Love Not The World

Photo by Benjamin Suter:

1 John 2:15-17 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. 16 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. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Worldly Solutions Will Not Fix Worldly Hearts

So I was reading an article in our local paper “Main Street Maury”, a letter written to the editor entitled “USA 37,000, Japan 101: but it’s not a game” (sic). It was the standard opinion piece where – in comparison to other countries – the gun deaths in the United States are much higher. It was obvious the author had access to the Internet, and knew how to research. The conclusion of the article was, “I know the U.S. will not adopt Japan’s strict standards, but it’s time to consider adopting regulations to lower the number of gun deaths in the U.S.”. The author then quoted Jesus, though he did not give Jesus credit for the quote (which is in Matthew 26:52). Continue quote, “If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword.” Many innocent people are dying because we are living by the sword in America’s obsessive gun culture”. There’s a few things I’d like to note in reference to this article.

First, Jesus not only said If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword, He also said at the conclusion of the Communion, also called “The Lord’s Table”:

Luke 22:35-38 {Jesus} said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. 37 For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors.’ For what is written about me has its fulfillment.” 38 And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords.” And he said to them, “It is enough.

When Jesus said If you live by the sword, you will die by the sword, He was responding to Simon Peter’s rash attack against a Priest of Israel. Jesus did not tell us to use the sword offensively or aggressively. We are not to attack others (though, if part of the military, allowance is made for that in the Scripture). However Jesus never opposed use of the sword defensively, to protect yourself, your family, your community, and your country.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was hated, and lies were told about Him. Though His Judge Pilate could find no sin nor crime in Jesus, He was nonetheless executed. Why? Because the human heart is “desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9-10). Jesus encouraged His disciples to “turn the other cheek” (Matthew 5:38-48), but was not against the defense of life. Life is precious. Every life is precious. God does not expect you to allow the rapist into your home, then look the other way while he molests your loved ones. We who are Christ’s are allowed to defend ourselves and our loved ones.

Secondly, I thought it amusing that the author would compare the U.S. to Japan. In its history Japan has had a long history of weapons bans, going all the way back to 1429 under King Sho Hashi, beginning the first Sho Dynasty. In 1470 the new Sho Dynasty prohibited the carrying of weapons. In 1609, the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan permitted the Satsuma clan to invade the island of Okinawa. The Satsuma samurai renewed the ban on all weapons. As the Japanese were forbidden to carry arms, they developed a fighting system using their farming tools. The martial arts weapons such as the Bo, the Sai, the Kama, Tonfa, or Nunchaku were repurposed from the field to the battlefield. As a young boy I often went to Bruce Lee movies to watch him defeat the enemy with many of these weapons. Japan has less guns because of oppressive laws, but it is no paradise. An article entitled “Despite Japan’s low crime rates, it’s seen a number of mass stabbings in the past decade” cites a killing spree where a 51 year old man kills a 39 year old man, a 12 year old school girl, and injures 15 school children. He carried no guns, but two knives. In 2016, 19 disabled residents were stabbed to death by an employee of that home. The employee said, “It is better that disabled people disappear”. In 2008 a 24 year old man went on a stabbing spree, killing 2 people and injuring 7. That same year a 25 year old man stabbed and killed 7, and injured 10 in a shopping hub of Tokyo. I could go on and on, but I won’t. The data is there.

Until the human heart is changed, no amount of law enforcement is going to lessen our self inflicted hurts. No human law can fix what ails us. We need to get back to the Bible. We need to meet with and surrender ourselves to Christ’s leading. Only through Jesus will our hearts be calmed. Only through faith in Him will we stop tearing one another apart.

Do Not Love The World’s Ways, Dear Christian

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.

When you read this text, your first thought might be, “Isn’t John contradicting what Jesus said in John 3:16?” You know the text:

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Word Study: The Greek word for world is kosmos, which can simply refer to humanity as God’s creation, or it can refer to a godless mindset. When God created the world, the kosmos, He created Adam and Eve distinctly separate from the animals around them. God created Adam and Eve as His representatives on the earth. The Bible says:

Genesis 1:26-30 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.”

God made Adam and Eve to have dominion over the earth and all that is in it. They were to oversee the planet as stewards of God. In their stewardship they were to Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion. They were to build the family of humanity, and to oversee all things, maintaining order in the Name of God. But they didn’t do that. What did Adam and Eve do? Well, in particular, what did ADAM do?

Adam became WORLDLY.
He stopped working for God.
He chose another employer – Satan.

The WORLDLY mindset is incompatible with a child of God. The Lord Jesus Christ – Eternal God the Son become the Only Begotten of the Father – was tempted just as Adam was tempted. The Bible tells us that while the Son of God was in the wilderness,

Matthew 4:8-9 (ESV) … the devil took {Jesus} to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

The devil was not lying to Jesus. The devil is called the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), and he blinds the minds of unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, the image of God. Satan as a serpent tried this with Adam and was successful. Adam allowed himself to become worldly in his thought process. Instead of referring to God and his Word, Adam used human resources and human reason to seek joy.

Adam lost – and we suffer because of it.
But Jesus wasn’t having any of it.

Jesus told the devil, Go away Satan! The Bible says, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him ONLY shall you serve.” (author’s paraphrase). This is what a child of God should do.

If God’s Word does not support what is being said, then we need to reject the word we are hearing as inferior, a word from Satan and not God.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.

We as Christians SHOULD love people – but we must not love the evil that people do. You can love someone, and yet hate their action … especially if their action is destructive and ungodly. Jesus told us:

Matthew 5:43-48 You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

We as believers are to love those around us – to DO GOOD toward them even if they do bad toward us. But this does not mean that we worship their gods and goddesses. This does not mean that we turn away from the Word of God for the highly inferior word of man. You are called as sons and daughters of God to uphold the truth of God’s Word.

We are to please God, not man. The Apostle Paul said:

Galatians 1:10 (ESV) For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.

It is not the Christian’s duty to please others. It is the Christian’s duty to please God, and to share the Gospel of salvation. The Apostle said in another place:

1 Thessalonians 2:4 (ESV) … just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not to please man, but to please God who tests our hearts.

We cannot save the world by pleasing the world. We cannot reach the world by being like the world. We are to be like Jesus. We are to uphold the Word of God, for it is the Word of God that upholds us. The Apostle warns the Church:

1 John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

Sherry and I have been working with little children at Riverside School. Just this past Thursday Sherry was working with a little girl, helping her with her homework. The little girl had it wrong – and wouldn’t listen to Sherry. She just KNEW that she was right … and she wasn’t. But as long as she was CERTAIN her wrong answer was right, she would never get straight.

There are many antichrists in the world, people whose sole function is to draw people away from God and into hell. I watched a priest the other day, wearing a “stole” with rainbow colors on it, as he preached the way of godlessness. This so called priest said, in effect,

God is gay. God is a lesbian.
God is trans. God is gender non-binary.
God is straight. God is Cisgender.
God is you, and you are God.”

This is utter nonsense, divorced from both Scripture and the Gospel. It is certain that God can understand where you are in life. But God does not endorse human philosophies – no matter how sincere you may be – so that you not be offended. God has a standard, and that standard is clearly presented in the Scripture. “God so loved the world that He gave His Only Begotten Son”. Why was Jesus “given”? He was “given” to pay the penalty for our sins.

Jesus did not come to enable our sins – but He came to save us from our sins. Sin is barrier between us and God. We are to walk in love with God and with one another. We are not to walk in sin.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (ESV) For our sake {God} made {Jesus} to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

We are not to walk in sin, but are to repent of sin and walk with Jesus. The other day I had an appointment to meet with the Principal at Riverside. Being escorted into his office, we talked for about 30 minutes before I had to go. I got up, opened the door to go out, and stepped right into the mop closet. As soon as I did, I immediately backed out – amusing the Principal – and went out the right door. This is an illustration of sin. I was sincere when I stepped into the mop closet. I was certain I was on the right path when I stepped into the mop closet. But I was wrong. I could have stubbornly insisted I was in the right place, and invite everybody else into the closet with me. Or I could REPENT, back out of the weird place, and go toward the light. The Apostle said:

1 Peter 2:24 (ESV) {Jesus} Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.

And again, Romans 6:1-2, 6 (ESV) What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

The intent of the Cross of Christ is not just to GIVE LIFE, but to KILL DEATH. The Cross does not just COVER sin, it CHANGES the person. If you are comfortable in sin, you are not saved!

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

There were many in the first century Church that professed Christ as Savior, but were not saved. In fact, there were many who followed Jesus, but who abandoned Him when His teaching became hard. In John chapter 6 Jesus fed over 5000 people with five barley loaves and two fish, a child’s lunch. After this, Jesus went to Capernaum to preach. The crowd followed Jesus – not because they wanted Jesus, but because they wanted their bellies filled. Jesus told them:

John 6:26-27 (ESV) “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

The people then asked Jesus, What must we do to work the works of God?” Jesus told them,

John 6:29 (ESV) “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

Jesus told them that He was the Manna from Heaven, the Bread of Life. Jesus said, everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day” (John 6:40). Jesus went on to explain that faith in Him is MORE THAN JUST WORDS. Jesus said,

John 6:51 (ESV) I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.

What was Jesus saying? He was saying that saving faith is totally dependent on Jesus. The person saved receives Jesus, breathes in Jesus, puts his everything into Jesus. If you are saved, you are saved to be just like Jesus on this earth. Jesus even got more radical:

John 6:53-57 (ESV) Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me.

Faith is feeding on Jesus. It is coming to Jesus hungry – and finding your hunger satisfied in Him. It is coming to Jesus thirsty – and finding your thirst satisfied in Him. That crowd of people thinned out that day. The Bible says,

John 6:66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.

There were many who followed Jesus, and yet they were never born again. Those who were born again decided they would continue following Jesus – even if the whole world abandoned Him. Jesus has the words of truth!

Christians Are Called To Obedience

1 John 2:16-17 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. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Though salvation is a free gift from God, the PROOF of salvation is that we DO the WILL OF GOD.

You cannot be blessed in this life if you do not obey God. Before Israel went into the Promised Land, God told them:

Deuteronomy 11:26-28 “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27 the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today, 28 and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way that I am commanding you today, to go after other gods that you have not known.

God will not bless His people if we go to those “other gods. We are expected to live FOR and WITH God once we have been saved. God tells us:

2 Corinthians 6:16-18 (ESV) God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

The things of this world are but temporary. God’s Kingdom is eternal. Let us live for Him, and in Him. Let us by our lives glorify Jesus Christ our Savior. Let us follow the leadership of our Lord. We will end with these words:

1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

As believers together, we are to DO the right thing. The Gospel saves from the inside out. If you belong to Jesus, you are called to act like Jesus. If you belong to Him, you will live your lives so as to please Him in all you say and do. May God the Holy Spirit drive this truth deeply into our hearts. Amen and amen.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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