Summary: Exposing the seductive ideas the world presents us and envisioning reality as it is revealed to us.

Love not the World

Sunday Evening – Lynn Haven COC – 06/25/06


1. Exposing the seductive ideas the world presents us and envisioning reality as is revealed to us.


1. To correct or remind of faulty thinking that can creep into our lives and affect our habits.


A. Good evening … pleasantries … encouraging.

B. It’s easy to go through life thinking something to be true, only to come to find that you were mistaken.

1. This idea was parodied in a commercial for Federal Express a couple years ago.

2. The commercial starts with someone walking into the office saying, “Smith was wrong; FedEx ground IS cheaper.”

3. Someone else in the room turns to Smith and says, “You are always wrong!”

4. Smith says, “No, I’m not.”

5. The person says, “Yes you are. We get FRINGE benefits, not FRENCH benefits. Steely Dan is not one person. It’s not the leaning Tower of Pizza. And James Dean was an actor – Jimmy Dean makes sausage.”

6. Smith pauses, then, exasperated, he throws up his hands and asks, “We don’t get French benefits!?”

C. Many of us have grown up thinking the names of songs were something other than what they are.

1. My sister has a friend that thought “Inagodadavida” was “In the Garden of Eden.”

2. I had a friend in school who grew up thinking the song “Just a Little Walk with Jesus” was “Just a Little Chocolate Jesus.”

D. But what’s not funny is the fact that folks grow up and live life thinking they know what reality is … but in reality, what they believe is totally false.

E. Even we in the church can slowly be tricked into believing falsehoods.

F. And so that’s why the apostle John wrote these words to a 1st century church.

G. 1st John 2:15-17

1. At first reading, this could sound a little confusing.

2. John writes here “do not love the world,” and then over in his gospel he writes “For Christ so loved the world …”

3. Well there’s three different ways we can conceive of the world.

a. The world – the third rock from the sun in the Milky Way solar system.

b. Or a 2nd meaning – the totality of individuals that make-up our planetary society

c. A 3rd meaning – the ideas taught and practiced by those who are outside of the will of God. THIS is what John is talking about in our passage.

What are some of the ways of the world that we are fooled with? And where do they come from?

A. Man can be sovereign, or be God. John calls it here “the pride of life.”

1. It’s as if we decide can be the arbiter of our own reality.

a. We can decide what’s right and wrong for ourselves.

b. We can decide what’s best for ourselves.

c. We can do our own thing, have our own way.

2. This is mankind saying to God, “We have no need of you.”

a. “What our mind can conceive, we can achieve.”

3. Isn’t this how Eve was tempted in Genesis 3.

a. “Eve, if you eat this fruit, you will be … like God.”

b. And ever since, every sin that has been committed has followed the same pattern. It’s as if when we sin, we say to God, “I know you say this is wrong, but I think I can decide what’s best for me better than you can.”

4. One of the reasons we sin is plain and simple arrogance. We think that we can be like God, or better than God in deciding how we live our lives.

B. If it feels good, do it. John calls this “the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes.”

1. We know this one.

2. And it isn’t new; it’s as ancient as the Bible. 1st Corinthians 6:12-20.

a. IMO, the NIV does a better job with this text than any other translation.

b. Look at verse 12. Why are there quotations around that phrase? (Explain letter transmission and Paul’s response.)

c. This isn’t Paul saying this; this is Paul responding to the Corinthian mantra that equated sexual activity with appetite. How does that work?

1. “Well, God made you hungry, what do you do?” Eat

2. “God made you thirsty, what do you do?” Drink

3. “Well God also made you with a sex appetite, which is meant to be fulfilled.”

3. “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes.”

C. This is all there is.

1. The world tries to tell us that “what you see is what you get.”

a. “There is no pie in the sky by and by. That’s just an imagined fairy tale in an ancient book.”

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