Summary: Far too many believers play with fire every day by living their lives as CLOSE to the world as they believe they can! Scripture encourages us to flee from the things of this world and seek a godly life!
Date Written: February 18, 2009
Date Preached: March 04, 2009
Where Preached: Oak Park (Wed Evening)
Sermon Series: A Series from 1 John
Sermon Title: Called to Reject the World!
Sermon Text: 1 John 2:15-17
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 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. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
I once heard a story of a not so smart farmer who wanted to save himself so money. He was tired of paying a high cost for the oats that he fed his mule, and so he decided to begin gradually substituting sawdust in the mule’s diet.
The mule did not seem to notice and ate whatever the farmer placed in front of him and for a while all was well. However, by the time the mule was fully weaned from the oats and eating ONLY sawdust, it did not take long before he died.
From a spiritual perspective, as believers, when we begin feeding ourselves the ‘sawdust’ of the world… things like worldly desires and pleasures… rather than the ‘oats’ of the Word of God… we do not realize that we are dying until it is too late. Only God’s word can satisfy and feed the soul…we must flee from the world and cling to the Word of God and to God himself to sustain our walk in Christ!
Tonight I want us to look at these verses from John and see just how we cannot substitute ANYTHING this world has to offer for what we have IN Christ. Anything this world has to offer is like sawdust and carries NO value, and in the end will destroy us, we must cling to the MEAT of the Word of God to be fed!
Let’s take a look at these 3 verses tonight and see what John has to say about NOT substituting God’s word for ANYTHING this world has to offer…
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Now, we just read a couple of weeks ago that God has called us to LOVE each other and show God’s love to all. The Bible says that God is love and that God desires ALL to come to repentance, so how can John shift gears so quickly and say something like, “Do not love the world…”
Well to understand this we must understand how John defines the word “world” and what context he is using it. John is speaking of the world in terms of those who are against God…those who are NOT seeking to honor God, or even acknowledge Him.
John’s description of the world here refers to the immoral, self-centered worldly stance that pleasure for SELF is all important and that seeking to please God is NOT our focus. The ‘world’ that John refers to here is the Satan influenced sinful nature that permeates all of humanity to go against God and to seek self instead!
In 2 Tim 4 Paul makes mention of a co-worker in Christ who abandoned him because of his love for the world, turn to 2 Tim 4:10 and read with me as Paul says, “…10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world, and has departed for Thessalonica…”
John is writing to BELIEVERS in this letter, not to those OUTSIDE the grace of God, but believers who had received God’s grace and forgiveness, but they were having a problem living what they claimed. It seems as if John’s admonition here is because they were having trouble letting go of their old lives and habits and John was calling for them to walk worthy of that calling!
So it is in THAT context in which John tells the believers to which he is writing… to NOT love the world or the things this world has to offer… to shun these things because these things are what God hates…. Which John goes on to describe in the next verse! Let’s read that verse now…
16 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.
Here we find John detailing what he had introduced in v.15. John basically breaks down the worldly characteristics into 3 basic categories:
The lust of the flesh
The lust of the eyes, and finally