The Christian and the World (3) - I John 2:15-17
Sunday, April 23, 2017
As we continue to answer the question, “Why should we not love the world?” we next note John’s third reason. We should not love the world because of where the world is going. The world passeth (is passing) away. This is true as far as our individual lives are concerned (I Pet. 1:24; James 4:13-14). And this is true of the things we leave behind us (II Pet. 3:10).
In contrast, “...he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” This is because he will be blessed by entering the heavenly kingdom. In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21). Shortly before laying down inspiration’s pen John informs us, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14). Even his “works” will follow him. “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Rev. 14:13).
“This world will pass, and with it every lustful pleasure, but he who does the will of God abides through the ages. The transitoriness of the one—the world—is contrasted with the permanence of the other, the one doing the will of God” (Guy N. Woods, Commentary on I John, 1956).
So there you have it. John gives three excellent reasons why we should not love the world: (1) because of what the world is; (2) because of what loving the world does; and (3) because of where the world is going.
Isn’t this what we all want? To hear the words of Jesus in Matthew 25:21? “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Even if we could gain the whole world in this lifetime, Jesus poses this important question: “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). Yet many folks are selling their souls to the devil for a whole lot less! Let’s give serious consideration to John’s admonition in these verses, and make sure that our affection is in the right place—loving the Father and keeping His word (Col. 3:1-3).
Paul M. Wilmoth