Unleashing God's Truth, One Verse at a Time

The apostle John issues an unequivocal command to readers of his first epistle.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, 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. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17)

While we consider how to cultivate a heavenly perspective and fix our hopes in eternity, we need to give some careful thought to what it means to “not love the world nor the things in the world.”

In his sermon “The Love God Hates,” John MacArthur looks at the practical implications of not loving the world.


Our love for the Lord ought to make this world’s system repellant to us. We should be reminded daily that, as John noted, our citizenship is in heaven—that we’re pilgrims in hostile territory.

The point is not to foster an antagonistic footing with the world, but to keep us clear-eyed when it comes to the attractions and allurements it offers. We need not succumb to its enticements. Instead we need to fix our hearts on God’s kingdom, and diligently be about its work for whatever time the Lord grants us.

In the comments below, consider this question: How do you cultivate a godly separation from this world and its anti-Christ system without closing yourself off from its citizens who still desperately need the truth of God’s Word?

Available online at: https://www.gty.org/library/Blog/B160920
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