God calls upon us to be spiritually
minded, to abhor what is evil and to cleave to what is good
(Romans 12:1, 2).
Yet temptations, both brazen and subtle, seek to steal away our hearts
from the beauty and simplicity of divine truth and holy living. It was
love for this present world that caused Demas to forsake the right way
Many professing Christ have been
similarly enticed and enthralled by worldly desires. John gives us five
reasons why it is sheer folly.
``Love not the world, neither the
things that are in the world. If any man love 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 passeth away, and the lust
thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever''
(I John 2:15-17).
alienates himself from God.
``If any man love the world, the
love of the father is not in him.''
It is impossible to love God and the
world at the same time for they are utterly incompatible. Though we have
the capacity to love either, seeing we have the power of choice, there
is no way we can love both. The love of one precludes love of the other.
The language can be even stronger.
When we walk in sin we not only
demonstrate a lack of love for God, but we make ourselves an enemy. Note
in the following passage that God is not set forth as the enemy of the
sinner, but rather the sinner in his own mind is set forth as the enemy
``And you, that were sometime alienated
and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled''
1:21). ``No man can serve two
masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he
will hold to the one, and despise the other''
``For all that is in the world is not
of the Father, but is of the world.''
Everything that is ``of the world'' in
the passage is that which appeals to the baser nature of man. It is
therefore that which is low, selfish, unworthy and vain. All that it
offers can be summarized in the three divinely made points: (1) lust of
the flesh, (2) lust of the eyes, and (3) the pride of life.
By ``lust of the flesh'' we see the
craving desire to indulge in sensuality and pleasure. It is low,
disgraceful living. ``Lust of the eyes'' depicts essentially greed and
covetousness, the eager desire to possess for the sake of possessing.
The ``pride of life'' is the love of status and glory in the eyes of
others. It is concerned with image, not character or usefulness. These
three pictures show not only the vileness of our conduct, but the
corruption of our hearts, when we let sin seize our souls.
``The world passeth away, and
the lust thereof.''
This plainly declares that there is no
lasting gain or advantage in sin. The pleasures of sin, as Moses wisely
discerned, are ``for a season''
But the consequences are
eternal, and they must be forever suffered in hell's agonies. An
eternity lost! And for what? -- a moment's pleasure, a bauble that
glitters, or a puffed-up pride.
There is a better way.
``But he that doeth the will of
God abideth for ever.''
This is the way of nobility and
character. It is attended in life by a peace of mind and renders one
useful to God and man in the highest sense. And seeing that it is God
who made man, and who best knows man, and whose will is set forth as a
guide for man, it naturally and necessarily follows that this is the
only way man can attain a full measure of happiness and hope. Is it not
the height of folly for a man to disdain and reject the privilege and
pleasure of ``walking in the light'' with his God? Righteousness is
infinitely better than a life of sin.
``He that doeth the will of God
abideth for ever.''
What a glorious triumph! This old
earth, and all that pertains to it, is destroyed. The pleasures and lust
of sinful society, ``the world,'' and now without attraction or appeal.
The glitter is gone. But he that did the will of God abides, and his
treasures survive the world, and he himself is clothed with a new body,
like His, ``for we shall see him as he is'' and ``so shall we ever be
with the Lord''
(I John 3:2; I
Wherefore, brethren, love not the
world, but rather love God with all your heart, soul and mind. You will
be glad--both here and hereafter.