Paul Washer, The Gospel’s Power and Message, p. 121:
FALLEN MAN CANNOT LOVE GOD
Most men, even the irreligious, claim some degree of love or affection toward God. Nevertheless, the Scriptures testify that fallen man cannot love God. In fact, the Scriptures teach that, prior to conversion, all of Adam’s race hates God and lives at war against Him. This hostility exists because a morally corrupt creature simply cannot tolerate a holy and righteous God or bear to submit to His will.
It is important to note that most who claim a genuine love for God know very little about His attributes and works as Scripture describes them. Therefore, the god they love is nothing more than a figment of their own imagination. They have made a god in their own image, and they love what they have made. As God declares through the psalmist, “You thought that I was altogether like you; but I will rebuke you.”
If most men, even those who consider themselves religious, were to investigate the Scriptures, they would most certainly find a God much different from the god they claim as the object of their affections. If they took at face value the Scripture’s teaching on such divine attributes as holiness, justice, sovereignty, and wrath, they would most likely respond in disgust and declare, “My God’s not like that!” or, “I could never love a God like that!” Thus, we would quickly see that when fallen man meets the God of the Scriptures, his only reaction is repulsion and rejection. What is the reason for this adverse reaction? Again, it has to do with who man is at the very core of his nature. If man were holy and righteous by nature, then he could easily love a holy and righteous God. However, man is by nature depraved, and therefore he cannot.”