Summary: Tenth message from 1 John with continuing discussion on not loving the world.
“A Dangerous Love” Pt 4
The verses of Scripture we have been exploring are no all that complicated.
The message is simple.
Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17
John issues this command in conjunction with several other instructions related to the development of a deeper relationship with God. The instruction is to stop loving the world and its stuff complete with four reasons why we should take that command to heart.
The term “world” describes any number of different realities.
The world of Chico, the educational world, the sports world etc.
The American world, European world, or the whole world or even the universe.
It can refer to the combination of environmental issues and functions, systems of government, nationalities, families, ideas, experiences, products, activities, philosophies, laws or people connected in some way. Scripture references three basic worlds.
World of people
God originally created these three worlds to be completely integratred. Each one intersected the other in some way. Sin dramatically affected these worlds at every level. Our world of matter became subjected the futility of decay and deterioration. The spirit world broke out in civil war between evil angels and elect angels. The world of people also divided between Satan’s followers and God’s followers. Satan designed and directs a world system that intentionally opposes God and His directives. He continually tries to distract or prevent people from pure and simple devotion to Christ. Satan uses anything at his disposal to keep people from making pursuit of God the number one priority in life. He doesn’t care if God gets included somewhere along the line as long as He is not #1.
It is this world that God warns us to stop preferring over His ways and purposes. Stop preferring the devil-directed way of life and the stuff designed to keep us from being fully devoted to God.
1 – Satan’s world is incompatible with God’s nature and desires, so you can’t love it and God at the same time.
You cannot devote yourself to something that directly opposes God and promotes life divorced from God and love God at the same time. You cannot be friends with a world hostile to God and be devoted to God at the same time. Devotion to Satan’s world and its stuff and devotion to God’s world cannot coexist. If love for Satan’s world is “in you”, love for God is not.
We cannot embrace, be entertained by, invest in, spend time with, be connected to, and practice a way of life that vigorously promotes the idea that meaning in life should be pursued apart from God and expect to develop intimacy with God. James called it like he saw it.
You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:1-4
The first reason to stop loving the world is that if we are, we do not really love God. Devotion to God and the God-hating world cannot exist.
2 – The world and everything in it is not from God but from Satan
Satan designed, directs and energizes a world, environment, culture that encourages pursuit of these desires without limits and most importantly WITHOUT GOD! This passage reveals three base things driving the world that are not from God. Satan uses this world to promote pleasure, possession and personal prominence as the highest pursuit. The driving force in Satan’s world is selfish ambition and bitter jealousy when we don’t get it. John identified the base “things” or issues that drive Satan’s world that are not from God.
God designed us with a capacity and desire for pleasure, possessions, prominence.
These desires find their fulfillment as a result of our devotion and pursuit of Him not as a replacement for our lack of relationship with Him.
Our ultimate pleasure comes in the course of pleasing God rather than self.
Our ultimate enjoyment of the things in this world is to share with others.
Our ultimate prominence comes from serving others rather than being served.
The longings instilled by God and stirred by His spirit are ultimately realized when He becomes our ultimate pursuit and not the desires. Yes we have desires for pleasure, possession and prominence. These desires must remain desires for which we pray rather than goals which we pursue.