Summary: God warns us the love this world would make us His enemy? Why would He tell us that?
A father told of taking his 5-year-old to Disneyland. It was all the little boy could talk about for weeks and now they finally there and the boy loved the idea that he’d get to see Goofy and Mickey and Minnie and the gang. He was hyped. They parked the car and could see the castle and the rides in the distance. They made their way to the ticket sales and then entered through the gates, into a relatively small area where families could have their pictures taken with all the Disney characters. Then they were going to go into the main park… but the little boy didn’t understand that. He thought that THAT was the park (where they’d met the characters) and when his dad tried to herd him into the park itself, the boy threw an absolute fit. The boy thought that, here they’d just gotten to the wonderful world of Disney and his dad was going to take him home. He fought it… but as his dad brought him around the corner, there was the park with all the rides and the boy's cries to became shrieks of joy.
Think about it: the boy had to leave what he thought was good; to get to what his dad knew was better. (https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?tab=wm#inbox/1377425276943af5)
One of my favorite Gospel songs is this one. Sing the chorus with me:
“This world is not my home, I’m just a passing through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me, from heaven’s open door. And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”
That song declares that this world is just “GOOD”, but heaven is “BETTER.”
Our text today takes it even one step further. I John 2:15 tells us “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
And that’s repeated elsewhere in Scripture: James 4:4 says “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity (hatred) with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
And in Mark 8:36 Jesus says “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Now, there’s a couple of reasons why I think God stresses this so hard. The first is: the things of this world are deceptive. The world offers things that are just GOOD… but they’re not from God. These “good” things can often become substitutes for that which is BETTER.
Notice what it says in I John 2:16 - “All that is in the world — the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life — is not from the Father but is from the world.”
Years ago, I heard a preacher preach on this very passage, and he tied I John 2 to a story out of Old Testament – the story of Adam & Eve. I know you’ve heard it. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth, and He created all the animals/birds/fish of the sea. And then He created man in his image - male & female He created them. And He placed them in a beautiful garden.
And I know the Bible doesn’t say, but I can picture Adam and Eve treating the animals there as if they were their personal pets. I can imagine seeing them scratching the ears of a lion, playing tag with the monkeys, jumping around with the Kangaroos.
And there are many Bible scholars who think that there were occasions where God would come and walk and talk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evenings. And God told Adam “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) They had everything they could possibly want - just not that tree!
But then, one day Satan began whispering in Eve’s ear. “Did God REALLY say ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” And with that… Satan planted a doubt in Eve’s mind. “you shall not surely die!” (he told her) “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:5
Once Satan got Eve to doubt God - to take her eyes off of God - the rest was easy. He got her to thinking “Maybe you’re right. Maybe GOD has deceived me. Maybe God has denied what I’d really want and doesn’t want to have what I REALLY want.”