The Love of the World or the Love of Christ?

Richard Thetford

The apostle John wrote in 1 John 2:15-17, "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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life; is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever."

This command of God is a strong prohibition against loving things of the world. To have the love of God is the very opposite to loving the world. John declared, "...The world is passing away, and the lust of it..." This means that all who love and gain the world cannot keep it. Neither can they take it with them when them die. The world can never completely satisfy those who indulge in it. Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'" The word of God is what truly satisfies.

John said that the world is made up of three things: lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride of life. These three avenues are the means through which sin becomes a reality in our lives. The "pride of life" is the desire for fame, honor, position, and power. Regarding those who seek notoriety, Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time." I will add, "You can't fool God any of the time."

John also added, "...But he who does the will of God abides forever." There's coming a time when this world will pass away, and there will only remain people and God. Those who do the will of God shall receive eternal life. Romans 2:6-7 says that God "...Will render to each one according to his deeds: eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality..." Where is your love today? Is it for the world, or the things of the world? Or, is it for God, and the things that pertain to eternal life?