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. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof, but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever” (KJV).
Verse 17… “The world and all its passionate desires will one day disappear. But the man who is following God’s will is part of the permanent and cannot die” (Phillips).
The Christian is part of something that is not shaky. He is part of something that is permanent. The key to abiding in that which is permanent is in following God’s will. God’s will says, “Love not the world.” There is no permanence in the world. Our love must follow the will of God and not the will of the world. The word “world” refers not to the planet, but to the ways of the world and its systems and to the ways of the unredeemed.
The lust of the flesh is a perverse love. Love becomes perverse when it turns away from purity; when it turns away from God and focuses on self. John is talking about making the flesh attractive. “Love yourself,” the world says. Businesses earn billions making people look more attractive to others. God wants us to look attractive (we should be a good representative of The King of Kings); however, many turn to store shelves and its quick fixes instead of to God. Psalm 43:5 says, “God . . . is the health of my countenance” (KJV). This type of self-love does not follow God’s will.
The lust of the eyes is also a perverse love. Perverse love seeks material gain. The heart lusts for the things the eyes see. Covetousness begins with the “eye gate.” The eyes see the prosperity of the wicked, their luxurious lifestyles, and lusts after that which is temporal (not permanent). In Matthew 6:33, Jesus said, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (KJV). The lust of the eyes does not follow the will of God. The will of God does include prosperity for His people, but He does not mean for us to obtain it by covetousness and lusting after it.
The pride of life is a perverse love. Here we see perverse love in the area of what we call charisma, self-importance, status, class, and reputation. The world works hard at teaching people to develop their personality and the way they think. Only the Lord can develop a good personality. The Bible says that God is the “Father of spirits,” or character building (Hebrews 12:9, 23). Developing a good spirit begins with humility. Anything in your life that is not of God will not last; it passes away. Pride always leads to a fall.
PERMANENCE STARTS WITH TRUSTING GOD… Psalm 125:1… “They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever” (KJV). “Look around,” the psalmist says, “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about His people from henceforth, even forever.” Trusting God brings permanence.
PERMANENCE IS BASED UPON RIGHTEOUSNESS… Proverbs 10:25… “As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation” (KJV). The righteous man is going to follow God’s will. Job 38 lets us know that it’s God who laid the foundations of the earth; righteousness is one of its foundations and it is permanent.
PERMANENCE IS CONNECTED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT… John 4:14… “But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (KJV). Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit (John 7:37-39). The Spirit satisfies your thirst permanently. Never thirsting again, that’s permanence. The Holy Spirit is part of that which is permanent (John 14:16).
PERMANENCE AND THE WORD GO TOGETHER… John 6:56-58… “This is that bread which came down from heaven . . . he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” Jesus Christ is the Living Word (John 1:1). God’s Word is part of that which is permanent. Luke 4:4 says, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.” The Christian who is following the will of God will feed on the Word of God; He will then begin to think as God thinks.
PERMANENCE AND HEARING THE VOICE OF THE LORD ARE JOINED TOGETHER… John 10:27-28… “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand” (KJV). The key to permanence is hearing the voice of the Lord and following His directions. The man or woman who hears the voice of the Lord will be following the will of God and that adds up to permanence. Our text from 1 John 2 says, “Love not the world.” Lusting after the way the world does things will rob you of that which is permanent.
Pastor George Belobaba
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