Summary: You CAN NOT LOVE THE WORLD AND LOVE GOD AT THE SAME TIME
Our relationship with God is the most important and critical relationship we can have in this life. It has no expiry date. Yet, you cannot take it for granted as if you will live for a million years. Like our other relationships, our relationship with God is a matter of personal choice. You’re probably familiar with the story of the moth. The story goes like this:
Once there was a moth who was fond of the light. It would always go to bright places that attracted him. One night, it was with its mom. They came across a candlelight. The moth, drawn to the flame of the candle, approached it. It was so amazed, it circled the light round and round. Its mother, upon seeing him circling the candlelight, warned him. "Don't go playing near the candlelight. You might get burned with its flame." But the moth did not listen. It was happy seeing the brightness of the flame. It wanted to touch the flame, so it kept going nearer and nearer to it. Then the moth got burned. It suddenly hit the flame. It vanished. Totally disappeared
We can pull out several lessons from the story. But the most practical one is “don’t go near to anything that can eventually burn your wings and cut your life short.”
Our Scripture is 1 John 2:15-17. And the title of this message is “Do Not Love the World.”
Our Scripture is 1 John 2:15-17, and the title of this message is “Love not the world.”
Do Not Love the World (NKJV)
15 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. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 17 And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
EASY-TO-READ VERSION - 15 Don’t love this evil world or the things in it. If you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 This is all there is in the world: wanting to please our sinful selves, wanting the sinful things we see, and being too proud of what we have. But none of these comes from the Father. They come from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and all the things that people want in the world are passing away. But whoever does what God wants will live forever.
I want you to understand that this Scripture is not to the faint-hearted in the faith. Nor is it to the unbelievers who are yet to learn and experience the magnitude of God's redeeming grace upon them. Instead, these words are for the house of God. It is for those who asked Jesus to be their Lord and Saviour and believes that they walk in communion with God. These words are for Christians who committed to follow Christ through water baptism and participate in the Holy Eucharist at every opportunity. The Apostle John in C2 vs. 12-14 “children in the faith.”
The purpose is to warn, correct, and rebuke those Christians who are playing with fire in a spiritual sense. Christians who are tiptoeing one foot in the world while trying to live a redeemed life in Christ. The purpose is to challenge the born-again believers to abandon worldliness.
The Lord is bringing forth a new thing, but for that to happen, something in us must die! Worldliness must die, and “Word-liness” must become the norm of our lives. Salvation is both a one-time event and a progressive journey to a spiritual formation that brings us in conformity to His Son’s image. This happens when we continue to let the Word of God penetrate our hearts and to saturate all areas of our lives by the lordship of Jesus Christ.
II. There are 3 important lessons that we can learn from our text this morning.
1. COMPETITION - John notes that our love for the world competes against our love for the Lord.
2. DANGER- John points out the danger of loving the world over loving God.
3. CONSEQUENCE - ONE CAN NOT LOVE THE WORLD AND LOVE GOD AT THE SAME TIME without consequences.
2:15) “Do not love the world or the things in the world” - The word “world” here as used by John does not refer to God’s creation which He declared good and reveals His almightiness and glory. It does not refer to the people in the world whom God loved so much “that He gave His only Son (3:16). The use of the word “world” here refers to the things that can mess up people. It refers to the realm of Satan's influence; the system made up of those who hate God and his will. It points to the sinful elements in humans that are in constant competition to our love and devotion to God. John was talking about people’s attitudes and values, purposes, pursuits, pleasures, and places where God is not invited nor desired. The “world” refers to those practices that disregard God or are blatantly against God.