Summary: What is worliness and why is it so dangerous for a believer to love the world?
Sermon by Pr. Paddick Van Zyl
19 Sep , 2014
Do Not Love
The 'Do Not Enter' sign we often see in a building or in a public place, or even a street, was placed there for a specific purpose. Sign posts or boards play a very important role in our daily lives. There purpose is that of supplying information, showing direction and in some cases warning us of danger ahead, sadly though, many choose to ignore sign boards or interpret the message they were designed to proclaim, to suit themselves. The Word of God has many important sign boards, some of which, if we choose to ignore, will bring us loss, sorrow and death. Let's look at one very important sign today...Do Not Love!
1 John 2:15-17 NKJV
When we love someone or something, we show affection towards the person or object.
We are repeatedly commanded to love others, love God, but we are also commanded to not love the world. Let me explain: The world I refer to is not the trees or birds or created things God gave us to enjoy! It is neither the unsaved. It is the worldly system of sin. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. It is a world or philosophy system (both religious and secular) that opposes Christ and the Word and holds this life as supreme, as Ray C. Stedman notes:
'But nevertheless there is a world that we must not love and John evidently expects his readers to know what that world is. It is something he has evidently often talked over with them and described to them, and now he does not need to define it for he knows that they know what he means. This would suggest that the world which John has in view here is clearly defined for us in other parts of Scripture. We shall find it most clearly in John's previous writing, the Gospel of John. In the Upper Room Discourse John records our Lord's words, and he speaks in warning about the world:
"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." (John 15:18 RSV)
Here is a world that hated Jesus Christ. What world is that? Obviously, the representatives of that world were the enemies of Jesus. Who were they? It is most striking to recall that the enemies of Jesus were basically religious men. This world which the Christian is not to love is, therefore basically, primarily a religious world. It is not exclusively so for there was a secular world which hated Jesus as well. The representatives of the secular world hated the Lord Jesus, not with the hate of outright enmity, but, which is worse, with the hate of callous indifference. Our Lord said that the world would hate us because it hated him, and John says this is the world we must not love. We must not love that which hates Christ.
The world hated him because he constantly challenged its basic philosophy. He was in continual protest against that to which the world was irrevocably committed. Our Lord put the whole matter plainly one day when he said, "You are those who seek, not the honor which comes from God, but that which comes from man," John 5:44). There is the philosophy of the world, the world that John says we must not love. It does not look beyond this life, it is concerned only with the honor which comes from men and unconcerned about the honor which comes from God.
It is a philosophy which is bounded at one end by a cradle and at the other end by a casket. It is centered only in this life and this world. Jesus challenged that concept wherever he went and whenever he spoke. Because he thrust so decisively against this, he was hated and men banded together to put him to death. It was this philosophy which was ultimately responsible for nailing the Son of God to a bloody cross.
Think about that for a moment -- this philosophy that says the only important thing is this life -- think how widespread that is today. Are we not constantly exposed to this idea? Does it not subtly penetrate everything we touch today? We see it underlying all of life. It makes its appeal in every magazine. It is blazoned on every billboard. It is shouted abroad by radio and television, every time we turn a dial. It can be summed up in this precise way. "There is nothing better, there is nothing higher, there is nothing more precious than what this earth can give you: its money, its pleasures, its fame. You had best eat, drink, and be merry, for there is no nobler life than that."