By Earl Robertson
The apostle John wrote, “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 life, 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 forever” (1 John 2:15-17).
This is not popular language to the world or worldly people in various churches. The command of John is imperative making it a prohibition. The fight God waged through Christ against the world must likewise be seen by every armor- carrying saint today. Some people seem to think the world does not need fighting-just do not love it! To have the love of God (objective) one must oppose the world; having such is the very antithesis to loving the world.
John declares, “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.” This just means that all who love and gain the world cannot keep it. Neither can one take it with him when he leaves (1 Tim. 6:7). Furthermore, the world can never completely satisfy one who indulges in it. Man lives by every word that comes from God (Matt. 4:4), and this is what satisfies.
John says the world is made up of three things: (1) Lust of the flesh, (2) Lust of the eyes, (3) Pride of life. These three cover all the means through which sin becomes a reality. Giving vent to sensual passions is sin. All who do so do it at the expense of virtue and man-hood. While one lives like an alley cat he has no respect-from himself or others. The lust of the eyes involves the lust for wealth. With this motivation, one often lays aside his sympathy, benevolence, and honesty. In his madness he grabs even for that of others. One has to give away all his convictions in his “pride of life.” This man wants everybody to speak well of him and pat him on the back while he goes about being “every man’s dog who will hunt with him!” One who so loves the world has lost his virtue, his honesty, and his convictions! Of what value is this man to anything that is good? Of what value is he to a church? None at all! Yet some churches will keep such within their fellowship.
Truth Magazine XXIII: 12, p. 202
March 22, 1979