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Love Not the World


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"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" (1 John 2:15).

 The troubles, problems, heartaches, difficulties or commotions we have today are because men love the world. God tells us here that we should not love the world. What does the Bible refer to as the world? It is not what God has created - the beautiful flowers, the mountains and all those things we behold and admire because they are beautiful- but all the systems, the movements, the people and the spirit that oppose and contradict the Law of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible classifies such as the world and God says we should not love them. If we love the world, the love of the Father is not in us. If we are in accord with the movements or principles of the world, it means we are at enmity with God. God does not want anyone of us to be at enmity with Him. He wants us to leave the world and love Him, otherwise, we shall be enemies of God. If a man is an enemy of God, I wonder where he will go when he dies. Separation from the world is a requirement of Christianity and Christian living.

 "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is -enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4).

May we not be friends of the world.

"Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind" (Matthew 22:36, 37).

 If we love God with all our heart, there is no room left for the world. The heart is so small that it cannot contain love for the world and love for God at the same time. No! The whole love should be given to and reserved for God. This is a spiritual matter which demands that everybody should go on their knees and pray that the love of God may fill their heart. It is not a question of what the church says but having a personal experience with God.

 "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gayest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gayest them me; and they have kept thy word.

"For I have given unto them the words which thou gayest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me" (John 17: 6, 8).

 When the Gospel is preached, personal decisions are made. Somebody is either saved or damned. It is not the will of God that anybody be damned, but to be saved and live according to the Word of God. When one receives the Word, something must hap­pen in his heart.

 "I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

"I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world" (John 17:14-16).

 Jesus prayed that God should keep His own from evil. If you are still in sin, you can emulate the disciples and receive the Word of God. It will transform and change you, and you will live for ever for Jesus. This is why God has called us. He does not want us to be of the world. If you claim to be a child of God, you are not of the world, if not, your claim is false. If we are not of the world, we are strangers and pilgrims passing through the world.

 "These all died in faith, not having received the prom­ises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

"By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

"For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Hebrews 11:13, 9,10).

 Our motto in this organisation is, "Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." We are reminded of the Heroes of Faith. One of them was Abraham, the father of faith. When he got to Canaan, the land that God promised him, he looked away from the land and all the blessings God gave him. He said, 'This is not my place, I do not belong here. There is a city whose Builder and Maker is God.' If our mind and soul are set on the things of the world, we will have only what the world can offer, and finally, we will regret it and the soul will be damned. However, God does not want that; that is why He commands us not to love the world.

 "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 for ever" (1 John 2:16,17).

 There is nothing like worldly-minded Christians. "For all that is in the world, the lust of flesh..." What is lust? A burning and an unhealthy desire to please the flesh and to do something God does not want you to do. That is The way of the world and God does not want us to go that way. He says we should not love the things of the world. This is what the people of the world lust after, like the mixed multitude of Israel's days.

 "And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle"   (Exodus 12:38).

 These were people who followed the Children of Israel when they left Egypt. They were the people who caused trouble for the Children of Israel because they lust after the things of the world.

 "And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick:

"But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes" (Numbers 11:4-6).

 Those were the people who loved the things of the world, who had the love of the world in their heart. They discarded all the mighty works God did among them. Their mind went back to Egypt and they reminded the multitude of Israel about the food they ate while there — onions, garlic, leeks, cucumber and so on. They regarded Egyptian food better than the manna from Heaven — angels' food. It is not good for one to have the love of the world in one's heart. We have the mixed multitude in all ages and we must beware of them. The Bible says they fell a lusting and started sow­ing seeds of rebellion in the heart of the Children of Israel. Such people would not come with the Word of God but with their own contentions to sow seeds of rebellion in people's heart. We must remember what God commands, that we should not love the world, but the Truth. What is the Truth? It is the Word of God, the sound doctrine. All we have learnt from the Word of God, we must love and keep. If you do, you will remain unmovable. But if you allow your feet to be moved from the Truth, you will have yourself to blame. God has given us the Truth and we must hold on to it. That is our responsibility. Our forefathers had the privilege as we do to­day.

 "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:

"But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" (Genesis 2: 16,17).

 Adam had the understanding of what God required of him. We also understand what God requires of us. Adam and Eve made the mistake of allowing someone outside, a foreign being, to come in and question the Truth.

 "NOW the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?" (Genesis 3:1).

 The serpent deceived them. Of a truth, we have serpents to­day. They do not crawl on their bellies, they walk upright. They are everywhere - in schools, offices, market places, in the yard where you live and even in the house of God. They are there, so, beware! Hold the Truth, do not trifle with it, you will have victory. The Word of God tells us that the serpent was very subtle. The serpents in our day are equally very subtle, cunning and wise. They are able to persuade, and unless you stand by the Truth, they will come to question you: "Ah! do you think it is necessary to maintain such a high standard of holiness in this present world?"

 The Bible says, "evil communications corrupt good manners." We should be very thankful to God for the high standard of the Gospel that we have received. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is clean and clear and we are thankful that in this organisation, by the grace of God, through the preaching of the sound doctrine, we have been able to maintain the high standard of holiness and godly living. We want to uphold the standard until we meet Jesus. There must be a difference between a Christian and an unbeliever; we cannot serve God and mammon. That does not mean that a Christian should dress shabbily, but rather modestly and neatly. What we are to guard against is being worldly.

 "Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet;

"Therefore the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will dis­cover their secret parts.

"In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon,

"The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers,

"The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings,

"The rings, and nose jewels,

"The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins,

"The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails.

"And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty" (Isaiah 3:16-24).

 This is what the world does. They want the people to see them, but that is out of the way of Christians. God does not want it.

 "Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:3,4).

In our business, we preach Jesus, we glorify God, and we should not take to the way of the world. God wants us to charge our spiritual battery through His Word. If we have pleasure in the things of the world, we will lose the spiritual blessings that God has for us.

 "And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful" (Mark 4:19).

 If we are not careful, we will be carried away unawares, You either love God and let Him use you, or you love the world and let the world control you. But it is the will of our heavenly Father to control us. He says, 'Fear not little flock, it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.' Wonderful!

 "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

"Abstain from all appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:21,22).

 

That is what God wants us to do. He wants us to prove all things with the Word of God. We should not compare ourselves with anybody. We should weigh everything with the Word of God, and when the Word of God approves of it, we are on sure ground. But whatever we cannot prove, let us give God the benefit of the doubt. We are not to be of the world, we are not to love the world, we are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind. We should not allow anything to draw us back; it is a battle, but God will give us the victory.

 "Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteous­ness? and what communion hath light with darkness?

"And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price (1 Peter 3:3,4).

 

 


By Rev Eyo Ene
 

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