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 (1 John 2:15-17).
The “world” is one of the enemies of the believer. Theologian Kenneth Wuest defines the “world” as all the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, beliefs, and values that are current in the world. Smith Wigglesworth defined the world in his simple way as “that which cools my affection towards God.”
We’re admonished not to be friends with the world (James 4:4). Friendship with the world leads to being “spotted” by the world (James 1:27); which leads to “loving” the world (1 John 2:15); which leads to “conforming” to the world (Romans 12:2); which leads to being “condemned” with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Demas was a companion of the Apostle Paul in ministry and left Paul and the ministry because he was overcome by the world. For Demas, because he has fallen in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone off to Thessalonica (2 Timothy 4:10 – Complete Jewish Bible). Do your best to come to me quickly, for Demas let me down, having set a high value upon this present age and thus has come to love it (2 Timothy 4:9-10a – Wuest Expanded Translation)
All of us are vulnerable to being snagged by the values of surrounding culture, or a John put it, the world. Right now in America, there is a battle between the godly values of biblical Christianity and the changing fads of our culture. What was condemned by our culture thirty years ago is now celebrated as acceptable lifestyle. And many believers are being lured away from our Holy, loving Father by embracing cultural norms instead of God’s plans for them through His word. We should examine ourselves regularly, confessing our faults to one another and our sins to the Father so that He can cleanse us and help us.
As a pastor, I must regularly challenge the behavior of those who seem to think it’s alright to be a Christian and live together without marriage, engage in homosexual behavior, drink heavily, use expletives to express emotion, lie if that leads to a desired end, etc. These and other vices are a results of the influence of the world. Like the proverbial frog in the kettle, we can easily be lured to sleep spiritually unless we stand against the attitudes and behavior that culture says is ok and acceptable.
Shun the world. Don’t allow your affection towards God to be cooled by the opinions and acceptable behavior of culture. Snuggle up to Jesus and to the Word. Fellowship with Him. Pour your heart out to Him. Ask Him to help you overcome temptations that come your way. His throne is full of grace and mercy for your time of need.