Do Not Love the World

Do Not Love the WorldText: 1 John 2:15-17

John warned against loving the world – something that Christians must constantly guard against. It is deceptive because it seems innocent/harmless. Yet it takes us away from God, leads us down the path to sin, and will cause us to be lost. We need to be sure we take note of his warning.

What Does It Mean to Love the World?

  • First what it does NOT mean – do not love people (1 John 4:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:12); do not appreciate physical blessings (James 1:17; 1 Timothy 4:4); do not acknowledge the beauty in creation (Romans 1:20; Psalm 8:3-4)
  • This about a conflict between the things of God and the things of this world
  • This means we are putting physical/carnal/temporal things in place of God or as a rival to Him – we cannot serve other “gods” (Exodus 20:3; Matthew 6:24); not just that it is WRONG to serve other “gods” along with God, it CANNOT be done; God demands first place in our lives (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 1:18)

What Happens If We Love the World?

  • The love of the Father is not in us (v. 15) – why?
  • We will serve a different master – we cannot serve God and wealth (Matthew 6:24); friendship with the world is hostility toward God (James 4:4); we will each serve something/someone (Matthew 6:24; Philippians 3:19; John 19:15); ultimately, if we are not serving God, we will serve sin (Romans 6:16)
  • We will sin and separate ourselves from God (Isaiah 59:2) – all of us have sinned (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8, 10); yet as Christians, we should be avoiding sin (1 John 2:1; 3:6, 9); we must exercise self-control so that we do not lose our reward (1 Corinthians 9:27)

The Avenues of Temptation

  • There are certain “avenues” the devil uses to try to draw us back to the world – he used these against Jesus when he tempted Him in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11)
  • The lust of the flesh (cf. Matthew 4:2-3) – makes us FEEL good; to fulfill carnal desires; could be wrong in themselves (i.e. drunkenness) or in the wrong way (i.e. fornication)
  • The lust of the eyes (cf. Matthew 4:8-9) – enticed by the LOOKS of something; arouses the imagination; we often think of lusting after someone (Matthew 5:27-28), but not limited to that
  • The boastful pride of life (cf. Matthew 4:5-6) – elevates us ABOVE others; seeks attention, praise, and honor from others for ourselves

How Does This Affect Our Eternal Fate?

  • The world is passing away – it will one day be destroyed (2 Peter 3:10)
  • By choosing the world, we are choosing to perish – the mind set on flesh is death (Romans 8:6); if we gain the whole world and forfeit our soul, it is of no profit (Matthew 16:26)
  • The one who does the will of God lives forever – we want the love of the Father in us (v. 15); this requires obedience (1 John 2:3-6); we must do the will of God to enter the kingdom (Matthew 7:21); Jesus is the author of salvation for those who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9)

Conclusion

  • As Christians, we will be tempted to love the world – yet this must not be seen as better than, equal to, or complementary to our love for God
  • We must love God and put Him first – not allow this world to distract us from Him

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