2019-05-05 – 1 John 2:12–17 – World Warning
Bible Text: 1 John 2:12–17 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: 1 John | 2019-05-05 – 1 John 2:12–17 – World Warning
(Cinco De Mayo, Business Meeting Results)
Good morning everyone. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Happy Cinco de Mayo, or Happy 5th of May. If you didn’t know, it is a holiday that celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over France during the Franco-Mexican War. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage. So in that light may I wish you all, Dios te bendiga, or God bless you.
Last Sunday we deliberated through scripture how we should endeavor to continue on as Christians After Easter Sunday. The three takeaways were:
We should strive to keep walking in the light of Jesus and God’s word. That we should know that we know Jesus, and strive to become more like Him. Finally live with the understanding that when we love our brothers and sisters, we remain in His light, and when we remain in the His light, we will not stumble, and we will be blessed. God loves you so much that He came to the world to redeem you. The love He offers can bring us out of our sinful darkness and into His light and love. As Job said in our Bible, we should echo that “I know my Redeemer lives”. And in that we can have much hope.
Today the apostle John now gives us a stern warning as we continue to strive living out our Christ centered life.
Please turn in your Bibles to 1 John 2:12, pg 1082 in the Pew Bibles, The Inspired, Infallible and Living Word of God, and let us start with Prayer.
In SPANISH, it’s called El Camino De La Muerte, which translated into English means “the road of death.” It is considered the “world’s most dangerous road.” Found in Bolivia, this dirt and rock route stretches 43 miles, and descends 12,000 feet down to the beautiful rain forest town of Coroiko at the edge of the Amazon River. Why so dangerous? An average of 26 vehicles fall off this road each year; and 200 to 300 people lose their lives on it annually. The narrow road has steep hillsides, cliffs, and drop-offs with no guardrails. Rain and fog complicate the trip, along with muddy surfaces and loose rocks sliding down the hillsides. But, despite the danger, the road has become an increasingly popular tourist attraction since the early 1990s. People are just crazy I think.
This is an illustration about life in this world we live in. There are many dangers for sure, and the Apostle John has some words of wisdom to share in our sermon message today called World Warning. John starts us out by pointing out who this warning is mostly intended for by saying,
12 I am writing to you, little children, since your sins have been forgiven
on account of his name. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men,
because you have conquered the evil one. 14 I have written to you, children,
because you have come to know the Father. I have written to you, fathers,
because you have come to know the one who is from the beginning.
I have written to you, young men, because you are strong,
God’s word remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.
You may have noticed in this initial paragraph that women are not mentioned. The early church and the culture at that time generally addressed the men more directly than women. John also tends to address all Christians as children, fourteen times in this letter alone. But regardless of a person’s sex or status, the principle is the same for every Christian, that the evil one—the devil—is defeated by the strength that comes from having the word of God abiding within us.
If you don’t get anything else from this message today, please get this: Your strength to overcome the evil one comes from having God’s word abiding in you. My prayer is that this will be an incentive to you this year to become more and more Bible-saturated. May our Lord say of you at the end of this year what John wrote in this last sentence, “you are strong, God’s word remains in you, and you have conquered the evil one.” Are you with me?
Try to think of the Bible, like we always say in this church, as truly being the “Inspired, Infallible and living word of God”. Think of it as your vital link with Christ in heaven where He is your infallible, all-gracious advocate. Endeavor with me to become more of a Bible-saturated Christian. All of the Bible is the word of God. All of the Bible is God’s inspired foundation for you and me. It is all inspired and all profitable for you. So immerse yourself in it, and let it abide in you so that you will be able to triumph over the accusations of Satan.
The word of God gives you the strength to overcome the evil one through God’s grace and His Spirit. By knowing God’s word, it allows you to recognize the lies from the truth. John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And John 17:17 says, “Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth”. When we hold fast to the word of life, we abide in Christ. This is not just a quick fix for problems of this world, John is giving us a map to a new way of life.
In his letter to Timothy, the apostle Paul encouraged him to fight the fight of faith (1 Timothy 6:12). Paul struggled with faith at times, and he knew that Timothy too would struggle with his faith. We all will struggle with our faith at one time or another. That is why it is so important that we “Hide the word in our heart”, so when (not if) the battle comes, we would be ready. And then, we might proclaim what Paul said at the end of his life, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). From now until the day we die, we are to fight against the schemes of the evil one. And when we fight with the faith-sustaining word of God, we will win. John wrote, “This is the victory that overcomes the world—our faith” (1 John 5:4), and “You are strong and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one” (1 John 2:14).
Then verse 15 says: 15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions—is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.
This next section of text begins first with a command and the main point. “Do not love the world or the things in the world.” Everything else in this paragraph text is an argument, or reason, for why we should not love the world.
The first reason John gives is that “if anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in him”. In other words, the reason you shouldn’t love the world is that you can’t love the world and God at the same time. The Love for the world effectively pushes out our love for God, and conversely our love for God pushes out our love for the world.
Please don’t get this confused with the love for others or our love for our neighbors, for we are all commanded over and over in scripture to be doing that. The people are in the world, however the world at large is today ruled by Satan, and is just riddled with evil and destruction. We feel that evil don’t we? It seems more and more prevalent every day. As Christians, when we get caught up in the evils of this world, then we tend to lose way, lose our Jesus. Sadly we find out through trials that our love for the world and God are truly mutually exclusive.
As Jesus said himself, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.” (Matthew 6:24). So don’t get caught up in loving the things of this world whereby pushing out Jesus in the process. That is what John meant by saying, “If anyone loves the world, the love for the Father is not in him.” Then in verse 16 he further explains his argument. He said, “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.” The world today is truly the Devil’s playground. And we need to be cognizant of where we are investing our time and talents.
As written in Matthew 6:19 Jesus says, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Then our last verse 17, John says, “And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does the will of God remains forever.” You wouldn’t buy stock in a company that is sure to go bankrupt would you? Of course not. Nobody sets-up house in a sinking ship. The world is passing away! Setting your heart on what the world has to offer is only asking for eternal heartache and misery in the end.
So you might be asking yourselves, what is in our “world” that we are not to love? Verse 16 says it is characterized by three things: “lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s possessions”, Ouch!
We can see how the three descriptions of the world relate to each other. The first two, the lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes, refer our desires for what we don’t have. And the third, the pride in one’s possessions, refers to the pride in what we do have. So the evils of “the world” is driven by just two things really: 1) our passion for pleasure, and 2) our pride or vanity in our possessions.
The destructive pleasures of life is so fleeting. Paul wrote about this in Titus 3, He said, “At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy”. We need to constantly resist and fight not to get caught up in the devilish pleasures that the world has to offer. We need God’s word and each other, Amen?
Secondly, the pride or vanity in our possessions. I think sometimes we hold on a little too tightly to our stuff. I am not saying we shouldn’t take care of what we have or that we should treat everything as disposable, heavens no. We should take care of what God has blessed us with, but in a balanced and healthy way.
For example, in the next chapter, 1 John 3:17 it is written, “Anyone who has this world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” If God has blessed us with provisions and things, then we should be using them to bless others. When we hold on too tightly to the things of this world, we push out God. Anything that is not of God can draw your hearts away from God. We must constantly assess our situations brothers and sisters. Do not let the evil one deceive you and draw you away from Jesus.
Question: Is your mind focused too much on the here and now of this world, or the everlasting life in heaven? (ask again) The path of victory that overcomes the world and leads to eternal life is one narrow way. It is not in worldly pleasures or treasures, but faith alone, and in Christ alone.
In Matthew 22:36, Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not love the world or the things in the world. If the love of the Father is in you, if you truly love God with all your heart, then every room you enter will become a temple of love to God, all your work will become a sacrifice of love to God, every meal will be a banquet of love with God, and every song will be an overture of love to God. (Piper).
When I was younger, I chased after the worlds folly. It was only after many years of turmoil that I finally figured out there was no lasting joy in any of it.
So please dear brothers and sisters, spare yourself the turmoil and stay away from El Camino De La Muerte, “the road of death.” That is not God’s will for you. Consider this your World Warning today. God loves you so much.
Finally I will leave you with thsi, when I was in Spanish class back in high school, we studied a book called, El Camino Real, which means The Royal Road. That is what God has to offer for you today. His Royal Road to His freedom and His peace. Are you ready to start down that path today?
Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father..
Dios te bendiga mi amigos. God bless you my friends