Love: Do Not Love the World?
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. 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. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17 New King James Version (NKJV) As we love God and our fellow man, we are not called to love the world. This is a fallen world, full of trouble and deceit for it is ruled by the enemy of our souls whose primary ambition is to keep us down with him. Satan is very real and relentless in his pursuit of destroying our faith in God's promises of eternal life in His Kingdom. Jesus came to lift us up and draw us to Him by defeating this foe. In case it goes unnoticed, there is a spiritual war going on. Following Christ, we follow the winner. Love for the world, and all the bells and whistles sent to entice us, may not seem to be a bad thing, but more often than not, it may also secure our destruction. This kind of love creates idolatry, discontentment and division. The more we receive from the world, the more we lust for it. As we follow Christ, we recognize that all of our needs and even those things we desire, that line up with God's will, are provided. We are keeping that first commandment to love God by pleasing Him. We are keeping that second commandment to love others which pleases Him too. Those who have much may seem blessed and fortunate to have more than they could possibly need to those who don't. But is God pleased with their benevolence? Are these "blessings" from God or from the ruler of this world who demands our souls in exchange? It's not bad to be rich. Our Heavenly Father is rich and the Giver of every good and perfect gift. What can go wrong when we start loving "things of this world" is we forget that God is the rightful owner of everything in this world and He has commanded us to love Him and each other above all else. So, don't love the world and all its trappings. Love the people in it because we're all in it together. “For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:36-37 NASB “Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” John 12:31-32 ESV