Summary: God gives us permission not to love the world because who ever loves the world cannot love God.
God’s Permission Not to Love
Text: 1 Jn. 2:15-17
1. Illustration: There’s a story about a wealthy Christian who somehow got obsessed with the idea of taking some of his wealth to heaven. Now he knew the Bible clearly teaches that you can’t take it with you. But so obsessed was he with this desire that he just prayed & prayed & prayed that God would give him permission to take some of his wealth to heaven with him.
Finally, his persistence in prayer paid off. God spoke to him & said, "Okay, enough all ready! You can take one suitcase with you into heaven."
Well, the story continues with the man deep in thought, "What do I take? What are the most valuable things that I can put into my suitcase?"
Well, he finally decided, & filled his suitcase full. Then one day he died, & when next we see him, he is slowly approaching the pearly gates dragging his suitcase behind him.
St. Peter met him there at the gate & said, "Wait a minute. What do you think you’re doing? You’re not allowed to take anything into heaven." The man answered, "You don’t understand. I have special permission from God Himself to take this suitcase into heaven."
Peter rubbed his beard & said, "Well, that’s very unusual. I can’t imagine God letting you do that. Let me look inside your suitcase & see what’s there." So the man dragged the suitcase over, & Peter opened it to see that it was filled with gold bars.
Peter said, "Pavement? You brought pavement to heaven?"
2. Sometimes God gives permission to do things that seem unusual to us. For example, did you know that God gives us permission not to love?
a. Not permission not to love our brothers and sisters.
b. Not permission not to love our enemies.
c. Permission not to love the world.
3. Read 1 Jn. 2:15-17
Proposition: God gives us permission not to love the world because who ever loves the world cannot love God.
Transition: God tells us not to love the world...
I. Because of It’s Nature (15)
A. Do Not Love the World
1. John tells us "Do not love the world or the things in the world."
2. First we must understand what John means when he says "the world."
a. He could be talking about the world as in planet earth. However, we can rule that out because the Bible says that God created the earth and called it good.
b. He could be talking about the world as in the people. Again, we can rule that out because the Bible tells us "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
c. Here, however, the world is presented as the evil system totally under the grip of the devil - Expositor’s Bible Commentary, The, Pradis CD-ROM:1 John/
3. It is a world that is devoid of anything that is good, and saturated with all that is evil.
a. It is a world that contrary to all that God is.
b. If God is holy, the world is unholy.
c. If God is just, the world is corupt.
d. If God is kind and forgiving, the world is mean and vengeful.
4. It is a world that says:
a. White is black and black is white.
b. Right is wrong and wrong is right.
c. If it feels good do it in spite of the consequences.
5. Not only is the world contrary to God, but it is also hostile towards God.
a. Anyone that is caught in the grips of the world is also hostile towards God.
b. Is it any wonder that the media, television, movies, and the music industry are hostile towards God and His Church?
c. If someone in the world says something negative about Christians, they are looked upon as being concerned and progressive, but if a Christian speaks out against the sinful lifestyles of those in the world, they looked upon as intolerant and out of touch with reality.
6. Illustration: One of my favorite musicians is a guy named Randy Stonehill. Several years ago, he wrote a song called "Stop the world." It said, "Well it’s okay to murder babies, but we really out to save the whales. We’re putting criminals in office because it’s way too crowded in the jails. Right is wrong and wrong is right. White is black and black is white. I think I just lost my appetite. Stop the world I wanna get off. Stop the world, I wanna get off. This is too weird for me. Stop the world I wanna get off, I’ve just got to find a planet where they are interested in sanity.