Summary: John tells us to watch out and not get caught up in what the world systems want to lure us into. It's a trap that we need to avoid.
“It’s A Trap”
Intro: How many Star Wars fans do we have here this morning? My wife, Pam, is queen of the Star Wars fans. I remember when we first got married, one of the movies came out and we went and stood in line for quite some time to see the movie. To say that she is a fan is an understatement. In the star wars saga’s, one of the movies is Return of The Jedi. What’s sad is that spell check recognizes Jedi as a word. There is one scene in this movie that features Admiral Gial Ackbar, a fictional character of course. He appears very briefly in this movie but has garnered many fans with his one famous line. There is a battle starting and we see space ships and all kinds of things going on. The people and ships that he commands have been lured into thinking that they can win a major battle. Things start going crazy on the battlefield and he realizes something. They have been set up. He then states his most famous line. “It’s a trap” he realized that what they had thought was wrong.
.As I was studying our scripture for this morning, it occurred to me that the apostle John is telling us to watch out, there’s a trap out there that is being laid for you.
. When we were last in 1 John, we looked at our spiritual maturity and how each one of us is in a different place.
. John was telling us that even though you are at different levels of spiritual maturity, what I am about to tell you pertains to all of you Christians.
. As you grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, avoid falling into this trap.
. There’s a trap out there and I need to warn you about it.
. Our scripture this morning warns us about part of the trap.
. 1 John 2: 15-17
. 15Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
16For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
17And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
. The first thing we see here is:
. How To Recognize The Trap
. When I ask people what God means by “the World” I will invariably get something like, “you know bars and honkytonks and wild parties and orgies and such.
. We will address that in a minute because our scripture does speak to that but not in context of loving the world.
. What John is talking about here is belief systems, ranging from simple animal sacrifice to complex world religions. They represent ideas that go directly against the true knowledge of God.
. The apostle Paul tells us about this world that we are to watch out for.
. Look at Ephesians 6:10-12
. 10A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.
12For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
. Jesus talked about this world and its evil system in John 15:18-19
. 18“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.
19The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.
. This world that Jesus was talking about was the worship of pagan gods and all the debauchery that went along with it.
. The world is in constant battle with Christians.
. There is a full spectrum of beliefs out there that are in direct contradiction to God’s word.
. There is an attack on the traditional family led mostly by feminism.
. There is an active promotion of sexual promiscuity and homosexuality.
. There is a steady decline in the standards of personal integrity and ethics.
. The concept of right and wrong is under attack by the world.
. The concept of what I call universal salvation is rampant in our world.
. That is the concept that we all go to Heaven when we die.
. If that’s the case Jesus died for nothing.