Do not love the world or the things in the world. The love of the Father is not in those who love the world; for all that is in the world—the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches—comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:15-16).
John did not write that people should not appreciate and care for the beautiful world that God has made; rather, no one should love God’s creation more than they love the Creator. But the world has not remained exactly as God created it, so what God originally made does not point perfectly to the character and wisdom of God. Therefore, Jesus came and taught the truth about God and the world and how to live in the world. In the Bible, “the world” or “this world” can also mean a civilization, culture, fellowship, society, or philosophy that promotes rebellion against God and God’s commandments. So, a “worldly person” follows their feelings or thoughts to gratify themselves supremely instead of loving God supremely and others as the Bible teaches. By doing so, they misuse and damage themselves and others. A “worldly person” can easily become deceived by what they see or hear that someone else has designed to manipulate them, take advantage of them, and lead them further away from God. A “worldly person” can love money so much that they become arrogant and search for “legal” ways to steal from others and further enrich themselves. John warned the followers of Jesus Christ that they can also be tempted to become “worldly persons,” so they must remember that the world is passing away, “but those who do the will of God live forever” (1 John 2:17).
1. How would you define or explain “world” as John uses the word?
2. How would you describe someone who loves the world?
3. How would you describe someone who has the love of the Father within them?
4. What did John say comes from the world and not from the Father?
5. Who does John say will live forever? Do you agree? Why or why not?