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← Do not Love the World | Discerning the Church of Wells

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Showing Revision 1 created 10/10/2017 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. In 1 John 2
  2. there is a very important Scripture
  3. with regard to the believer.
  4. It's in verse 15.
  5. He says, "Do not love the world,
  6. nor the things in the world.
  7. If anyone loves the world,
  8. the love of the Father is not in him.
  9. All that is in the world,
  10. the lust of the flesh and
    the lust of the eyes
  11. and the boastful pride of life
  12. is not from the Father,
  13. but is from the world.
  14. The world is passing away,
  15. and also its lusts,
  16. but the one who does the will of God
  17. lives forever."
  18. Now, what does it mean to love the world?
  19. Well, first of all, we need to
    define what the world is.
  20. The world has to do with
  21. all that stands contrary to the
  22. revealed will of God.
  23. Now, also it says that the world
    is passing away,
  24. so there is a way in which we can
  25. also add an extra definition,
  26. but we have to be very, very careful.
  27. And that is this,
  28. the world is also something
  29. that is temporal.
  30. So the world is, first of all,
  31. that which is contrary
    to the will of God,
  32. and secondly, it has the
    aspect of temporal.
  33. So in order to know what the world is,
  34. we need to study the Scriptures.
  35. And we find those things
    which God is against.
  36. Those ideas, those attitudes,
  37. those actions, those words,
  38. that are simply opposed
    to God's Scripture.
  39. That is one aspect of the world.
  40. Now, there are some people who are
  41. very serious about walking with the Lord,
  42. and I praise God for them.
  43. And they look at Scripture and they say,
  44. God is against this,
    I'm not going to do it.
  45. God's against that,
    I'm not going to do it.
  46. And that's good.
  47. But then they also get to this aspect
  48. of this thing is passing away,
  49. so it must be worldly.
  50. And that's a little bit dangerous.
  51. Why?
  52. There are many things
    that are passing away,
  53. that are not necessarily evil.
  54. Let me give you an example.
  55. My body is passing away.
  56. That doesn't make it evil.
  57. The sunset I saw this
    morning is passing away.
  58. But that doesn't necessarily make it evil.
  59. Even my marriage with my lovely wife
  60. is passing away.
  61. But that doesn't make it outside of
  62. or opposed to the will of God.
  63. It seems like there's always two extremes
  64. in the Christian life.
  65. Do you know what I mean?
  66. Someone who does not
    take the commands
  67. of God seriously,
  68. and simply just living continuously
  69. like an unbeliever.
  70. And then there's the person who
  71. takes God's commandments seriously.
  72. But becomes monkish,
  73. becomes separated from life.
  74. Becomes separated from many of the things
  75. that are manifestations of God's
  76. common grace in this world.
  77. A holy man isn't someone who
  78. just goes to church.
  79. Isn't someone who just reads his Bible,
  80. or just prays.
  81. A holy man is someone who is
  82. involved actively in relationships;
  83. It's someone that can
    look at all the grace
  84. that God has given us in this life,
  85. whether it's marriage or children
  86. or friends or even food,
  87. or creation.
  88. So many experiences God has given us
  89. that are manifestations of His grace.
  90. And so many people deny those things.
  91. They're opposed to them;
  92. they hate them,
  93. when actually, they are good
    gifts of God.
  94. One of the things that I would say is that
  95. if you're just like the unbelieving world,
  96. you're in trouble.
  97. You're worldly.
  98. On the other hand,
  99. if your desire to obey God has
  100. just separated you from almost
  101. everything in life, even the good things,
  102. and is gradually taking more and more
  103. of your joy away,
  104. and making you severe
  105. and loveless and critical,
  106. you've got a problem on the other side.
  107. The Christian is someone who is not
  108. bound by things.
  109. Not even bound by the good things of God.
  110. And yet at the same time,
  111. knows how to enjoy them
  112. and delight in them.
  113. One of the things that
    I'm so worried about
  114. often because of the
    way I preach sometimes.
  115. There's a need to point out sin,
  116. but you need to realize that
  117. that which is life is not sin.
  118. There's so much good in this world.
  119. So many things to enjoy.
  120. I'm overwhelmed at the goodness of God.
  121. One time, years and years ago,
  122. someone told me this and
    I'll never forget it.
  123. They said, "Paul,
  124. God put leaves on trees.
  125. He didn't put religious tracts on trees."
  126. And what they were trying
    to teach me was this,
  127. Paul, just because it
    doesn't have the title
  128. of being religious or even Christian,
  129. doesn't make it evil.
  130. And I've taken that to heart,
  131. because I see that it's biblical.
  132. I enjoy my friends.
  133. I enjoy even my interactions with
  134. many, many lost people that
  135. I want to win to the Lord.
  136. The times that I've had with them,
  137. the conversations,
  138. even the laughter I've had with them.
  139. I enjoy nature.
  140. I enjoy hiking and kayaking.
  141. I enjoy laughter,
  142. and even though I may get
    in trouble on this one,
  143. I enjoy grabbing my wife in the kitchen
  144. and doing a dance through the living room
  145. as my children are all applauding
  146. and laughing.
  147. One of the things also if you're a parent,
  148. I want to say this,
  149. you know there are so many evils
  150. out there for our children,
  151. and we have to guard them
  152. from those things,
  153. but here's something else,
  154. you need to replace those things
  155. with something good.
  156. If all you ever do is take away the world
  157. from your children,
  158. but you do not allow them to experience
  159. the good graces that God has given us
  160. throughout this planet,
  161. then you're going to create either
  162. a religious hypocrite,
  163. or someone who will eventually
  164. turn away from the faith,
  165. or someone who is severe and
  166. loveless and legalistic.
  167. And we don't need any of those things.
  168. Godliness is not removing yourself
  169. to live on some 40 acre farm in Kansas
  170. so that the world doesn't touch you.
  171. Godliness is living on this planet,
  172. interacting with Christians
  173. and unbelievers.
  174. Seeing all the wonderful
    things from prayer
  175. to Bible study to fasting
  176. to walking down a country lane,
  177. to poetry.
  178. It's being able to take
    in all these things,
  179. and to appreciate them
  180. while at the same time
  181. loving the Lord your God
    with all your heart,
  182. soul, mind, and strength
  183. and seeing that all these good gifts
  184. come from Him.