Loyalty matters. The military shows no mercy to traitors and defectors—those who have violated the trust of brothers-in-arms. On a more personal level, few things can match the devastation caused by a husband or wife abandoning his or her partner. The sense of betrayal leaves long-term scars that never fully heal.
But as devastating as the consequences of human-to-human betrayal can be, they pale in comparison to the eternal consequences awaiting professing Christians who turn their backs on Christ.
As Christians, all of us have felt the sting of losing brethren to the world. Scripture reserves some of its harshest commentary for spiritual defectors—apostates—who depart from the Christian faith. They are described as “faithless” (Jeremiah 3:6) and “false brethren” (Galatians 2:4). People with “evil, unbelieving heart[s]” (Hebrews 3:12) who “in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13), “trample under foot the Son of God” (Hebrews 10:29), and are “marked out for . . . condemnation” (Jude 4). “They went out from us, but they were not really of us” (1 John 2:19).
Second Timothy 3:4 gets to the heart of the matter when it describes apostates as “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” Ultimately, the distinction between the imposters and those who are truly part of Christ’s church boils down to who (or what) they really love. It’s why the apostle John warned: “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” (1 John 2:15). What a terrifying warning: Scripture declares that loving the world is synonymous with alienation from God.
In his message, “Why Christians Don’t Love the World,” John MacArthur examines 1 John 2:15-17 to warn us about the seductive threat posed by the world and the satanic system it represents. Specifically, he points us to four critical reasons why we shouldn’t love the world:
- Because of what the world really is. - Because of who we really are. - Because of what the world really does to us. - Because of where the world will really take us.
None of us should feel immune to the lure of the world. We need to be able to see what really lies beneath its attractive veneer. To that end, “Why Christians Don’t Love the World” is a helpful and powerful warning that we all need to hear.