Summary: 1) The Command not to love the world (1 John 2:15a), and 2) Reasons believers are not to love the world (1 John 2:15b–17).

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A suicide bomber slaughtered 72 people and wounded more than 200 in a park in Lahore Pakistan last Sunday. Immediately after Sunday’s attack, thousands of Islamists marched from Rawalpindi to nearby Islamabad, commemorating what they regard as Qadri’s martyrdom. Pakistan’s prime minister on Monday vowed to eliminate perpetrators of terror attacks. Yet, the government has been sending mixed signals to Islamic extremists – on the one hand allowing banned radical groups to operate unhindered under new names and radical leaders to openly give inciting speeches, while on the other hanging convicts like Qadri and promising to tackle honor killings and attacks against women. (

In the wake of continued terrorist attacks there have been some fundamental questions as to how to deal with ideologies that oppose Christianity. Many have stated the fact that there are conflicting worldviews of two opposing kingdoms. Put another way, the kingdom of the world and the kingdom of God are inherently incompatible (cf. 4:5–6; 5:4–5; John 15:19; Gal. 6:14). The two are mutually exclusive and opposed to one another. They are antithetical, and cannot peacefully coexist. True Christians therefore will not be characterized by a habitual love for the world, nor will worldly people demonstrate a genuine affection for the gospel and its Lord (John 3:20; Acts 7:51; 13:8–10; 17:5, 13; Rom. 8:7; Col. 1:21; 1 Thess. 2:14–16). Clearly, there is an unmistakable line of demarcation between the things of God and the things of the world. The ongoing moral and ethical deterioration of contemporary culture makes this obvious. Even brief consideration provides a lengthy list of cultural agendas that are aggressively hostile to biblical Christianity: an attack on the traditional family by feminism; an active promotion of sexual promiscuity and homosexuality; an increasing acceptance of violence; an emphasis on materialism and hedonism by the secular media; a steady decline in standards of personal integrity and business ethics; an undermining of right and wrong by postmodern relativism; and so on.

The perfect love of God is a theme that runs throughout Scripture (Deut. 7:7–8; 10:15; Pss. 25:6; 26:3; 36:7, 10; 40:11; 63:3; 69:16; 92:2; 103:4; 119:88; 138:2; 143:8; Isa. 63:7; Jer. 31:3; Hos. 2:19; Zeph. 3:17) and appears with particular emphasis in the New Testament (Rom. 5:5, 8; 8:39; 2 Cor. 13:11; Eph. 2:4–5; 2 Thess. 2:16; Titus 3:4; Jude 21), especially in this epistle (2:5; 3:1; 4:7–21) and elsewhere in John’s writings (John 3:16; 5:42; 11:5, 36; 13:1–2; 14:21, 23; 15:9–10, 12; 16:27; 17:23–24; 19:26; cf. 2 John 3, 6). Yet because God loves perfectly, He also hates perfectly. As the Holy One (cf. 2 Kings 19:22; Ps. 71:22; Prov. 30:3; Isa. 1:4; 40:25), He loves all that is righteous, holy, and in line with His will and glorious purpose (cf. Ex. 15:11; 1 Sam. 2:2; Pss. 22:3; 47:8; 99:3, 5; 145:17; Isa. 6:3; 57:15; Rev. 4:8; 15:4). What this means, of course, is that He simultaneously hates whatever threatens or opposes those things (Deut. 29:20, 27–28; 32:19–22; Pss. 2:2–5; 7:11; 21:8–9; Nah. 1:2–3; Zeph. 1:14–18; Rom. 1:18; Col. 3:6; Rev. 11:18; cf. Matt. 13:41; 25:41; 1 Cor. 6:9–10; 2 Thess. 1:8; Rev. 21:27). The absolutely perfect love of God likewise demands that those who love Him share His hatred of all that is opposed to Him.

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