Volume. XXVI, No. 52
Sunday, 24 June 2012


Love Not The World


Introduction

Through the centuries, Christians have dealt with the magnetic pull of the world in different ways. "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," John says in his first epistle (1 John 2:15). Evidently, it is impossible for one to claim fellowship with God and to pattern their life after the world. In fact, John repeats this theme throughout this letter. He informs us that we must (1 John 1:7) "walk in the light" and that we cannot simultaneously walk in the light and walk in darkness. In fact, at one time it was thought that if a Christian was really committed and really wanted to love God instead of the world, he would leave human society altogether and live as a monk or a nun in a desolate monastery. However, this approach, and other approaches that seek to take us out of the world have two problems. The first problem is that many have “brought the world with them” into the monastery. The other problem is that Jesus intended us to be “in the world” yet not “of the world”. So, how should we live and practice what the Scriptures teach when the Apostle John says, Love not the world.” We need to first define what the word "world" means. 

The word “world” in this passage

The Greek word translated “world” (1 John 2:15a) can be rendered in at least * three different ways depending on the context. First of all, the world, in the sense John means it here, is not the physical world or God’s creation. John is not saying that we should not love or enjoy God’s created order like the fowls in the air or fish in the sea and all sorts of land animals and flowers, trees, rivers, mountains, stars in heaven and so on and so forth. Nor is John referring to the “human world,” which God Himself loves. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son…” So obviously John is not saying that we should not love people. In the context of the first epistle of John, the word translated “world,” is referring to the “world of sin,” or the world of evil as a system. This refers to the sphere in which sin, evil, and Satan dominate – or the community of sinful humanity that is united in rebellion against God.

John also says, “Loveneither the things that are in the world: the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” (v.15b,16b-d) John tells us that there are “three things” that make up this world which man can fall in love with: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Notice what the world wants from us: love. This love is expressed in time, attention, and expense. When we love someone, inevitably we spend time with the person, give our attention to the person and invest money on the person. Unfortunately, in the world in which we live, we are encouraged and persuaded to give our time, attention, and money to the things of this world instead of the things of God. Once again, this isn’t a warning against a love for the beauty of the world God created; nor is it a warning against love for the people you love, like your wife, husband, children, family and friends. Instead, it is more of a warning against loving the material things which characterize the world system. The world buys our love with the great things it has to give us: cars, homes, gadgets, and the status that goes with all of them, which can oftentimes really make our hearts at home in the world.

The three things that are in the “world”

The lust of the flesh (v.16b)

This phrase refers to un-bridled desires of the flesh. Note that these desires can be expressed both sexually in fornication, adultery, licentiousness and socially in hatred, contentions and jealousies. You will find the whole list of these worldly lusts in Galatians 5:19-21, which Paul says are not of the Spirit, but of the flesh.

The lust of the eyes (v.16c)

What is the unlawful longing for things? Well, it can really be summed up in one word: covetousness or materialism. Covetousness is the longing for things which do not rightfully belong to us. Materialism is basically another form of idolatry because people who are caught up with materialism worship GOLD and not GOD.

The pride of life (v.16d)

This would include pride based upon such things as age, experience, social, educational and economic background, past accomplishment, money, position and power. I would say no one is immune to this sort of temptation whether you are 8 years old or 80 years old. Man by nature just loves to receive praises of man and attention. People generally feel good to have more of everything: more education, more money, more power, more influence, prestige, honour, privileges and more accomplishment. In a sense, it is not wrong to possess all of these things but to regard them as the source of our happiness and joy will only make us more and more sad and miserable because men cannot have enough of these things until  they find God. The world system knows how to reward its lovers—if we love the world, there are rewards to be gained. But even at their best the rewards that come from this world last only as long as we live.

Conclusion

Dear Christians, do not love the world or the things in the world because if any one love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. But if the love of the Father is in you, if you love God with all your heart, then every room you enter will be a temple of love to God, all your work will be a sacrifice of love to God, every meal will be a banquet of love with God, every song will be an overture of love to God. And if there is any desire of the flesh or any desire of the eyes that is not also a desire for God, then we will put it out of our lives, so that we can say with John and with the psalmist,

Whom have I in heaven but thee,
and on earth there is nothing
that I desire besides thee

Dear friends, love not the world and start loving God. For, even if you could gain the whole world, but lose your soul, what is the profit, Jesus said. The love for the things of this world will only make you more and more sad and miserable because man can never have enough of it. Only the eternal love of God can satisfy your hungry and thirsty soul for man was made in God’s image to live forever. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ today, confess your sins and trust the salvific work that He has accomplished on Calvary’s cross and you shall be saved!

Pastor Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Sis Yvone Kam

*Hope Bookstore: Open 12:30 - 1:45pm

*Vacation Bible School (VBS): Please invite children of your friends to come for Gospel message & activities. Volunteers required to contribute refreshments & lunch for the VBS. If able to help, please contact Sis Peng Ha Yeo.

*Hospitality Roster for Pr Hai Seng Lim on the Notice Board. Please invite him to your home for meals & fellowship.

*Please note: There will be a ‘Teens Sleepover’ at The Stone Mansion, 13-14 July.

*Evening Service. Please invite your non-Christian family members, relatives & friends. No dinner before service.

*Today’s Fellowship Lunch is catered: Adult $5; Child under 5 years FREE.

*Reports for year ending 30 June 2012 for ACM from fellowship groups, ministries & committees to be handed to Clerk of Session, Dn Colin Gan, by 8 July.

 

 Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Bro Phil & Sis Iris Surman; Bro Aaron & Sis Monica Tan & Annabelle; Sisters Yvone Kam, Audrey Yeo & Sharon Ying (Adl); Bro Patrick & Sisters Joyce Gan; & Rosalie Gan (Adl/Melb); Bros Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl), Joseph Selvanayagam (Syd/Melb/Adl) & Lucas Yiew (Adl); Sis Xandrea Cai’s parents (S’pore); & others who have arrived at their destinations.

2. Church Activities, including Session Meeting - last week.

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

 

Prayer Items

 

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bro Elton Law; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Margaret Pearson & Susan Varadi; Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Special prayer: Bro Len Pearson (severe shortness of breath); Sisters Nary Li’s pregnancy (S’pore) & Vivian Kou (ICU, Shanghai).

3. Cambodia Missions - Rev Moses Hahn & ministry (Sihanoukville).

4. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki.

5. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. God’s Comfort - those afflicted and grieving.

8. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry - Pr HS Lim & Ministry (Melbourne, Vic).

9. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members; missionaries in India & South America.

10. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC.

11. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.

12. House of Hope, Cebu, The Philippines - Ministry to drug addicts.

13. Journey mercies: Pr Hai Seng Lim; Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo; Deaconesses Joyce Gong & Purdee Yeo (Adl); Bro Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); & others who are travelling.

14. Logos International School (Phnom Penh) - Bro Peter Koo.

15. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

16. Uni Placement: Sis Felicia Tan (S’pore).

17.  Uni & High school students - preparing for exams this week.

18. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng.

19. Vacation Bible School - Speaker: Pr Hai Seng Lim; organisers, helpers, children & visitors.

20. Bro Jonathan Liao - God’s guidance to a Bible-believing church in Canberra.

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063