I remember when I was first called by God to ministry. I was about eighteen years old and it wasn’t too long after I was saved and baptized. Every message I heard was on finding God’s will for your life, doing mission work, facing your fears, allowing God to use you. Then there would be specific bible verses I would read at exactly the right time that just seemed to pop out at me such as the stories of Moses and Gideon. This was at a time when my dad had just passed away and I was struggling just to make it to school. When I was at school I had this deep insecurity and fear to speak because of a speech impediment. Even if I knew the answer I wouldn’t raise my hand because I knew people would laugh at me.
When God called me, I had a choice. Would I raise my hand and say “I will go” or would I keep my hand down because of what others would think of me.
Everyday we have CHOICES. We can CHOOSE to go or stay, sit down or stand up, be silent or speak up. But, we can’t do both! We all make choices everyday. Some are more important than others such where you choose to work, who you choose to marry, and who you choose to worship.
Now God has something to say about who we CHOOSE to love and it involves a love God HATES!
…Let’s read together 1 John 2:15-17..
15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[d] is not in them. 16 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. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
- Love for the World pushes out Love for the father
The Apostle John begins this section of scripture with not a suggestion or opinion but, a command. Do not love the world or anything in it! Why can’t we “love the world”? I mean John 3:16 says…”God so loved the world…so if God can why can’t we? That’s when we need to understand “What in the world” is he talking about when he mentions the world in this context. The word world means several different things in scripture. Mainly when it is mentioned it refers to the created world, lost people or the world system under Satan. In John 3:16 it is used to describe lost people, In Genesis one which is the created account God is referring to cosmos, the created world. But, in the 1 book of John it is referred to as the world system under Satan. In 5:19 John writes: “We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.”
As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). So don’t love the world, because that would put you in the group with the God-haters whether you think you are or not. Either Jesus is your good shepherd or he’s not even on your farm, either Jesus is your prince of peace or he’s not even in your kingdom, either he’s Lord of all or he is not Lord at all.
Our call is to love God, to love the world that God created, and to love the people that God has created. But we are not to love the world or the things of the world. We cannot love the world and love God at the same time.
Two Reasons you may not feel love for God.
1. You are not Born-again
One reason you may not feel love for God is that you are not born again. You haven’t had a spiritual rebirth. You haven’t experienced a transformed life through the Holy Spirit. You may be a cultural Christian or a product of someone who tried to pass down their faith to you. One example of this was Apostle Paul who was a devout Jew, obeyed all the commandments, had a zeal for God that no one matched, and was a very religious person. He dragged Christians out of their homes and killed them while at the same time thought he was doing good. It wasn’t until he met Jesus at Damascus road that the veil from his face was lifted to reveal how the darkness has blinded him to the truth of who God is. Jesus in the flesh. It was then that he experienced a transformed life through the power of the Holy Spirit. Maybe this is you today. Maybe you have the outward look of a Christian. You know all the right words, you can quote scripture, you have grown up in church but, their is no love for God in your heart. 2 Timothy 3:1-5 says…“In the last days there will come times of stress. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding the form of religion but denying the power of it.”
If you are not born of God you should seek him with all your heart and he will be found by you. He will turn your heart of stone and give you a heart that is after him. All your sins will be removed as far as the east is from the west if you believe and call upon the name of Jesus.
2. Your Love for God has grown cold
Another reason you may not feel love for God is because it has grown cold. You once couldn’t wait to get to church and now you can’t wait to get out. You once couldn’t keep your mouth shut about Jesus now, you wish people would stop bringing him up. The lures of the world have enticed you to put first the glory of the world instead of the glory of the living Word. You still pray but not like you use to, you still read the Bible but God voice just seems to be getting fainter…and fainter…and fainter each time your read it but, the same God who brought you out of darkness into his marvelous light, who ignited a flame in your soul, can still rekindle a passion and a love for Him. If. you. Let. him. A Worldly Love consists of three things….and this is a Love God Hates
Know the World is Tempting
The Lust of the flesh appeals to our appetites
First, it consists of a The lust of the flesh. Which is any strong desire or inclination toward anything that is forbidden by God. This would include sex outside of marriage and homosexuality. Lust of the flesh” describes what it means to live life dominated by the senses. In the extreme, it would include “gluttonous in food , indulging in pleasure, lustful and lax in morals, selfish in the use of possessions; regardless of all the spiritual values; extravagant in the gratification of material desires.
The Lust of the flesh appeals to our affections
The lust of the eyes is what we see or perceive to see. This term points to the sinful desires of greed and covetousness, to want what you do not have, but which others may have. Jesus said if you look at a woman lustfully you have already committed adultery in your heart. A Christian contemporary worship band says it like this in their song “slow fade” Be careful little eyes what you see,It’s the second glance that ties your hands, As darkness pulls the strings” So we have to set our sight on Christ or else we will be like Peter when he tried to walk on water and start to sink.
The Pride of Life appeals to our ambitions
Then there is the Pride of Life which is “ Having assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things.”We “pride” ourselves in being independent. Living the American dream, having a yard with a white picket fence, having the biggest house and the nicest care. What the world deems as important such as prestige, power, and titles God does not value. Someone with the pride of life is blinded to the reward of the gospel which is eternal life and will face an eternity in hell for it. Don’t get me wrong “It’s okay to have things, as long as things don’t have us”. It’ when we worship the creation rather than the creator when our worship has turned into idolatry.
Augustine puts it this way:
It would be like a bridegroom making a ring for his bride and she loved the ring more than the groom who made it. Would she not be found guilty of adultery for doing so for loving the gift more than the giver. Let the bride love the gift but not more than the one who gave it.
Well then, the God who loves and made them. There is more that He would give you, that is, His very Self that made these things.
You see the five senses; taste, touch, smell, hearing, and seeing, all report to the carnal mind – which is the enemy of God. These senses are what Satan uses to tempt us! The lust of the flesh includes tasting, touching, smelling, and hearing. The lust of the eyes is seeing. The pride of life is thinking you are special because of who you are, what you have, what you know, or what you look like.The enemy uses these three things, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, to entice us to sin.
In the Garden of Eden: In Genesis 3:6 it says “The Woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat. The woman, Eve, saw that the tree was good for food – the lust of the flesh, it was pleasant to the eyes– the lust of the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise – the pride of life. Of course you know the rest of the story! Eve was deceived, Adam disobeyed, sin came into the world, and death passed upon all men by sin
Then we have, On the Mount of Temptation: When the tempter came to Jesus in Matthew 4:3, he said, “If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.– the lust of the flesh. Then in Matthew 4:8-9 it says…”The devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, ‹All these things will I give thee.– the lust of the eyes. Then in Matthew 4:5-6 it says…”Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, ‹If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone”.– the pride of life. Through the power of the Spirit, with the Sword of the Spirit, Christ successfully resisted the temptations of the Devil and now we can too!
Know the world is temporary
All these desires we have from the lust of the flesh, to the lust of the eyes and the pride of life are all meaningless compared to the glory we see in Christ. Verse 17 says…”The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever”. So again we are given a choice. We can fellowship with God and not love the world which means we will spend an eternity in heaven or we can love the world and spend an eternity in hell. Are you more concerned with laying up treasures for retirement or laying up treasures in heaven?
So is your love toward the right things and the right people? Do you have a love for the father or is your love for the world? There will come a time when comfortable Christianity will cost you.
If we are honest with ourselves we will say our life isn’t really that different from the world. Yes we come to church a little more, we throw a prayer up when we are struggling to pay bills, we abstain ourselves from a few things. If we are to ReThink fellowship, we have to change what we originally thought about the world and our love for it and redirect it to love for the father. A good question to ask yourself if you are not sure about something is “Does this benefit my relationship with Christ? If you said no, then it has to go. Our relationship with God has been narrowed down to see what God can do for us instead of what we can do for Him. Let’s have the right kind of love. A love that is not of or for this world but, a love that is for the father and the Word of Life. This is true fellowship, that we are partakers IN Christ. That we sharing in the very being of who he is. That his very life is IN us. So the light of God shines not only in us but, through us and the radiance of his glory is seen and we continue to walk in this light by being in community with each other and sharing our joys, pains, heartaches, triumphs, and confessing to each other. By doing this we are loving people and loving God. So everything in the world such as the lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is of the world and is walking in darkness and that is a love God hates..