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Why Christians Don't Love the World B

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
June 9, 2022 4:00 am

Why Christians Don't Love the World B

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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June 9, 2022 4:00 am

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Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur. I'm your host, Phil Johnson. John Piper has made a continuing study titled, The Love God Hates.

And now here's John MacArthur. Love God Hates. And all of you are lies and deceptions that oppose God.

That's what it is. It is contrary to the truth. It is hostile to the truth. It is hostile to those who believe the truth and those who love the truth.

For example, look at chapter 4, here's an illustration. Don't believe everybody. Don't believe every attitude, every spirit, every theory, every ideology that's propounded. The spirits, to see whether they're from God because so many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God.

So here's a very clear test. You can always tell something that's part of the world because their view of Christ is erroneous. This on the other hand, verse 3 says, is the spirit of the Antichrist which you have heard that it is coming and now it is already in the world. There is already in the world the Antichrist attitude. Anything that opposes Christ, that opposes the gospel is the world.

Then he says in verse 4, you're from God, little children, have overcome them because greater is he who is in you than he who is in the world. The world is an anti-God, anti-Christ system of ideologies under many, many names and titles framed up many different ways. Some line, it is alien to the truth, it is in opposition to the truth, it hates the truth and it hates the people who embrace the truth. In other words, we don't love the world because it is utterly an antipathy to everything we have come to believe by the mighty work of God in our hearts. We have been awakened by God's grace to the truth. To put it another way, look at the end of 1 John chapter 5 verse 19. We know that we are of God...we are of God. That is, we embrace the things of God. We love God, believe in God, believe in His Word. On the other hand, the whole world lies in the evil one. The Greek literally says, lies in the evil one.

It's as if the whole world is literally embedded in the grip of the evil one and the evil one has one agenda and that is to assault the truth with His lies. All unsaved people are in the world. All unsaved people are children of the world.

All unsaved people are under the prince of the power of the air who is the spiritual ruler of this world. We are not. We have rejected that and embraced the truth.

We have then overcome the world of lies by believing the truth. The world is hostile to godliness because it is dominated by carnal ambition, pride, greed, self-pleasure, evil desire. Its opinions are wrong. Its aims are selfish. Its pleasures are sinful. Its influence is demoralizing. Its politics are corrupt.

Its honors are empty. Its smiles are fake and its love is fickle. The world is the system of rebellion toward God run by Satan, set up on earth as the very antithesis of the gospel of salvation. We give no supreme affection to that and at the same time say we love God and love Jesus Christ.

The two are mutually exclusive. One time Paul loved the world and his world was the hypocrisy and self-righteousness of Judaism but he saw it as manure compared to Christ and he didn't love it anymore. He counted it but dumb, he said, when he found Christ. We do not love the world because of what it is.

Secondly, we do not love the world because of who we are. Down in verses 12 through 14 really ties into this. I'm writing to you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake. I'm writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who's been from the beginning. I'm writing to you, young men, because you've overcome the evil one. I've written to you, children, because you know the Father. I've written to you, fathers, because you know Him who's been from the beginning.

I've written to you, young men, because you're strong and the Word of God abides in you and you've overcome the evil one. You know why we don't love the world? Because we know the Father, because the Word is strong in us and because we're progressing toward a deep and intimate knowledge of the eternal God. All of that simply says we are God's children. We are in the family and that is mutually exclusive from loving the world. We are God's children at varying levels of maturity, but we love the Father. We love the truth the Father has revealed and we even become spiritual fathers as we grow and we have a deep love for the glory of our great God. No way does the family of God love the world. And if someone defects and goes after the world, goes hard after the world, demonstrating affection for the world and all its systems, both theoretical and behavioral, they give evidence that their claim to know God and to love Christ was a lie, nothing but a lie.

This is absolutely impossible. We cannot love it because of what it is. It is the lie and we have affirmed the truth. We cannot love it because of who we are. It is the children of Satan. We are the children of God.

And yet, I need to just add a little caveat in here. It does not mean that the world doesn't still allure us because it can, it is seductive. We might reject its philosophy because we've embraced Christianity. We might reject and certainly do reject its religions, its false religions of human achievement. We reject all of the ideologies of the world and yet we're lured and seduced by some of its behavior. What are you talking about?

I'm talking about flirting with the world. You don't love it. You're not married to it. You have been separated from it. You have come into the family of God and yet it is alluring to you because of your fallenness.

What am I talking about? What books do you love the most? If you love any worldly books more than the Word, if you love any worldly songs more than the hymns, if you love worldly people more than the people of God, if you love any endeavor more than service to Christ, if you seek any reward more than well done, good and faithful servant, you are being seduced to flirt with the world. And Scripture says, set your affections on things above and not on things on the earth.

Be that spiritual young man strong in the Word who overcomes the world. We don't love the world because of what it is and because of who we are. Thirdly, we don't love the world because of what it does.

What does it do? It incites to sin. It incites to sin. For all that is in the world, says verse 16, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life is not from the Father but is from the world. He says, don't love the world, don't be seduced, don't be lured into it, all it is is a bundle of incitement to sin.

That's all that's in it. That's the comprehensive statement at the beginning of verse 16. For all that is in the world, there's nothing there but what incites to sin. Philo said it is as impossible for love of the world to coexist with love for God as it is impossible for light and darkness to coexist.

The two are mutually exclusive. You are in the light. You are in the kingdom. You believe the truth.

You've overcome the world. Don't flirt with it because all it will do is lure you into the seduction of its temptations. It incites to sin. And for the believer, that's the last thing that you long to experience, your heart longs to be delivered from sin. True Christians say with Paul in Romans 7, I do what I don't want to do, I don't do what I want to do, there's a wretched man within me and I want to be delivered from it. So John writes, stop loving the world. It's not consistent with being a Christian. Don't love the things that are in the world, its treasures, its pleasures, its theories, its viewpoints, its morality, its judgments, its honors, its power, its wealth, its wisdom, its education, whatever it is, whatever element of its anti-God, anti-Christ ideology.

You want nothing to do with it. Now we're not talking about material things like a house and a car, money. You can have those things. Go over to verse 17 of chapter 3 and here John says, whoever has the world's goods, that's fine, goods are one thing, luring seductive ideologies are another. If you have the world's goods, that's all right, but when you see your brother in need, don't close your heart against him or we're going to question whether the love of God is in you. If you have the world's goods and you see somebody in need, you're going to share the world's goods, which assumes that we have them, it's not wrong to enjoy the things that God has richly provided for us.

That just becomes a test, you know, possessing the world's goods just becomes a test if you're Christianity because if you see somebody in need, you're going to let them go to meet that need. So as we look then at the third reason we don't love the world, we don't love the world because of what it does and what it does is in sight to sin. Verse 16 says, all that is in the world...we'll skip to the end...is not from the Father but is from the world.

It's not from God. And all it does is in sight to sin. Here's what's in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life. That is the sum of everything going on in the human system. Those are the three gateways to sin.

That's all that the world does. It just seduces people into sin. And it does it on these three fronts, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.

That's all it has to offer. I think we understand what the lust of the flesh means. It refers to that deep, profound part of fallenness that the Old Testament calls the imagination that is buried deep within man underneath his rationality that corrupts his thinking. And then there is the lust of the eyes.

What is that? That is that seductive vision that you see something and because you see it, it allures you and you want it and it leads to covetousness and leads to all kinds of other sins because when you see something you want, James says, you lust because you don't have it and you'll even make war and kill to get it. And then there is that boastful pride of life that really underlies everything, that arrogance of self-fulfillment that says, I want what I want when I want it and I'm going to get it. That's all that's there, folks.

I mean, that's all that's there. We do not then love the world because of what it is, because of who we are, and because of what it does. It incites to sin. There's a fourth and last reason we don't love the world and that is because of where it is going, verse 17, and the world is passing away and also its lusts. But the one who does the will of God abides forever. The fourth reason that we don't love the world is because where it is going is very different than where we're going. The world is passing away and we're not.

Two destinies here. We have two different principles operating. In the world is a principle of death operating.

In the people of God who have overcome the world is a principle of life operating. The world, parageitai, present tense, the world is in the process of disintegrating. We're not just talking about the second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy that all matter is breaking down, although that certainly is an element of it. The present tense indicates that the world is in the process of dissolution. It is the opposite of evolution, it is devolution.

It is in the self-destructing mode. The death principle is already in the universe, wreaking its process of havoc. The world, the earth, the universe, the system of man, all of it has within itself the forces of its own disintegration.

It is in a death spiral. Timothy 3.13 says, evil men grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. We're talking about the world and the planets and the universe. We know that the Lord is going to destroy all that at the coming of Jesus Christ. The elements will melt with fervent heat, 2 Peter 3. The whole universe as we know it at the return of Christ will be changed, renovated. The Tribulation will start the renovation by judgment. The return of Christ will start...will further the renovation of the renewed earth for the Millennial Kingdom at the end of the Millennial Kingdom. When the Second Coming Christ is culminated, there will be a total destruction of the entire universe as we know it and replacing it will be the new heaven and the new earth, that's in the book of Revelation. But here though, that's true, we're talking about something else because the world we're talking about is not the created order.

The world we're talking about is the systems of man. And what we're looking at here is the destruction of Satan, his casting into the lake of fire, the destruction of demons as they too are put into the place prepared for the devil and his angels where they'll burn forever in torment. We're talking about all the human beings who have followed the world system, all the people in false religion from all of human history, all of the Antichrist, anti-God people, all those who lived their lives within the framework of the world under the power of Satan, they are all in a death spiral and they are catapulting at a rapid rate into eternal hell. That's what the Bible says, terms that are quite clear. I'm drawn back to 2 Thessalonians chapter 1. This is a plain indication of God's righteous judgment.

You want some straightforward plain talk? Here it comes. God is going to repay with affliction all who afflict you, Paul says, and give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus and these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.

That's it. It's going to come in destruction. It's going to come in vengeance.

This is already in motion. The wicked of the world, as I said, are in a death spiral. All the religions of the world, all the people caught in those false religions, all the people trapped in all the ideologies and all the kinds of thinking and all the kinds of conduct that make up the world system, all that is outside the kingdom of God, the realm of salvation is going to die and it's going to die an eternal death. That is to say, it's not going to go out of existence but it's going to die that unending death of punishment in everlasting hell.

Satan will be there, all the demons will be there, and all the human beings who have ever lived and rejected God will be there. We are not lovers of the world because of what it is, because of who we are, because of what it does, and because of where it's going. Its destiny is very different than our destiny.

First Corinthians 7, 31, Paul said, the fashion of this world, the form of this world is passing away. Are you surprised that things are as bad as they are? You say, things have never been this bad in my life. Well that's right, they've never been this bad in anybody's life because they're getting worse and worse and worse. We can assume they're going to be worse in the next generation and worse in the generation after that and the generation after that until Jesus comes. Sin is destroying the system it thrives on. It's like cancer, it's eating itself.

Is that a threat to us? No, because verse 17 says, the one who does the will of God abides how long? Forever...forever. Who is the one who does the will of God? Believers...believers. We are defined as the ones who do the will of God. What is the will of God?

This is my beloved Son, hear Him. That's the will of God, we did that. It is the will of God that we believe the gospel, we've done that. It is the will of God that we embrace Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we've done that. That's the will of God. It is the will of God that we love the Son, that we obey the Father. This is the will of my Father, John 6.40, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life. That's the will of the Father.

It's just another way to talk about believers. We're believers. We're those who do the will of God.

The will of God is that this is my Son, believe in Him, John 6.40. Christians have done that and we live forever. We're not going where the system's going.

System's going into death and we're going into life. So we can't love the world because of what it is, the system of Satan, who we are, the children of God. What it does, it incites to sin and we resist that and long for righteousness. And because of where it's going, it's spiraling into death and we're headed for eternal life.

How foolish then to flirt with it, hmm? And not to be consumed with the things of the eternal kingdom. You're listening to John MacArthur, Chancellor of the Masters University and Seminary. He's also the featured Bible teacher here on Grace To You, and his lesson today is part of his series titled The Love God Hates. John, you said today that true believers don't love the world, but instead they love Christ. And you have an email from a man named David and his subject line reads, My Hopeful Conversion. So it does sound as though David is growing in his love for Christ, but also that he could use some pastoral encouragement and instruction.

So read his letter and respond to him. Well, I'll be glad to, Phil. David writes, I've been in a works-based religion, of course that's a false religion, since birth, and recently I discovered your teaching and something began to resonate with me. When I heard what you said about works-based religion, it's as though a light came on. Now, I'll be the first to admit, he writes, it was almost punishing to come to grips with some of these truths, the lies that I had come to believe exposed by the Bible and highlighted by your teaching are undeniable. To realize just how wrong I had been and how far from God's truth I had fallen was enough to shake me to the very core of my being. It's been almost a year now of following your teaching. And although I still have much to learn, for the first time ever, I believe I am learning the truth, God's truth. Quite frankly, I'm stunned to look back and think about what I used to believe and what millions and millions of people still believe. I've made the conscious decision to stick to what you teach and take the path toward repentance. For the first time, I believe God will save me, a wicked sinner.

However, I wonder what are the next steps I can take. I want the narrow gate, not the wide one. I just wanted to express my gratitude to grace to you and Pastor MacArthur. Thank you, David.

That's amazing honesty. We share this letter with you, as we do with many letters, to remind you of the power of the Word of God, the power of preaching and teaching the Word of God. As Hebrews 4-12 says, it is sharper than any two-edged sword.

It pierces and it cuts and it exposes, and then, of course, it heals and it saves. People are desperate for truth. Some of them know it, some of them don't. They all need to know, especially if they're bound up in error. They need to hear biblical truth. Biblical truth is the most important thing in the universe, because it's the only thing that rescues souls from hell and provides for them eternal life in heaven.

So that's why grace to you is here, day after day, declaring the powerful truth from the Word of God. And we don't do anything to add to it. We don't add gimmicks. We don't have any sort of subtle strategies.

We don't try any marketing techniques. We let the Word of God go. One verse at a time, as those of you who are with us often know. And when you stand with grace to you financially and you commit to pray for us, your efforts will multiply as people learn and grow and influence others in the same direction. And literally, in supporting this ministry, you are making friends for eternity. When you go to heaven, you're going to meet the people who came to faith in Jesus Christ through the ministry of grace to you because you supported it. So thanks for taking part in unleashing God's truth one verse at a time.

Yes, thank you. And friend, that is an incredible reality. Your gifts have eternal impact. Like David, many listeners tell us that John's teaching was the first time they heard and understood biblical truth and the gospel. So to help us reach more and more people with God's Word, express your support today. You can mail your tax-deductible gift to Grace To You, Box 4000, Panorama City, CA 91412. You can also give by calling us at 1-800-55-GRACE or by clicking the donate tab at the top of our website, GTY.org. Also you can help Grace To You bless believers around the world for generations to come by including our ministry in your estate plan to find out more about legacy giving.

Call us at 1-800-55-GRACE and ask for Paul Ackerman or visit our website GTY.org. And while you're at our website, take advantage of the thousands of resources available there. There are daily devotionals, videos from John's various television and conference appearances and more than 3500 of John's sermons. All of them free to download in the MP3 or transcript format. You can also download the Grace To You app so that you can take this broadcast with you wherever you go. And all of that and more is free of charge at GTY.org. Now for John MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson. Thanks for joining us today and be here tomorrow when John continues his study on the love God hates with another half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-07 13:46:20 / 2023-04-07 13:56:26 / 10

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