|Three little verses that pack a hefty warning for today: “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|
The way of the world is to reject the Bible, rebel against God, and create our own paradise. The world sets up its own morality (and adjusts as necessary). The world embraces tolerance of others, as long as the others do not show allegiance to the Bible and the One True God.
As when one walks in darkness he cannot be in the light (because he is not in the light), so walking with the world entails not walking with the Father. This is not a “judgmental” statement. It is stating an obvious fact! You are either in a swimming pool or not. You cannot be in a swimming pool and not be in a swimming pool… or can you?
“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” — John 17:14-17
So you may be living in this world, but not showing alegience to its system.
“He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” — Matt 12:30
So, again, it is a simple idea. If you are with Jesus, you are with Him. If you’re not, you’re not. And if you are not, you cannot be for Him but against Him. You can do “good” things, but if they are not directed by the Lord they are all for naught in the big picture.
The word used for “love” here is “agapao” which is a root for “agape”. “Agapao” means to love in a social or moral sense, maybe from the idea of to love much. It’s from a base word to breathe after, dote, to love sensually. There is a lot of loyalty and commitment behind this word. You are either totally convinced that Jesus is God and the Bible is Truth, or not. If not, your loyalties are to the world’s way of thinking. That does not mean every thought and action will be in unity with the rest of the world, that will never happen. But what it does mean is that there is a unity in rejecting the entirety of Jesus Christ. You can take aspects of Jesus’ character and attempt to implement them in your life or society, yet still be separated from Him.
What do the ways of the world look like. John gives us three definitions–lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. David Guzik described these three from Genesis:
i. Of Eve in the Garden of Eden, it is said that she took of the forbidden fruit when she saw that the tree was good for food. She thought about how good the fruit would taste, how it would satisfy her flesh. She went after the lust of the flesh.
ii. Of Eve in the Garden of Eden, it is said that she took of the forbidden fruit when she saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes. She saw how pretty and desirable it was, and it pleased her artistic sense. She went after the lust of the eyes.
iii. Of Eve in the Garden of Eden, it is said that she took of the forbidden fruit when she believed that it was desirable to make one wise. How smart the fruit would make her! How her husband would admire her! She went after the pride of life.
Lust is a longing or desiring for something, especially something forbidden. Pride is a self-confidence or boasting. Watch out for self-esteem!
If the world would last forever, and if one could live forever, then going after the world would be a reasonable option. Especially if we could all band together to make this a wonderful place where everyone has everything they need and want. We wouldn’t have to worry about what God thinks, in fact we would probably impress God with what we could accomplish. Yet, that is a fictitious world.
John emphasizes that the world is “passing away” or departing or to be no more. This physical world will be burned up as well as the spiritual attitudes and the authors of those attitudes. In Revelation 19 & 20 we find the beast, the false prophet, the devil, death (sin), Hades (the place of the dead – those not alive in Jesus), and anyone (else) not written in the Book of Life, where thrown into the lake of fire. It is a fact and will happen.
But he who does the will of the Father lives forever. And what is the will of the Father?
“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” — John 6:39-40
“If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” — Matt 16:24-27