One of the saddest injunctions we place upon ourselves is this hatred for anything “worldly”.
At times, we are summoned to separate ourselves with the “world” to such a degree, we are of no use to it.
So we avoid discos, cinemas, pubs and places of entertainment. We pride ourselves but not owning expensive items. Is holiness such a shallow item?
Is that what the Bible actually teach us to do?
Let’s look at this.
1 John 2:15-16
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.
It would seem on the surface of it, this is what John is saying. However let’s read on.
1 John 2:17-18
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Warnings Against Denying the Son
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
Now the sad part of our bibles is that there is a marginal note that divides verse 17 and 18. That note is not in the original text. Let’s read it again.
1 John 2:17-18
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God. Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour.
Notice John’s statement about the world passing is linked to his statement about being in the last hour?
In other words the “world” and “worldly passions” refer to his time and was already passing away and had reached its last hour THEN, not now.
As such that world which John tells us to avoid is not our current world but the world under the old covenant.
Hence the words “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” are actually referring to being proud and arrogant under the works in the Law.
They do not mean what you think they mean. I hope this little study will elevate you from the struggles that you have against this verse.
You are already dead to that world.