Watch Out For The “World”

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(Amplified): You are like unfaithful wives having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God! Do you not know that being the world’s friend is being God’s enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God. It’s strong language.

Friendship with the world leads to being “spotted” by the world – James 1:27: Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Friendship with the world also leads to “loving” the world – 1 John 2:15 (NLT): Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. (16) For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (17) And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Loving the world leads to “conforming” to the world Romans 12:2: And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. The Message Paraphrase by Eugene Peterson of this verse is insightful:  Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.

Finally, conforming to the world  leads to being “condemned” with the world – 1 Corinthians 11:32 (NLT): Yet when we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned along with the world.

Demas was a companion of the Apostle Paul in ministry and left Paul and the ministry because he was overcome by the world. We all must examine ourselves regularly, confessing our faults to one another and our sins to the Father so that He can cleanse us and help us.

Shun the world. 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.

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