Do Not Love the World

1 John 2:15-16 – 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. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life-is not from the Father but is from the world.

Matthew 13:13-23; Ephesians 2:1-3; 1 Peter 2:11; James 4:4; Romans 12:2

What does it mean to not love the world or the things in the word?

God created this world and through it mankind can see God’s invisible attributes (Romans 1:20). Therefore, mankind has no excuse for not acknowledging and worshipping God. God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). And Christians are not to love the world or the things in the world.

If the above paragraph sounds a tad confusing, it is because the word, world must be read in context of each verse. Sometimes when the word, world is used it is speaking of creation. That which God created. Othertimes, world, refers to people. God so love the world, is not a declaration of God’s love for this planet but a declaration of his love for us.

In our memory verse world is defined as – “the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and the pride of life”. World in our verse refers to that which tempts or entices us to sin. We are not to love the systems of this world: its treasures, its philosophy, morality, its power, its wisdom. The world in which we live seeks to encourage a living that is opposed to doing God’s will (1 John 2:17). It is a system that is hostile to God; it is full of things and views that are designed to entice us into a mindset that is anti-God and anti-Christ. Moreover, it is also a world-system that is ruled by the devil. (1 John 5:19)

Do not be confused. John is not encouraging the absence of ownership or possession of things in this world. Later in chapter three John offers us another test (1 John 3:17) – to determine if we are in Christ – by asking how the love of God can abide in us if we – who have the world’s goods – choose not to help our brother who is in need. Having stuff is not the issue; rather the point is do we love God or the things in opposition to God?

It also does not mean that as Christians we remove ourselves from the people of this world.
1 Corinthians 5:9-10 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters,since then you would need to go out of the world.

  • How are we to live in the world but not of the world?

Paul had a companion that failed this test.
In 2 Timothy 4:10 he writes, For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica.

  • What of the world do you love? What threat might cause you to deny Christ?

The word world is used 31 times on this page.