1 John 2:15-17 ESV
“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 desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.”
Do Not Love the World
We are not, as followers of Jesus Christ, to give preference to the things of this world over our love for God and for his word. We are not to take pleasure in, or long for, or esteem this sinful world and all that it has to offer us. We are to love the people of the world as God loves us, but we are not to get caught up in the passions and the desires of this sinful world. And we are not to embrace the character and the thinking and the philosophies of this world and to make them our own. But we are to be different from the world.
For Jesus called us out of the world, and he called us to be his holy people, and to be holy means to be separate (unlike, different) from the world because we are being made into the likeness of Jesus Christ. So we are not to be actively doing what the world does, and what worldly people do, not even what those who profess faith in Jesus Christ are doing if they are living worldly lives. We are not to be immersed in our culture nor to be like the world so that they will accept us and not reject us.
Yet, it is largely indistinguishable these days between the church and the world, for so much of the church has become just like the world in order to attract the world to their gatherings. And many of them have been following after liars and charlatans who are telling them that they need to blend in with their culture, and that they need to not stand out as different. And many of these charlatans are teaching them to not speak the gospel that Jesus taught, not to anyone for it might offend them, but instead they are teaching them to just be “good deed doers.”
And so if you are on the internet, and if you are on social media, in particular, you might notice that not too many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ are actually sharing the gospel of Christ with their friends and family, but rather they are blending in with the world and talking about the same things the people of the world are talking about. Or if they do share what they believe is the gospel, most often it is a diluted and altered gospel that is intended to appease human flesh.
All That is In the World
Now this is not teaching us to not love the people of the world. We are to love the people of the world. And we are not to separate ourselves from the people of the world, for God has called us to go out into the world and to share the gospel and to love the people of the world as he loves us. But what this is teaching is that are not to think, act, speak, and believe the same things that the world does. We are to stand out as different. Our mindset should be that of Christ and not of this world.
Our desires should be God’s desires. They should not be the desires of the flesh anymore. Now this is not speaking of desiring the essentials of life. We can desire to have food in our stomachs and water to drink and a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. But these desires should never supersede our desires for God and for holiness and righteousness. Yet, what this is talking about is not having fleshly appetites for what is sinful. We should not desire what is evil and wicked and hateful and hurtful to others.
We should not be those who are making sin our practice. We should not be engaged in sexual immorality of any kind, not even to lust after someone else. We should not be adulterous people, either in our relationships with God or with our spouses (if we are married). And sensual and sexually seductive songs, stories, movies, videos, books, pictures, jokes, and social media memes, etc., should have no part in our lives. For our minds are to be set on Christ and on his word and not on the sinful pleasures of our flesh.
But this isn’t just about not sinning sexually. We need to have our minds set on God and on things above and not on the things of this earth. We need to have heavenly mindsets and not earthly mindsets. We should have pure minds. Our thoughts should not regularly wander to thoughts which are sinful. We should not desire anything that is regarded as evil or sinful. And our hearts and minds should be cleansed of all that is prideful or hateful or full of lust or bitterness or envy or unforgiveness, etc.
The Love of the Father
Now, this is important that we get what this says here. If our desires and if our mindsets and our thinking and our passions and what we long for and seek after are the desires of the flesh and the lusts of the eyes and the pride of life, the love of God the Father is not in us. For all those things are not from God but from the world. And Paul talked about this in Romans 8 when he said that if our minds are set on the flesh that we will die in our sins. We will not have eternal life with God (see Romans 8:1-14).
So, you can’t just “get saved” and now your sins are forgiven and now heaven is guaranteed you when you die. That is not what the Scriptures teach. We have to read the Scriptures in their context to get what they are saying. We can’t just pull Scriptures out of context and build doctrines of salvation around them. We need to look at the whole of teaching in the New Testament on what constitutes genuine faith in Christ and on what our salvation from sin is really all about, and on what stipulations there are for us with regard to whether or not heaven is our eternal home.
For Jesus said that if anyone would come after him he must deny self and take up his cross daily (daily die to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity, but if for the sake of Jesus we die with Christ to sin that we might live to him and to his righteousness, then we have the hope of eternal life with God. For Jesus also said that not everyone who says to him, “Lord, Lord,” will enter the kingdom of heaven but only the one DOING the will of God the Father in heaven (Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23).
So, please know what the Scriptures teach. Read the New Testament from Matthew to Revelation in context, and then read it again and again, prayerfully, seeking God’s face, and asking him to show you the lies you are believing and to show you the truth of what his word actually teaches, especially as it regards our faith in Jesus, our salvation, and our eternal life with God. For it is not guaranteed us on a one-time profession of faith, but on a lifestyle of walking in that faith in obedience to our Lord, to the end.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
When in The Stillness
An Original Work / September 26, 2011
When in the stillness of this moment,
Speak to me, Lord, I humbly pray.
Be my desire, set me on fire,
Teach me to love always.
Help me to walk in fellowship with You,
Listening to You; sit at Your feet.
Whisper Your words to me,
Oh, how gently, guiding me in Your truth.
While we are waiting for Your blessing,
Lord, in our hearts be King today.
Help us to live for you ev’ry moment,
List’ning to what You say.
May we not stray from your word within us,
Help us obey You, Lord, in all things,
Walking each moment, Lord, in Your presence,
Our offerings to You bring.
Help us to love You, Lord, our master;
Be an example of Your love,
Helping the hurting, lift up the fallen,
Showing them Your great love.
Teach them to love You, follow You always,
Bearing their cross and turning from sin;
Walking in daily fellowship with You,
Making You Lord and King.