesus said, “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I prefer that you be either cold or hot.”
The most dangerous spiritual condition on earth is to be good, if one is not completely good. Satan was good, “perfect in all his ways”, in fact, but he became proud of how good he was and ceased to give God all the glory for the good that was in him. God said to him, “Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you have corrupted your wisdom by reason of your brightness” (Ezek. 28:17). “Children of the Devil”, then, are people who have been “perfect in all their ways” but became proud of how good they were and, like Satan, ceased to be faithful to the one who made them good.
If any pride remains in a man who is living an otherwise godly life, it will destroy him. At some point, he will become envious and angry with those saints who remain humble and thankful to God. He will become the enemy of truly good men. “Good” people killed Jesus because they had become proud of how good they were. They were so much like the Devil that Jesus called them “children of the Devil”, even though by all appearances, they were righteous to the bone. Jesus said to them on one occasion, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You’re like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear to be so very lovely, but inwardly are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. And so are you! Outwardly, you appear so righteous to men, but inwardly, you’re full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Mt. 23:27-28). They were like their forefathers, who persecuted the prophets that God sent to Israel. Listen to Isaiah’s description of those “good” men: “They seek me daily and delight to know my ways. . . they ask of me the ordinances of justice; they take delight in approaching to God” (Isa. 58:2).
Weigh the cost before you attempt to walk on the road of holiness. Many have begun the journey without realizing that it is the most dangerous place in the universe for souls who are not fully committed to God. God hates a mixture in His people. He wants no one “on the fence”. He wants us to be like Him and live so that what we are in our hearts is what people see in us every day. With all His heart, He wants us to love Him and be happy, and be saved in the end; but His second choice is that we hate Him and follow the flesh completely, not that we live a life that looks good but disguises the way we really are. That is the thing He hates the most.