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                      "THE FIRST EPISTLE OF JOHN"

                     Love Not The World! (2:15-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. We have seen that fellowship with God requires that there is no room
   for hatred in our heart toward our brother:

   "He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in
   darkness until now."  (1Jn 2:9)

2. But there is one sense in which we are not to have love at all!

   "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves
   the world, the love of the Father is not in him."  (1Jn 2:15)

3. A very simple imperative is therefore given to us:  "Love not the 
   world..."
   a. But do we understand the meaning of this command?
   b. Do we appreciate the importance of this command?

4. In this study, I hope to...
   a. Shed some LIGHT on what John is saying
   b. Provide some MOTIVATION to seriously heed what he commands in 
      this passage

[Let's begin by answering the question "Why should Christians not love 
the world?"]

I. BECAUSE OF WHAT THE WORLD IS (15a,16)

   A. THE "WORLD" IN THIS PASSAGE...
      1. It is NOT the "physical world"
         a. I.e., God's creation - Gen 1:1
         b. For it is "very good" - Gen 1:31
      2. It is NOT the "human world"
         a. I.e., mankind
         b. Indeed, God Himself loves the world of men - Jn 3:16
      3. RATHER, it is the world of "sin", the world of "evil"!
         a. I.e., the "sphere" in which sin, evil, and Satan dominates
         b. Just as the phrase "the world of sports" describes the 
            domain in which sports dominates, so this "world" is one in
            which sin dominates

   B. THREE THINGS IN PARTICULAR MAKE UP THIS "WORLD"...
      1. "The lust of the flesh"
         a. This phrase refers to unbridled desires of the flesh - cf. 
            Ga 5:19-21
         b. Note that these desire can be expressed both:
            1) Sexually (fornication, adultery, licentiousness)
            2) Socially (hatred, contentions, jealousies)
      2. "The lust of the eyes"
         a. This refers to the unlawful longing for things which we can
            see
         b. It can be summed up in one word:  "covetousness"
         c. A modern day expression could be "materialism"
         d. How serious is this?  Consider Ep 5:5-7; Col 3:5-7
      3. "The pride of life"
         a. This would include pride based upon such things as:
            1) Age
            2) Experience
            3) Ancestry
            4) Past accomplishments
            5) Money, position, power
         b. The folly of trusting in such things is seen in 1Co 1:
            26-31

   C. A FEW PASSING OBSERVATIONS...
      1. Each of these three things often strike harder at different 
         times in our life:
         a. The YOUNG are most often affected by the "lust of the 
            flesh"
         b. The MIDDLE-AGED are usually afflicted by the "lust of the 
            eyes"
         c. The AGED are likely to be plagued with the "pride of life"
      2. There seems to be a tendency to consider one more serious than
         the others
         a. We seem more concerned about sins involving the "lust of 
            the flesh" than sins in the other categories
            1) E.g., which is worse, fornication or covetousness?
            2) E.g., which do we consider more serious, adultery or 
               jealousy?
         b. If we are not careful...
            1) While fighting strong against immorality...
            2) ...materialism and pride may "sneak in" the back door!

[Whether it be immorality, materialism or pride, it is still part of 
the "world" we are not to love!

But why?  We have noticed other passages which say why we shouldn't 
(cf. Ga 5:19-21), but in our text John gives another reason...]

II. BECAUSE OF WHAT LOVING THE "WORLD" DOES (15b)

   A. IT MAKES IT IMPOSSIBLE TO LOVE THE FATHER...
      1. "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in 
         him."
         a. I understand "the love of the Father" means "love for the 
            Father"
         b. Instead of "the Father's love for us", for He loves us even
            as sinners - Ro 5:8
      2. John is not the only person to say that if we love the world,
         we cannot love God:
         a. James taught that "friendship with the world is enmity with
            God" - Jm 4:4
         b. Jesus said that we cannot serve two masters - Mt 6:24
      3. Our sinful pride may rebel against this thought, but we simply
         are not able to love the world and God at the same time!

   B. TO SEE WHY, LET'S DEFINE "THE LOVE OF THE FATHER"...
      1. What does it really mean for me to love the Father?
      2. According to John, it means that I keep His commandments - cf.
         1Jn 5:3
      3. To this Jesus agrees - Jn 14:15,21; 15:10

   C. IF WE LOVE THE WORLD, WE CAN'T KEEP GOD'S COMMANDMENTS!
      1. E.g., if you are driven by "the lust of the flesh"...
         a. To commit fornication, adultery, etc.
         b. Then you can't keep God's command not to defraud your 
            brother - cf. 1Th 4:3-6
      2. E.g., if you are overcome by "lust of the eyes"...
         a. So that you always want more, and to hold on to what you 
            have
         b. Then you won't keep God's command to help the needy - cf. 
            1Jn 3:16-17
      3. E.g., if you are filled with "the pride of life"...
         a. So that you consider yourself more important than others
         b. You will not be able to keep the command to imitate Christ
            - cf. Php 2:3-5

[So it is impossible to faithfully serve God and Jesus, thereby showing
our love for them, if we allow ourselves to "love the world"!  But John
gives us another reason why we should not "love the world"...]

III. BECAUSE OF WHERE THE "WORLD" IS GOING (17)
             
   A. "THE WORLD IS PASSING AWAY"
      1. This is true in regards to our individual lives - cf. 1Pe 1:
         24; Jm 4:13-14
      2. It is also true concerning everything that we leave behind - 
         cf. 2Pe 3:10

   B. IN CONTRAST, "HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF GOD ABIDES FOREVER"
      1. This is because he will be blessed to enter the heavenly 
         kingdom - Mt 7:21
      2. Even his "works" will follow with him - Re 14:13

CONCLUSION

1. Isn't this what we all want?  To one day hear these wonderful 
   words...

   "Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over 
   a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter 
   into the joy of your lord."  (Mt 25:21)

2. Even if we could gain the whole world in this lifetime...
   a. Is it worth it? - cf. Mt 16:26
   b. Yet most people are selling their soul to the devil and this 
      world for a whole lot less!

3. Let's give serious heed to John's admonition, and make sure that our
   affection is in the right place:  loving the Father by keeping His 
   commandments!

Are you keeping the commandments of God? - cf. Mt 28:18-20
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