Friday, 27 June 2014

What is meant by the 'world' in 1 John 2:15-17

 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.  The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17). 

Christians are often accused by the unsaved who are bitter against Christians of thinking that all humans are fallen. Yes, this is true because God says so, not because followers of Christ say so. The unsaved feel uncomfortable or upset at Christians because they are reminded that they are suppressing the truth by their own unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). This is how the true Christian, by their words and deeds should make the unsaved feel since Jesus said to His disciples that "if the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you"(John 15:18-19). 

The world hates the true Church. This does not mean that it necessarily hates any person who is a disciple of Christ personally. There are many unsaved people who have great respect for individual Christians they know.  'Hate' in Biblical Greek means to detest, love less or hold in lower esteem. Thus, the hate of the world means to scorn or hold in contempt the Church. The world runs in delight to point out the hypocrisies and fighting the occurs within the Church. It loves it when it happens so that it can justify its hatred of the Church, and ultimately God who they mock. 

The world is opposed to the Church because it is under the control of satan. The devil is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2). It is spiritually blind, meaning that it has no knowledge of sin and does not see that sins in the way God see it, unlike the true Church which sees its own sin for what it is - as God sees it.  Thus, the world is caught in the devil's snare (2 Timothy 2:26), lies in the power of satan (1 John 5:19) and are in bondage to satan (Ephesians 2:2). However, because God has made His Laws known to every person, the world knows what it does is wrong. Whenever it sees the words and deeds of the true Church, it is reminded of its unrighteousness, deceitfulness and desperate wickedness. However, because the world thinks its own ways are right, it sees the Church as that which insults its own ways.

That which is of the world is that from satan as satan has blinded the minds of unbelievers (2 Corinthians 4:4). Satan is absolutely opposed to God in nature. Therefore, since the world follows satan, whether an unsaved person is atheist, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or any non-Christian, that which it esteems are opposed to God. "For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God" (Luke 16:15).