Summary: How do we know if we really know God? We have been discussing a series of 7 tests for the past few weeks to determine if we really know God. Tonight we take test #4. Do we love the world? This is another test the believer can take to determine whether
How do we know if we really know God? We have been discussing a series of 7 tests for the past few weeks to determine if we really know God. Tonight we take test #4. Do we love the world? This is another test the believer can take to determine whether or not he knows God. READ SCRIPTURE
First we have to clarify what we mean by “the world.” After all, God created this place we call earth. Aren’t we supposed to appreciate the beauty, splendor, and resources of the earth and heavens? Sure we are! God has given us the earth and the heavens in which to live, appreciate, and enjoy. So what does Scripture mean by the world and the charge NOT TO LOVE THE WORLD?
When we use the word “World” today we are talking about the earth and the heavens that are passing away. The world is corruptible and deteriorating and will eventually be destroyed. So when I say that we, as believers, should not love the world, I mean that we must not become attached to the world, but instead, attached to God and to heaven. We are not to love the world so much that we want to stay here more than we want to be with God in heaven.
Also, when I use the term “world” I mean this: the world is a system of man-made governments and societies, some good and some bad, but none perfect. So we should respect and be loyal to the good, but reject and stand against the bad. We shouldn’t love any of these systems to the point that we become more attached to the systems of man’s organizations than we are to God and heaven.
The world means a system of sin and lust and evil and pride and rebellion against God. The world is full of sinful people, people who are evil and full of lust and pride, full of people who are rebellious against God. So, as a believer, you must not love this sinful system of the world.
Romans 12:2 reminds us ”do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is.” So we should love God and not the possessions and pleasures of the world. Of course we should still appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the earth and heavens. But, again, we are not to become more attached to this world than we are to God.
In this passage we again see our two examples of how we should not be and how we should be. In verses 15 & 16 we see the professing man. This is the false professing man, the man who loves the world. In verse 17 we see the obedient Christian, the one who does the will of God. We are going to spend most of our time tonight talking about the false professing man since that is the category that we most easily backslide into.
There are three things that are pointed out in Scripture about the false professing man.
1. The professing man loves the world.
2. The professing man follows after the world.
3. The professing man is not of God; he is of the world.
Let’s take a closer look at these three points because this is the person we want NOT to be like.
First, the professing man loves the world. He is attached more to the world than to God. Sure he comes to church a little, and might even read his Bible once or twice a month. But he loves the world more than God. Now keep in mind that the people to whom John is writing are church members. They have professed Christ, yet John has to charge them, and us, not to love the world. We must guard against returning to the world because if we do return, the Bible says, “The love of the father is not in them.” Any person who loves the world does not truly love the Father.
You might say, “Well that isn’t ever going to happen to me.” I say, “Oh, really?” Do you know what happens to cause a person to return to the world and love the world.?"
1. Some begin to enjoy nature and the beauty of the earth so much that they no longer worship regularly. I have had people say to me, and you have too, “I worship in God’s temple. After all, He created the earth, and nature and all its beauty so on Sundays, I like to stay outside and worship God from the beauty of His creation.” The problem with that is that they might stay outside and away from church, but they are not worshipping. They forsake God and the study of His Word in order to be out in nature. (Golfing, fishing, hiking, bike riding, camping, etc.)