Do Not Love The World
1 John 2:15-17
February 9, 2020
- This letter was written to the church to call the church to walk in confidence in their salvation, and to examine their hearts in their following of Him.
- What we’re talking about is authentic, tried and tested faith. This morning we’re going to be talking about worldliness.
- The goal of this text is to answer the question: How do we live in this world in a way that honors and reflects our love for our Lord?
- Even believers can slip into patterns of behavior and thought and practice that mimic the values and behavior and practice of the culture around us rather than God’s Kingdom.
- I want you to ask God – “Lord, are there ways that I have slipped into a worldly mindset, a worldly pattern, a worldly passion?” Is there anything that I am pursuing that is displacing you from the first place in my heart?
In these verses, John says basically three things.
I. Do not love the world (verse 15)
- He’s not saying we can’t or shouldn’t enjoy God’s natural creation.
- He’s not saying to withdraw from the world.
- He’s not saying we shouldn’t love the people of the world.
- What does it mean to not love the world? It means to align our hearts and our passions not with the things that the world values, but what God values. And those two are polar opposites – they are incompatible.
- Worldliness is any thought, action or passion that does not align itself with God and His glory. It means a way of thinking and living that excludes God, devalues God, dismisses God or even denies God altogether.
- Not loving the world means that we will not seek self-satisfaction, but satisfaction in God alone.
- This is an imperative – Do Not Love the World.
- Where do we find our deepest joy and satisfaction? Is it in the Lord OR on other things?
- We can’t love the world and love the Father at the same time. The two are mutually exclusive and completely incompatible. If you love the one, you will hate the other. “No man can serve two masters…” Matthew 6:24
- If the love of the Father is in you, then you won’t love the world. If you love the world, then the love of the Father isn’t in you. It would be completely incompatible to love both the world and the Father, since the way of the world and the way of the Father are at total odds. Our affections are either set on this world, or they are set on God. It is simply not possible to truly love them both.
II. The ways of the world are opposed to God (verse 16)
- The lure of sin has never strayed from that deceptive pattern seen in the fall of our first parents, Adam and Eve.
- We can still be seduced into all kinds of worldly temptations.
- What is beneath all those temptations is the allurement of satisfaction. Our souls are constantly craving satisfaction.
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in Thee.” — Augustine of Hippo
- We can be duped in thinking that the things that the world goes after will bring satisfaction
- Sex outside of marriage
- False intimacy
- When sin doesn’t bring satisfaction, we simply try another thing, get another toy, work a little harder at our image, to try and find that satisfaction again.
- We can justify any of these things in our craving for satisfaction, but they simply will not deliver.
III. The world does not satisfy or endure (verse 17)
“And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever (verse 17).”
- John tells us what we already know – SIN DOES NOT SATISFY! It never has, and it never will. The world, it’s desires are a fleeting vapor!
- So the Apostle John appeals to us to not put stock in sin because it won’t last.
- Ex: Moses turning his back on the fleeting pleasures of sin in Egypt.
- Our satisfaction in God’s will endures, forever. We will forever be with the Lord. And being with Him for all eternity, our joy will never end
Application: How do we fight worldliness in our hearts?
A. Turn Your Eyes to Jesus
- There’s no better way to fight against the world and its allurements than to replace an inferior pleasure with a superior pleasure
- Jesus is our reward
- Jesus is our peace
- Jesus is our identity
- Jesus is our satisfaction
B. Draw Near to Jesus
 What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you?  You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.  You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.  You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”?  But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:1–10)
- James tells us to draw near to Christ. Part of drawing near is repentance.
C. Let us help one another
“Exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today’, that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13
- Sin is so deceitful, worldliness is so deceitful, that we can be unaware of it in our lives. That’s why we need to live in fellowship with one another – to help one another – encourage one another – exhort one another.
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, 1 John 2:15-17. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- When the Apostle exhorts believers to not love the world, what does he mean?
- Even though our world is broken, God has still given us many things to enjoy (1 Tim. 6:17). How can we as Christians enjoy the world in a God-pleasing way? Give some examples.
- How do we enjoy the world in a God-glorifying way yet not “love the world” in the sense John speaks of here.
- In what ways can we as American Christians, be particularly vulnerable to love for the world? What worldly values can particularly entice us?
- What worldly values can tempt you personally?
- We can we do, what steps can we take to cultivate a deeper love for the Lord and less of a taste for the world and it’s values, it’s desires?
- Consider taking time to pray that God would help us to cultivate a deeper love for and passion for Him and that he would protect us from embracing the world’s values and desires.