1 John 2:15-17
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.…
I. THE WARNING. Are we not required diligently to attend to the things of the world? And is not a promise of its enjoyment made to those who do so? True. The command is "Look well to thy flocks and herds." "Not slothful in business." And this is among the promises, "Godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is and that which is to come." We may value the world, we may seek to possess it, we may enjoy it. This is not what the apostle forbids. The true meaning of the injunction lies in the term, "Love not the world." This affection is supreme in whatever heart it dwells. It is jealous, and admits no rival. If a man loves the world, he gives it the first place in his heart, and everything is subordinated to it. The world then becomes his God, and he worships it. What ever comes in competition with it is discarded. It becomes the object of a passion of which it is wholly unworthy. Yet the love of the world is a principle fearfully prevalent. It is to be found in many who do not suspect it. Here is a man placed in a position where he may add to his worldly substance. But there is a difficulty. The law stares him in the face, "provide things honest in the sight of all men." He would like to keep it, but the prospect is tempting. By degrees his principle of integrity is overcome, and he takes the golden bait, overcome by the love of the world. One other illustration may be added. Here is a man who does respect the laws of integrity, and honour, and devotion. But he is associated with another, who does not respect them. A case arises where both must act together. The former expresses his desire to act righteously. The other uses his influence to overcome what he denominates his scruples. He is afraid to offend him; his interests are too deeply involved to run so great a risk; he yields, and presents another example of a victim overcome by the love of the world.
II. THE REASONS OF THE WARNING.
1. The love of God and the love of the world are incompatible with one another, and cannot exist together in the same mind. This is precisely the sentiment of our Lord (Matthew 6:24).
2. The world is sinful, and therefore its service is incompatible with that of God.
3. We are ourselves perishing, and so is all that is earthly.
4. But to all this there is a glorious contrast in the last reason. "He that doeth the will of God abideth forever." Such a man is the subject of principles that will endure through all the trials and vicissitudes of life.
(James Morgan, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.