This world has a lot to offer, doesn’t it? It’s screaming with opportunities. You are bombarded with propaganda and advertisements around the clock to believe thus and such, to buy this and that; things guaranteeing health, happiness, and fulfillment, but it’s up to you. It’s your decision to take the world up on its offers that promise to provide wealth, sex, peace, health; the list is endless. If you’re friends with the world, you can get your hands on just about anything you want if you want it badly enough. This is where the trouble begins. Why trouble? Because the world in all its beauty, my friend, is dying. Wasting away to nothing. It will never get better. It will never be back-to-normal. According to Biblical prophesy, it won’t. It can’t. So to chose it over God is complete insanity. To seek and consume its pleasures above all else is a death sentence.
It’s not a suggestion but an actual command in scripture that we do not love the world, nor the things in the world. (I John 2:15) The remainder of the passage tells us why and gives us incentive.
- If we love the world, we are an enemy of God. (James 4:4) Not good…
- All that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life is not of the Father but of the world. Again, not good…
- The world and the lust of it will pass away. Good…
- He who does the will of God will abide forever. Excellent…
That sounds pretty clear to me, does it you? I mean, except for the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and pride of life part, it’s cut and dried. So, let’s see what these other things mean.
- Lust of the eyes – anything that appeals to the eye and produces covetousness. What is covetousness? It’s the desire for someone else’s material or physical possessions. Envy is another word for it; it’s like seeing your neighbor’s wife or husband (good) and desiring him or her (bad). The devil has his nasty hands in all of it; the eye often sees something it wants, whether or good and bad. The devil uses the seemingly good and turns it for evil. He had the gall to tempt even Jesus in the wilderness, showing him all the kingdoms of the world (good things) and promising them to Him if He’d bow down and worship him. Hilarious!
- Lust of the flesh – anything that appeals to the human appetite. Good things might be food, drink, or sex. The devil however turns these things that were meant for good to bad (gluttony, fornication) in such a hurry that you don’t even know what happened. The devil even tried this sly trick on Jesus when he tempted him to turn stones into bread because he was hungry. Give me a break!
- Pride of Life – everything pertaining to conceit and pride. There’s academic success and popularity (good). The devil takes a person’s confidence and his academic achievements and turns them into self-sufficiency and arrogance (bad). The devil used this fake sales pitch with Jesus when he “took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple,” and tried to convince Him to defy God. Are you kidding me?
To end this thing, I want to tell you what the Bible says you’ll receive if you love God and not the world. These are promises to all who choose to love God only. At the end of each promise there is a verse to support it.
- All things will work together for good. Romans 8:28
- God has prepared such magnificent things for those of us who love Him that we cannot conceive it. I Corinthians 2:9
- If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed! (this one isn’t good, but it’s a promise nevertheless) I Corinthians 16:22
- God chose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and has promised to make them heirs of His kingdom if they love Him. James 2:5
- I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:7-8
News Flash: If you’re a friend of the world, you are not a friend of God. You can’t sort of love the world and sort of love God. You either love God or you love the world. If you’re not for Him, you’re against Him. It’s really all or nothing.