1 JOHN 2:15 & 16…”Do not love the World nor the things in the World. If anyone loves the World, the love of the Father is not in him.” 1 JN 2:15
Verses 15 & 16 provide incredible spiritual insight & protection, yet their obvious meaning has escaped various Christian leaders. It is the goal of this post to bring its message to the reader in a fresh & dynamic way so its blessing can be in the reader’s life.
First, we must ask, what is meant by “world”? The greek word here is Kosmos, which unfortunately, like words often do, has many meanings, so we need to look at the context. From the context it is obvious it is being used as in JN 17:9 and 1 JN 5:19 “The World is in the grip of evil one.” In 1 JN 2:15, “kosmos” means the World System, that is human society as organized & controlled by the god of this world Satan. The latest version of this is called the New World Order, but World Order is more accurate. The World Order would also incl. its organizations, customs, fads, thinking, & its spirit…for bear in mind that the World Order is really a diffusion of the antichrist spirit, for it takes on the nature of its ruler, which includes exploitation & power domination. In such a system, the rich get richer, the poor get poor. Every object in Satan’s World is made for the god of this world’s use. His things are full of snares. So “World” here, of course, does not refer to God’s creation or the earth.
Why should we not love the World? There is a war going on between two Kingdoms…one which is the Kingdom of life, light & love…and the other of death, darkness & dishonest love. Which kingdom do we want to give power to in our life??? They have different values: the Kingdom of God minds spiritual things of eternal value such as love & truth— the Kingdom of Satan minds carnal things such as being rich, powerful & famous. From a carnal viewpoint deception gives power, & the gullible idiot who swallowed the lie is often despised. God’s kingdom is to enrich your soul w/ divine realities, Satan’s is to destroy it & leave it empty w/ vanities & vain deceptions. To really obtain carnal goals, one has to sell one’s soul to the owner of this World System. To pursue worldly goals is to reject the Creator’s gifts & goals, and to place oneself on a condemned sinking structure which is decaying, changing, & passing away. Messiah explained, “No man can serve 2 masters…Ye cannot serve God & Mammon”…each master is going to demand loyalty. And if you serve God, the World in line w/ its ruler hates the Father, and will hate you. So Messiah told his disciples they would be in the World, but not of it. JN 17;11,16.
“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.” I JN 2:16 To counter this, the monastic vows are chastity to deal w/ the flesh, poverty to deal w/ the lust of the eyes, and obedience (humility in action) to deal w/ the pride of life. In verse 16’s few words, the World System is laid bare….
Let’s consider the Lusts of the Flesh…Fleshly desires are manipulated by the World. Our thoughts along these lines are constantly manipulated by ads & movies. The World calls us consumers. Lust of flesh would incl. wife swapping, gluttony, & making decisions based on the flesh rather than spiritual values… The Reptile’s first temptation to Eve was a “tree good for food” and to Christ- bread for his hunger. Eve succumbed, Christ used the Word of God to counter the temptation. King David’s physical flesh wanted Bathsheba, the consequences were harmful in the long run. As the book of James points out in 1:15, lust leads to sin which leads to death [death in various forms, I might add]. In God’s Kingdom of Life we must treat our body w/ respect to glorify God. (1 COR 6:19,20)
Lust of the eyes? Is the World not expert at putting on good fronts? Ahhh, the glitter & tinsel & fashion. The Pharisees who must parade their religiousness. The World knows how to seductively appeal to our minds & its imagination; & what is offered by & large are vanities. This cigarette will make you like the Marlboro man. In fact, King Solomon, who got all that the World could offer, declared it all to be vanity. Our eyes need to be guarded, and our minds renewed by the Spirit’s transformation. Loving the World is idolatry & covetousness. The lust of the eyes turns people jealous of other’s successes. The eyes of worldly people stare at spiritually dark things so long they become blind to the light of truth. We are warned not to conform or be contaminated by the World.
Finally the pride of life, the last item mentioned. This is the arrogance that Satan & worldly people exhibit when they think they don’t need their Creator in their life. “Self-made” (w/ a “little” help from the World) & self-sufficient, and self-centered, these people enjoy lording it over others. Minor bureaucrats will wield their power like dictators. The pride blinds them to their own faults. They want status w/ fancy clothes & cars, not real character. The pride that goes with filthy wealth & vulgar power is totally an illusion. They are people of little character who are legends in their own minds. The Word in JS 1:9-12 explains how quickly it can pass away. Boasting is part of the pagan way of life. Watch the professional wrestlers of the New World Order. Since the Spirit of the Antichrist holds the World in unbelief, they lack hope in real things, and have to place their hope in status, in the lottery, in prestige…so you see them name buildings, stars and mountains for each other. When the Spirit of the Antichrist exhales, we smell the bad breath of moral corruption. At some point they will be drunk w/ the blood of the saints. REV 11. Hey, Christ warned his disciples that the World would hate them. JN 3:13, & 17:14-16. Will those in the Kingdom of death listen to us? They would rather listen to their false prophets according to God’s Word. JN 4:5….From experience, yes, that is the way it works.
While I am not suggesting people become Amish, I do want to emphasize that I saw 1 JN 2:15-16 protect the Amish from lots of grief. In general, they simply were not interested in worldly thinking & the lusts of the eyes, lusts of the flesh & the pride of life. That has spared them countless problems. God was able to bless them…I saw it with my own eyes. They would explain why they don’t follow the World w/ simple comments like, “That’s not the way we do it.” And so I ask, why would we want to follow the World, a World System that hates humans and is bent on our destruction & enslavement?? The incredible suffering of World War 1 & 2 are examples of what the World has in store for us. For me, I choose the Kingdom of Love & Life. I have no love for the New World Order or its older version.