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The book of Genesis records God's creation of our first ancestors, Adam and Eve. Their initial condition was perfect, they were made in the very image of their Creator. Satan is allowed by God to tempt his 'new creation' and they sin. As a result of their disobedience, the curse of sin brought death to all of God's creation. The world that he made for humanity to enjoy, was plunged into darkness and chaos and from that day onward, this world has been the devil's domain. The Apostle Paul refers to Satan as the "god of this world", in 2 Cor 4:4. He goes on to say that the citizens of this world have been blinded by Satan - blinded to the glorious truth of the gospel. John tells us that, "the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world."
It's pretty clear from our text (1 John 2:15), that we are not to love the world. In fact, John says that if we claim to love God and love the world at the same time, we are liars! Such strong words give us insight into how God feels about the world. Of course, and it should go without saying, that the world I am talking about is not the people, but the sin of the world. The same John who wrote the words of our text also wrote John 3:16.
The world I am discussing here will someday be destroyed by God. It is infected with a virus much more dangerous and insidious than Covid-19. No flesh is immune to it, and it is one hundred percent fatal. The victims of this disease are called sinners. Perverted from what God created them to be and separated from the holy influence of their Creator, these sinners, blinded by their infection, grope continually in the dark seeking only to appease the appetites of the flesh and unwittingly fulfilling the will of their father the devil. (John 8:44) What's worse, is that fallen humanity continuously flaunts its wickedness before a holy God, and despite God's impassioned pleading for repentance and his righteous judgements, the inhabitants of this world, are at best blissfully and intentionally ignorant to his righteous demands, and at worse, stand in brazen and open defiance to them.
So, what is to be our perspective on the world as Christians?
1. James 4:4 We should hate this world! It's clear from scripture and from experience that this world hates our God. It stands in direct opposition to all that is of God and is under the control of God's enemy and his demonic horde.
2. John 12:31 Realize that it's temporary. God is going to judge this world and its god, and destroy it with holy fire. The plague that infects this world will be dealt with in the furnace of God's divine judgement and the universe will be forever cleansed if it.
3. John 18:36 Know that we are foreigners in enemy territory. We have been born again into a kingdom that is not of this world. Our stay here is a temporary one and our allegiance is not to the rulers of this world but to the King of Kings.
4. John 15:19 Understand that this world hates us. Jesus was very clear, we're not to be surprised when we face opposition or persecution. He said that the world hated him and because we are his it would hate us as well. Luke warns us to be more concerned when everyone speaks well of us. (Luke 6:26)
5. 1 John 2:16 Evil should never shock or surprise us. When we see the darkness and chaos all around us in the world, we should not be amazed. We cannot afford to be deceived by the facade that Satan has cloaked this world in to conceal its true nature. He is a master of disguise (2 Cor 11:14) and he loves to hide the corruption of this world behind a veil of light - but that light is not the light of Christ. There is nothing good about the world, if it were God would not be planning to destroy it!
The New Testament work for church (ekklesia), literally means, "called out ones". In other words, the church is that universal group of people that have been called out from the world. "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord..." (2 Cor 6:17). Like the Hebrew people, Christ, our true Moses (deliverer) has opened the way for us and called us out of Egypt into a new land. Though we may be tempted by the remembrance of the things of the world which we have been called out of (Numbers 11:5), we must resist. Egypt, the world, only offers us slavery.