Love not the World
1 Jn. 2:15-17
It feels good to be in love and to know that somebody loves you. God is love and He loves us with
everlasting love. God’s love knows no limit and in return, we must love Him also with all our hearts,
minds, souls and spirit. He taught us to love our neighbours too, even our enemies, something that
that is not mentioned in the OT. Our text today is teaching us something not to love, the world.
I. The world
A. Four basic meaning in the Bible.
1. It is used to speak of nature, of the earth and all things therein-man and animals,
land and sea (Acts 17:24).
2. It is used to refer to civilizations and societies. It was this world which Satan
offered to Jesus (Mt 4:8). This is the world which hates Christians (Jn. 15:18-19),
which is to hear the Gospel (Mk. 16:15), and into which false teachers are
entered (2 Jn. 1:13).
3. World is used to refer to the men who live on the earth. This is the meaning of
the term “world” in Joh 3:16 which says God so loved the world and gave His
only begotten Son to die for it. It is not man’s wicked societies and inventions
that God loves, but man himself.
4. World is used to refer to the wicked things men do (1 Jn. 2:15-17). This is the
one which John is warning us.
B. The world which John says that we must not love
1. Here it is the Godless world system or society civilized and organized and in
opposition to the authority of God. It is also called the present evil age.
2. In Gal. 1:4, Satan is its wicked head and its ruler. (Jn. 14:30, 16:11)
3. It includes the world of culture, of music, of arts, of politics, of education,
science, sports, business, entertainment which includes the movies and the
television industry, and even the world of religion.
4. It includes any area of life where the true God and His Word are not welcomed
C. The command
1. Love not the world. This is very short, very clear and urgent command.
D. The reason why
1. It is directly opposed to God. It is as opposite to Him as darkness is to light (Jas.
4:4, Mat. 6:24).
2. The characteristic of the world system is greed, deceit, hatred, pride, selfpleasing.
3. This world system is evil, we see this in the impurity of hearts, minds, morals,
even the air and water around us (2 Pet. 2:17-20)
4. Satan uses it to tempt the believer away from God.
5. The love of the Father is not in him – The love of God and the love of earthly
things are incompatible. If you give place to the love of the world, the love of
God cannot dwell in you; and if you have not his love, you can have no peace, no
holiness, no heaven.
Illustration: The Crane and the Swan
An old fable tells about a crane that was wading in a stream looking for snails when a beautiful swan
landed nearby. The crane had never seen a swan before, so he asked, “What are you?” “I’m a swan,”
came the reply. “And where did you come from?” the crane inquired. “Heaven,” the swan answered.
“What is that?” asked the crane. The swan eagerly began to explain its beauty and glory. He spoke of
the new Jerusalem, the city of pure gold with a jasper wall and pearly gates. He described its “pure
river of water of life, clear as crystal.” At that point the crane interrupted, “Tell me, are there any
snails in heaven?” “No, I’m afraid not,” the swan said. “Then I don’t care to go there,” the crane
stated decisively. “I like snails!”
Can you see how some people are like that crane? They are so enamored by earthly possessions that
they fail to appreciate the eternal riches of Christ and all He has to offer. Like the rich young ruler in
Mark 10, they foolishly choose the things of earth instead of the wonderful realities of heaven.
Our Daily Bread, March 18
II. World system.
A. These are the three infernal foes of the Christian life.
1. The lust of the flesh is the craving to do something contrary to God’s will.
a. This term refers to uncontrolled desires of the flesh (Gal. 5:19-21, Eph. 2:3;
2 Peter 2:18; Col. 2:18.)
b. These desires can be expressed both:
1) Sexually (all kinds of sexual sins like fornication, adultery, sodomy, etc.)
2) Socially (envy, hatred, jealousies, drunkenness, etc.)
2. The lust of the eyes is the desire to possess something apart from God’s will.
a. This refers to the unlawful longing for things which our naked eyes can see
b. It can be expressed as: “covetousness”
c. In simple term, “materialism”.
3. The pride of life is the desire to be something contrary to God’s will.
a. Pride is the inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one’s own
superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, accomplishments, rank or elevation in
office, which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in
contempt of others; insolence; rude treatment of others; loftiness;
b. One of the chief traits of the world which the Christian is to refuse to love is
“the pride of life” (1 Jn. 2:15-17).
Illustration 1: Worldliness
The Bible defines worldliness by centering morality where we intuitively know it should be.
Worldliness is the lust of the flesh (a passion for sensual satisfaction), the lust of the eyes (an
inordinate desire for the finer things of life), and the pride of life (self-satisfaction in who we are,
what we have, and what we have done).
Worldliness, then, is a preoccupation with ease and affluence. It elevates creature comfort to the
point of idolatry; large salaries and comfortable life-styles become necessities of life. Worldliness is
reading magazines about people who live hedonistic lives and spend too much money on themselves
and wanting to be like them. But more importantly, worldliness is simply pride and selfishness in
disguises. It’s being resentful when someone snubs us or patronizes us or shows off. It means
smarting under every slight, challenging every word spoken against us, cringing when another is
preferred before us. Worldliness is harboring grudges, nursing grievance, and wallowing in self-pity.
These are the ways in which we are most like the world.
Dave Roper, The Strength of a Man, quoted in Family Survival in the American Jungle, Steve Farrar,
1991, Multnomah Press, p. 68
III. The world will pass away
A. The whole world and everything in it will soon come to an end
1. It will all perish and will totally disappear (1 Cor. 7:31, 2 Cor. 4:18)
2. Worldliness is the love for things which are passing away.
3. Like children playing with soap bubbles, it is gone as soon as they take hold on
one of them.
B. In contrast, he that doeth the will of God abideth forever
1. God and His Word will never change (Ps. 119:89, Jas. 1:17, Matt. 24:35)
2. The normal activity of the Christian must do God’s will all the time.
3. True believers, whose physical bodies are getting older and slowly decaying, but
do the will of God will receive new bodies when Christ returns (Phil. 3:20, 21,
Rev. 21:4, 22:3-5)
IV. The Christian’s place in the world
A. The Scriptural way (From the Book of 750 Bible and Gospel Studies)
1. Sent into the world. John 17:18; 20:21
2. Preaching to the world Mark. 16:15
3. The light of the world. Phil. 2:15; Matt. 5:14
4. Live godly in the world. Titus 2:12
5. Not conformed to the world. Rom. 12:2; John 17:15
6. Love not the world. 1 John 2:16; 2 Tim. 4:10
7. Passing through the world. 1 Peter 2:11
8. No friendship with the world. James 1:27; 4:4
9. As a saint, in separation from it. John 17:16
10. As a subject, in subjection to it. Rom. 13:1
11. As a servant, in service toward it. John 20:21
We are in this world but we are not of the world. We always have a choice. The Lord
Jesus Christ did not make us a robot. Which one will you love? God or the things of this