There is a love that God hates. The love of the world. The world gets a grip on people. Where is your allegiance? Your affection? Do you dare, do you care, to please God?
God says there is a LOVE that he HATES.
THE LOVE OF THE WORLD…
1 John 2:15-17
(15) 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.
(16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
(17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
You cannot serve TWO MASTERS.
Some people try…
They are torn between TWO ALLEGIANCES.
The WORLD gets a grip on people.
Satan is called THE PRINCE OF THIS WORLD (Jn 14:30).
The unsaved are called THE CHILDREN OF THIS WORLD (Luke 16:8).
It is an important consideration…
To whom will you give
- Your LOVE?
- Your ALLEGIANCE?
- Your AFFECTION?
What is YOUR DRIVING PASSION?
Is it THE DESIRE to PLEASE GOD?
Or are you as those who are called LOVERS OF PLEASURE, MORE THAN LOVERS OF GOD?
Who’s INFLUENCE are you LIVING UNDER?
Does Hollywood direct your lives and the lives of your children?
Whose WILL are you being shaped by?
Is it THE WILL OF GOD?
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
THE LOVE OF THE WORLD is WORLDLINESS.
Worldliness is a pre-occupation with the mindset and influence of other things.
WORLDLINESS is a CONFORMING to the world.
And be not CONFORMED to THIS WORLD: but BE YE TRANSFORMED by THE RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that ye may PROVE what is THAT GOOD, AND ACCEPTABLE, AND PERFECT, WILL OF GOD.
WORLDLINESS reflects where our ALLEGIANCE and AFFECTIONS are for other loves, other than the love of God.
There is an ALLEGIANCE that is contrary to God.
AFFECTIONS that hinder our walk with God…
For all that is in the world,
THE LUST OF THE FLESH, and
THE LUST OF THE EYES, and
THE PRIDE OF LIFE,
is not of the Father, but is OF THE WORLD.
The world system is driven by MATERIALISM and THE LUST FOR VANITY.
It is about a chasing after fashion, status, and feeding THE EGO.
WORLDLINESS is a following after that which is CARNAL, SELF INDULGENT, and FLESHLY.
WORLDLINESS is a pollution, a corruption, a perversion of what is pure and wholesome. It is a mixture, a missing in of what is questionable and corrupt.
How can we be rid of such ungodly ways?
In the context of our opening text it says that the young men are “strong” because “the word of God abides in them.”
The Word counteracts the world, if we’ll let it.
A preacher once defined WORLDLINESS as this…
‘Anything that cools my love for Christ is the world.’
It is anything that comes between man and God.
It is anything that hinders our being GODLY and CHOOSING GOD’S WAY.
It is anything that keeps us FROM LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE.
Anything that dims my vision of Christ or takes away my taste for Bible study or cramps my prayer life or makes Christian work difficult is wrong for me, and I must, as a Christian, turn away from it. This simple rule may help you find a safe path for your feet along life’s road.—J. Wilbur Chapman.
It is what DISTRACTS you.
What TAKES YOU AWAY FROM THE WORD.
To LOVE THE WORLD and its SENSUAL PLEASURES is to give it THE FIRST PLACE in OUR HEARTS, to IDOLISE it.
THE LUST OF THE FLESH, THE LUST OF THE EYES… It draws you away…
THE PRIDE OF LIFE – it speaks of ARROGANCE. Of a lack of submission to God.
The WORLDLY do not CARE to PLEASE GOD.
WORLDLINESS leads to disaster.
We see it all too often in the lives of people who choose this destructive path…
LOT is one example in the Old Testament.
Lot wanted to pitch his tent toward Sodom (Gen 13:12 ). Then he dwelt in Sodom and sat in the gate of Sodom (Gen 14:12, 19:1).
It ended up with Lot that he so identified himself with the ways of Sodom that whenever he eventually tried to speak about the things of the Lord to his family, he seemed as one who mocked.
He lost his testimony and his family.
If you allow the world to come between you and the Lord you will surely pay the cost.
DEMAS is another example, who is found in the New Testament:
2 Timothy 4:10
“Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica.”
What enticed Demas back into the world?
Is it the love of pleasure? There is nothing wrong with fun and relaxation but we must be careful. Was it the love of popularity? Was it the love of pride? Was it the love of riches or materialism?
Paul says the draw of the world can be short circuited. This magnetic power can be resisted by a greater power.
- The power of God.
- THE POWER OF THE CROSS…
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Paul said that by the Cross he had ‘been crucified to the world’ and the world crucified to him.
God wants His people His church, to be pure and godly…
A renowned preacher of old sais this: ‘The more the church is distinct from the world in her acts and in her maxims, the more true is her testimony for Christ, and the more potent is her witness against sin.’
WORLDLINESS weakens our witness. It blurs our focus.
The Word of God declares that the world’s ways are evil, that the whole world has been captivated and ensnared by this evil.
But as a believer we can be DEAD TO THE WORLD…
When God does this work in us the world’s attractions lose their grip for us…
For the meantime we must maintain our guard…
Watch out for THE WAYS OF THE WORLD…
What are some of these ways?
Entertainment is one. It can have a subtle creeping effect on us. It can drag us down to the level of the world. We start to tolerate the evil around us.
There is a danger that, as we tolerate evil, we then end up accepting it and ultimately embracing it.
We can get morally desensitised…
Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
The LANGUAGE of the world.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
1 Timothy 2:9-10
(9) In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
(10) But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
Worldly thinking and behaviour. Dating. Dancing. Debt. Family planning. Our use of time. Of leisure time. How we use the internet. Music. TV habits. Manner of dress. What we fill our conversations with…
There are so many areas where the world’s thinking encroaches on us and it affects our own choices and decisions, without us scarcely realising it. We get seduced by the world.
The natural man is inclined to follow the crowd.
The Word tells us, PROVE ALL THINGS.
Sadly, many Christians lose their cutting edge. The power of their faith is blunted and weakened because they have crumbled to the peer pressure of the world around them.
Christians resort to worldliness and effectively they act like practical atheists.
In other words they do not live what they believe. If we believe that God exists then we ought to live like it.
The world is condemned.
What will you have?
Will it be the world and its ways, its priorities, its vanities…?
Will it be the INTERESTS and TRINKETS of THIS WORLD that HOLD SWAY over YOUR LIFE?
Will it be the RELATIONSHIPS and ATTRACTIONS of the world that STEER YOUR LIFE?
We are here to advance the kingdom of God on the earth.
WORLDLINESS will hinder this mission.
Is God’s Word fruitful in your life? One of the reasons that maybe it is not is because the creeping compromise of worldliness is strangling out your spiritual life…
And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
CJ Mahaney: ‘Today, the greatest challenge facing [Western] evangelicalism is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world’.
When you conform to the world, you
lose your influence on the world.
A question that is good to pose is, am I worldly?
Reason for Alarm
Thomas Guthrie used to say: If you find yourself loving any pleasure better than your prayers, any book better than the Bible, any house better than the house of God, any table better than the Lord’s table, any persons better than Christ, any indulgence better than the hope of Heaven—take alarm.—Selected.
There is a stand you have to take. If you are to truly be an effective Christian…
David Brainerd, under the date of April 25, 1742, wrote in his journal:
“Farewell, vain world, my soul can bid adieu;
Your Saviour taught me to abandon you.
Your charms may gratify a sensual mind,
But cannot please a soul for God designed.
Forbear to entice, cease then my soul to call;
‘Tis fixed through grace—my God shall be my all.
While He thus lets me Heavenly glories view,
Your beauties fade; my heart’s no room for you.”—Gospel Herald.
Don’t fall for the lies and lure of this present evil world. Seek the one to come. And live like you belong to it, for the meantime…
Are you a follower of Christ, or a follower of the ruler of this world?
The stand you have to take…
Come out of the world…
2 Corinthians 6:17-18
(17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
(18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
Be careful what you tune in to.
Set your affection on God.
This world has a conforming power.
Instead, let us fill our minds with the word of God.