Thoughts from The Bible

1 John 2:15-17
by Cody Anderson Corinth Missionary Baptist Church

Read 1 John 2:15-17. Let me start by saying that if you are having doubts about your salvation, this passage provides a good test. Paul says in Philippians 2:12 that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Then he goes on to give some tests of your salvation. Here, we see the Apostle John doing the same thing.

Previously, John talked about loving our brother and walking in the light. We do that not by having some emotion, but by having the right attitude and actions towards them. Now he continues the command with the negative – what not to do. When John says not to love the world or the things in the world, he isn’t trying to elicit an emotion of hate, but to change how you think and act towards the world. Let’s define what he means by “world” and how we will reference it. The term “world” is not referring to Earth; it is the whole system of rebellion. It has encompassed all areas of life and is our very nature. The world is the lust of the eyes which are brought on by visual representation. It is also the pride of life which is displayed by boastful arrogance in selfish achievements and possessions. Both of these contribute to the lust of the flesh. You might recognize these are the same sins Satan used, and was successful in using, against Eve. The sad part is, he still deceives us with the same old tactics today.

As enticing as this way of life is, it is transient and ultimately futile in the grand scheme of life. What promises an easy life and pleasure only leads to difficulties and destruction. The allusion will fade away, bringing about death of those who pursue them. This world promises man great joy, but the world always backs out when it comes to its time to pay up. If the world doesn’t destroy you in this life, your eternal life is doom.

As with Adam and Eve, the world brought about shame and separation from God. This is still true today. The world is enticing, and those who follow the world do not share an intimate fellowship with God. We can only serve one master, the world or God.

As born-again believers, we are to grow to hate this old worldly nature. The more we hate the world and things of the world, the more the love of God grows in us. As John stated previously, there is no way to love the darkness and light simultaneously. You will love one and hate the other. There is no straddling the fence when it comes to loving God or the world. Joshua 24:15 says, “And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD,” (ESV). There is a distinct line drawn in the sand. When the follower of Christ crosses back over it to the worldly side, shame and repentance will follow.

John does not leave us without hope. He writes that those who do God’s will abide forever. The world brings about separation, but following the will of God brings about unification. The world physically and spiritually speaking will pass away. God will never pass away. He will bring about a new heaven and a new earth. Those who have received the gift of salvation will be pursing the will of God and abide with God now and in the new heaven and new earth for all eternity. As followers of Christ, we are to be diligent to do the will of the Father and put to death worldly desires.

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