Love Not The World

From "Comments on Epistle of First John"

Leslie M. Grant

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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of live, 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 for ever."

Let us closely observe that even when the young man has learned to withstand, and to gain such decisive victory over the enemy, he still requires the solemn admonition of verses 15 to 17. One strong enough to overcome Satan may - alas! - find himself overcome by the attractions of the world. Indeed, he may feel that his own strength is such that he may indulge in measure in worldly practice without being badly influenced by it.

Sad delusion! For the very indulgence only shows the painful decay of his strength: he is already influenced. The world is a system not to be loved, for it is set up in both independence of God and in opposition to His authority. In any absolute sense, only an unbeliever loves the world: the love of the Father is not in such an one. The new nature loves what is of God: how can there be at the same time a love for what rejects God's authority?

Let us learn to judge rightly the world in its basic principles, and it will not be so difficult to turn from "the things that are in the world." These are no doubt pleasant things, advantages, comforts, material gain, harmless (?) diversions, etc., constantly pressing for recognition by the Christian; but always quietly, politely, persistently displacing God in the heart, allowing Him less and less place in daily life. Such is the world's subtlety.

It appeals to the flesh, the feeling of a corrupted nature: this is the sensual attraction. But more, there is the lust of the eyes," the artistic attraction, - form, colour, perspective, all engaged to appeal to that in us which seems noble and dignified, but which calmly excludes the Father. May our eyes not wander from our holy blessed Lord, in Whom all true, pure beauty is comprehended. And thirdly, "the pride of life" is the intellectual attraction, the appeal of increasing knowledge, by which the world boasts of its ability to do without God.

If by scientific investigation men have learned amazingly even in recent years, can they not remember that God is the Author of all true science? Yet the world arrogates to itself all credit for its advance in knowledge, and would fain pretend they have gone beyond the God of the Bible in their understanding of the universe!

Ought the believer to be deceived by any of this? Let the energetic, strong child of God take warning: "the world passeth away and the lust thereof." It is only a temporary, shining bubble, ready to burst. How empty the delusion of seeking satisfaction in any measure from that which is of the world. "But he that doeth the will of God abideth forever." The will of God is the principle of eternal permanence and value. Every new-born soul is in principle a doer of God's will: let him then be such in constant practice. Since he abides forever, let his conduct be in view of eternal values.