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Do Not Love The World – 1 John 2:15

08/03/2014

Text: 1 John 2:15

Christians must be wary, for the present world holds much attraction, and they will be tempted to take of its goods and trust in its promises, but it is a false hope, for this world and everything in it is passing away. The word used here for world is the word κοσμοs. In Scripture it is used in three senses:

As a reference to the physical globe, – that round planet on which we all live. John 1:10. CHRISTIANS DO NOT HATE THE WORLD IN THIS SENSE, AND NOR ARE THEY REQUIRED TO. The kosmos is God’s creation, and when it was created god looked at his work and declared that it was good.

As a reference to the people who inhabit this earth. Now look at the double meaning in that same verse, He was in the world [earth] and the world [earth] was made by Him, and the world [inhabitants of the earth] knew Him not” (John 1:10). And if Christians are not to hate the physical earth, far less are they to hate those who live in it. In fact John has been telling us that we must love our neighbours, and even our enemies, in the hope that we may win them for Christ. Matthew 5:43-44

As a reference to the sphere of evil that exists on the earth. The combined activities, affairs, advantages, and accumulated assets of the worldly men on the earth. The Bible calls all these “the things that are in the world” (I John 2:15), “this world’s goods (I John 3:17). Not just material things, but abstract concepts too – which have spiritual and moral (or immoral) values. Paul warns the believer to beware of “the wisdom of this world” (I Cor 1:20; 2:6; 3:19), “the spirit of the world” (2:12), and “the fashion of this world” (7:31). Peter wrote of the “corruption that is in the world” (2 Peter 1:4), and “the pollutions of the world” (2:20).

It is this last use of the word kosmos which John is using here, and he is saying to them ‘do not put your eternal wellbeing at risk for the second-rate attractions of the present age. Mark 8:36-37

1. This Attractive World.
Do you notice that John talks about love in two opposing contexts… You can love the world, or you can love God, and know His love, but you can’t do both. Matthew 6:24

The Love of the World. Do not love the world or the things in the world. the word for love is that familiar Christian world agape. Why would Christians who should know better be so attracted to this world?
Peer pressure?
Affluence?
It is so like us as humans to be captivated by this world and to begin to love it. The direct opposite to the love of the world is…

The Love of the Father. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. Now think for a moment what Christians are risking for the sake of a mess of worldly pottage. God’s Love! Pure unbounded love, love that loved us when we were unlovable, love that was supremely demonstrated for us when Jesus, God’s only Son died on Calvary’s Cross, to take our sin upon him and bear our punishment and shame, so that we helpless sinners could be freely pardoned and declared righteous before God and brought into His kingdom for time and eternity.

2. This Sinful World.
So, what do the attractions of this world look like? John gives us three examples to sum up the world…

* The lust of the flesh. [craving for sensual gratification]. But this is not just about sexual attraction. It’s about pandering to our flesh, to any kind of purely physical desire. That may not manifest itself in anything other than just getting what we want at the expense of others. All of that is an unnatural desire for physical satisfaction.
* The lust of the eyes. [greedy longings of the mind]. The tendency to be attracted by outward show. That might be about me having a bigger house than my neighbours, being impressed by outward show. Perhaps a better, more expensive car or jewellery or technology… Seeing something and wanting it and getting it and flaunting it.
* The pride of life. [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things]. Just plain old empty pride. The Greek word for pride is η αλαζονεια. (Alazoneia) being a braggart who loves to impress people, loves to boast, even when he has nothing to boast about, – loves to name drop. People making themselves out to be more important than they really are.
None of this is come from God. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

3. This Meaningless World.
The wrier of the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, comments on this. He looks at the toil of life, the striving and the labour and the ambition, READ Eccles. 1:3 Someone once summed this up; ‘Only one life, ’twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last’. John agrees…
* This world’s destiny. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it;
* The believer’s destiny. but he who does the will of God abides forever.
So, John challenges us. What’s it to be, the empty pleasures of this world for a short time, and a lost Christless eternity, or faithfulness to The Lord, walking in his steps, and holding his hand, with an endless eternity in heaven’s splendour? Hebrews 11: 24-27.

It is still necessary for Christians to be different from the world. The ultimate choice remains the same, do we accept the world’s standards, philosophies, values, or the standards of God? Romans 12:1,

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