“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, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, IS NOT OF THE FATHER, but is of the world” (1 John 2:15-16).
“Loving the world” refers to far more than simply submitting to a few of the “practices” of the world. “Loving the world” refers to living for the “purposes” that are the prevalent and dominate the way of life in this present world; living by the “philosophies” and principles” that run the present world-system; and becoming “passionate” about the same things that stir the “passions” of those who do not know God, rather than being “passionate” about the Person and purpose of Christ in the world!
IN OTHER WORDS, IF WE ARE NOT CAREFUL, WE CAN ALLOW THE WORLD AND THE THINGS THAT ARE IN THE WORLD TO STEAL OUR HEARTS AFFECTION FROM THE ONE WHOM WE OWE OUR LOVE AND DEVOTION TO, EVEN IF WE APPEAR TO BE FAITHFUL AND COMMITTED BELIEVERS [MATTHEW 22:37-39; JEREMIAH 2:13; REVELATION 2:1-5]!
Over 15 years ago, after years of polling and studies, the Barna Research Institute made an amazing claim, stating, that there was very little difference between the Christian and the non-Christian in America. As one man noted:
The problem with America’s Christianity today is that, for the most part, it doesn’t exist! What passes for Christianity is instead an anemic, spineless, diluted substitute without convictions or principle. No wonder so many unbelievers see nothing in the church that would draw them to a life-transforming faith in Christ. No wonder so many political leaders ignore the church. No wonder that despite some 300,000 evangelical churches, scores and hundreds of television and radio ministries, and millions of professing Christians, our nation is still on a collision course with calamity!
No where is this more true than in the area of materialism, consumerism and pleasure seeking!
Unfortunately, whether we want to admit it or not, in far too many cases, even “the best of us” 😁and even in “the best of our churches,” we have been “weighed in the balances, and are found wanting” when it comes to this matter of “loving the world and the things that are in the world.”
“If ye then be risen with Christ, SEEK THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE ABOVE, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on the things on the earth” [Colossians 3:1-2]
It’s a matter of choice. And it’s a choice that we have to make each and every day!