Love Not the World

By: William MacDonald

 

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 John 2:15

The world is presented in the New Testament as a kingdom that is opposed to God. Satan is its ruler, and all nonbelievers are subjects. This kingdom makes its appeal to man through the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. It is a society in which man tries to make himself happy without God, and in which the name of Christ is unwelcome. Dr. Gleason L. Archer Jr. says that the world is “the organized system of rebellion, self-seeking and enmity toward God which characterizes the human race in opposition to God.”

The world has its own amusements, politics, art, music, religion, thought-patterns and life-style. It seeks to force everyone to conform and hates those who refuse. This explains its hatred of the Lord Jesus.

Christ died to deliver us from the world. Now the world is crucified to us and we to it. It is positive treason for believers to love the world in any of its forms. In fact, the Apostle John says that those who love the world are the enemies of God.

Believers are not of the world, but they are sent into it to testify against it, to denounce its works as evil, and to preach salvation from it through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christians are called to walk in separation from the world. In the past, this may have been too narrowly limited to dancing, theaters, smoking, drinking, card playing and gambling. But it includes much more. Much of what comes over the TV is worldly, appealing to the lust of the eyes and the lust of the flesh. Pride is worldly, whether it be pride of titles, degrees, salary, heritage or a big name. Luxurious living is worldly, whether palatial homes, gourmet foods, attention-getting clothing and jewelry or prestige cars. So is a life of ease and pleasure, spent largely on travel cruises, shopping sprees, sports and recreation. Our ambitions for ourselves and for our children may be worldly, even while we appear to be spiritual and pious. Finally, sex outside of marriage is a form of worldliness.

The more devoted we are to the Savior and the more sold-out we are to Him, the less time we will have for worldly pleasures and amusements. C. Stacey Woods said, “The measure of our devotion to Christ is the measure of our separation from the world.”

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