Scripture: 1 John 3: 15 – 17
(15)Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vain glory of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17)And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
Early this week, I was asked by a young man in a news group discussion and he sounded pretty earnest. He asked, “What is lust” For a moment I thought I could answer that and then I tried and to my surprise I was at a loss for words. And so I began rummaging all the resources that were available to answer that question. At the end of the study I was surprised at the things that the Lord had revealed to me and I am sure that the insights that the Lord has revealed to me would be of great help to you also.
I first began by looking at the dictionary, hoping that I could get a fairly decent answer, but the meaning the dictionary gave me was ‘Lust’ means “Strong desire.” I knew that there was something not so right about that, I tried substituting that with something familiar and I tried this – I strongly desire to have fellowship with the Lord and does that mean I am Lusting for the fellowship with the Lord, not really. So I delved a little deeper and I tried other methods to understand what lust actually means. If we need to understand what any particular word means, we follow some patterns or methods. The first and foremost being, read it in the proper context, understand what the root phrase means or in this case what the word means in the original language, understand the perceptive of the author, and so on and so forth. As I began to study that word, I found that there was deep message for all of us that God wants us to know.
First and foremost, let’s find out where exactly this word has been used which can give us a good perspective. I found it in 1 John 2:16.
As a rule you do not take any verse and try to interpret it on its own but you interpret it in its right context. There have been many a blunders and mistakes made because a particular verse was quoted or used out of context. Keeping this in mind, let’s examine a verse prior and a verse after verse 16. Let’s examine 1 John 2:15 – 17.
Verse 15 says “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”
Everything is pretty clear except one word – “THE WORLD”
What WORLD is John talking about here? Does he mean the World of creation, the mountains, the rivers, the seas, etc., the word of God says that God created all this and He saw it was good? I am sure that it was not this world that he was talking about.
Is John talking about mankind, but this also cannot be, because John 3:16 says, for God, so loved the WORLD… the world of what? People, human beings - something is not right, does this mean, that God loves the world but you and me or not supposed to? No this is not what John is talking about but John is talking about this world’s system that you and I are in today. Believe me there is a world’s system today and it is satanic and he mentions it in John 14:30, 16:11, world what, the worlds system, the civilizations, the standards of this world is what John mentions as the world. We are not to love this world today. Eph 2:2 - He talks about the course of this world, what is the course of this world today? This the world today filled with greed, selfish ambition, with leisurely pleasures, deceit, lie, and danger, that’s the world that you and I live in today and he says to us love not this world and you are going to be obedient to one world or the other, you are wither going to be obey the worlds system today and live in it or else you are going to obey God.
Paul talks about the world in Gal 6:14, and Peter speaks of the same thing in 2 Pet 2: 20 – Paul and Peter talk about corruption and pollution here, synonymously with the world. We talk so much about the pollution of the air and the water but how about the pollution of the mind by all of the pornography, bad languages, violence and so John says here don’t love the world and the things of the world. OK, lets get to the next part of the verse that is the center point of you discussion here.
John goes on to say what is in the world and he classifies it in three main categories. Here are the three things that John says that are in the world,
The Lust of the flesh – There are so many things that appeal to the flesh and it is the same temptation that Satan brought to Eve. That the tree was good for food and if you are hungry it was good place to eat and one of the things that is condemned in the scriptures of course is gluttony. Now the very interesting thing is this is the same kind of temptation that Satan brought to the Lord Jesus. You remember he said to him, you’ve been fasting for 40 days and you are hungry and why don’t you turn these stones to bread, now He could have done it but He was aware that He was tested in that area and you and I are also being tested in that area, the desires of the flesh. The other sins of the flesh which we need to emphasize today is sex. Have you noticed that 90% of the advertisement that you see on TV has a standpoint of sex. I recently read an article in DH about how the world – I mean that every lowering standard of the world or as John puts it WORLD thinks that pre-marital sex is OK and it is ok to have relationships outside the confines marriage and so on and so forth. This does apply to any realm of the flesh, i.e. to satisfy the desires of the flesh.
1Pet 2:11 says “I beseech you as sojourners and pilgrims, to abstain from fleshly lust, which war against the soul”
Lust of the eyes – Eve saw that the tree was good to look at, and you remember that satan showed the Lord Jesus Christ all the kingdoms of this world. Let me tell you they are all very attractive and today there is a godless philosophy that’s trying to get control of the world. The message translation, translates “lust of the eyes” as ‘Wanting everything for yourself’. How true, the world makes everything so very attractive, window shopping, home shopping, etc. We see others wearing a nice jean, we want it, a nice watch we want it, a nice sari we want that color and the list is endless.
Prov 2:7 says - And the eyes of man are never satisfied.
The pride of life – What is this, Eve saw that the tree was to be desired to make one wise. You know today great many people take pride in the family, language, community, etc. It is the pride of life, it is that which makes you feel superior to someone else and it is in religion today. They feel like they are saints that need to be heaven right now. Remember again that satan took the Lord Jesus to the pinnacle of the temple and asked him to cast himself down and there will be many people to witness it. Probably it was a feast and there were a lot of people there. This would bring a lot of popularity and as you very well know that our Jesus did not do any miracle to bring glory to Himself.
These are the three appeals that are made to us today and it leads to a most distorted view of life that any one can possibly have. When we make our tummy our goal in life, or when we attempt make beauty as the goal of life or we attempt to make that which is religious our goal of life, those things become deadly and they are of the world and we are told, that we are not to love these things because God does not love them and He intends to destroy this world system
Now he explains the reason. The world passeth away and the lust of it but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.
You will pass awat with the world if you dont get saved or in John's own words doeth the will of GOD. IT IS THE WILL OF GOD THAT YOU BECOME HIS CHILD.