Intimacy with God can be hard to grasp. While we strive to have a personal connection with God, it often seems like a one-sided relationship. One reason for this is that too many Christians have developed a great love of this world and forgot about the world to come.
1 John was written to Christians. This book doesn’t tell sinners how to get saved, it tells believers how to have an intimate relationship with God. 1 John 2:15 – Do not love the world: What does it mean to love the world? The Greek word for world is “Kosmos” meaning earth. But in this text its the “spiritual Kosmos,” not the physical earth. The world can be defined as that system headed by Satan that leaves God out.
1 John 5:19 – We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.
So the reason that God doesn’t want us to love the world is that His enemy runs it! God doesn’t want us to love something or someone that doesn’t love Him. The world relates to a central theme surrounded by a spoken world of finance including banks, credit unions, savings accounts, money in our pockets, including the Treasury of the United States because all of those things have one thing in common – money.
So when God talks about “Loving the world,” He’s only talking about one thing but it has different “spokes” coming at it and that one thing is that “It leaves God out!” It’s an organized, preplanned system that wants to draw us out from the will and the way of God and that’s “Worldliness.”
It’s Satan’s desire to get believers to fall in love with a fallen world. 1 John 2:15 – 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.
John 17:15 – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.”
We can be in the world and benefit from it, but we are not to “love it.” That is when we are faced with a decision between God and this worlds’ order, the question is, “Who do you love?” That answer will be reflected in the choice that is made.
The enemies goal is to get us to conform to this world and the things in it: Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
To love this world is to seek it over and against God’s will. Don’t leave God out when faced with a decision. Why? Because we need to know who our Father is and only want Him!
One of the biggest reasons many Christians never experience the presence of God is because they want to also hold onto the world. They demonstrate this when they make decisions and leave God out of the equation. They make up their minds to do it their own way and basically tell God that He’s not part of this one!
Look what the Bible says about being friends with the world: James 4:4 – Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
Friendship with the world puts us in conflict with God. Today in the Christian life, we battle with this thing called “worldliness.” We want the world and the people in it to accept us, and embrace us. But Jesus made it clear: John 15:18, 19 – “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. (Verse 19) “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Can you not see this in the laws that try to keep Christians from praying in public places and the laws that make it legal to kill innocent babies in the womb? The world doesn’t want prayer in “Jesus name” being said at any public gathering. Christians are mocked and hated just as in Jesus’ day.
In 1 John 2, verse 15, John is not talking about having the things of the world, but loving the things of the world. And then John gives us three reasons why we don’t choose the world over God.
1 John 2:16 – 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. John was saying that everything in the world falls into one of these three categories.
Lust of the flesh: Lust means to crave, desire, the craving for pleasure outside of the will of God. Either because the thing in itself is wrong or the thing is right but it’s used in an illegitimate way. For instance: Drinking wine is not a sin but “drunkenness” is evil! Sex is not wrong but outside of marriage between a male and a female is sin!
Lust of the eyes: That is the illegitimate desire for possessions. This is the craving for “stuff!” People will drown in debt because they had to have it! Many can’t honor God with their finances because they have to honor Visa and Mastercard first.
The pride of life: This is the illegitimate pursuit of “position.” People scheme to get ahead, lie and cheat to be promoted. Hooking up with people that can advance them even though their value systems don’t agree with the Christian values. Compromising priorities and morals. This is the boastful pride of life. The desire to advance independently of God even if it is not God’s will. Unwilling to submit under God’s hand.
This was the temptation Satan presented to Eve – I can be as smart as God! Satan uses the things of this world to get our attention off the things of God. So how do we know that we are loving it? We love it when it trumps God! When we want the thing more than we want God.
However, God gives us all things to enjoy: 1 Timothy 6:17 – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. The things that God gives us are to enjoy not replace Him.
1 John 2:17 – And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. This world and the things in it are temporary! Things rust and corrode that are in this world, but the love of the Father never fades!
Don’t love the wrong world. This world is passing away but this world is not our home. Have the right perspective of our true home – heaven.