1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
Wait a minute. What about “for God so loved the world?” Doesn’t God love the world? I mean, after all, He’s the one who made it! Yes, yes He did. But that is not what John is writing about here. No, John is writing about the same stuff that Paul wrote about in Ephesians 2. If you look it up, you will see the Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus that they used to live by the ways of the world and the ruler of the ways of the world. Now that, my friend is what John is talking about.
To love the world is to love the ways of the world. To love the ways of the world is to love the ways of the enemy. In fact, John writes that if you love the ways of the world, the love if the father is not in you. That seems awfully harsh doesn’t it? I mean, can’t I love God and still kind of do the whole worldly thing at the same time. I kind of like some of the stuff the world has to offer. I kind of like my luxury and my self-fulfillment. I really want those things. What’s so bad about that? I can love both at the same time. I mean that’s pretty harsh to say I don’t have the love of the Father.
Think back to the glory days of High School P.E. It’s time to choose teams for dodgeball. Oh yes, dodgeball. Dodgeball is a rather simple game where one team tries to hit the crud out of the other team. There is a line in the middle and you don’t cross it. Or how about capture the flag? Two teams square off in tactical warfare trying to capture the other teams prized flag without being caught. I remember an occasion of this game where it was all out war and the people were running everywhere, hiding behind stuff, etc. Out of the blue one of my own teammates goes running down the field with our flag to the other side. He delivers it to the enemy and they all start cheering. What just happened? How could he have done that; he was supposed to be on our team. “Traitor” people shouted, but it didn’t matter, he had made his choice. Now traitor is a pretty harsh word too, but it was a true one.
You see this guy couldn’t possibly play for both teams at the same time. He had to be on one or the other. And in time, his actions would show what team he really played for. So what team are you playing for? John reminds us that a choice has to be made. We are called to live here in the world, but with our minds on heaven. Take a bold step away from the world today and remember the words of 1 Peter 1:15 – But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do.