Do Not Love the World! (1 John 2:15)

In his excellent book, Respectable Sins: Confronting the Sins We Tolerate, Jerry Bridges defines the sin of "worldliness" as "being attached to, engrossed in, or preoccupied with the things of this temporal life" (he references in connection with this definition 1 Corinthians 7:31). Later in his discussion of this "respectable" sin, he makes this penetrating statement: "I believe the key to our tendencies toward worldliness lies primarily in two words, 'going along.' We simply go along and accept the values and practices of society around us without thought as to whether those values and practices are biblical."

I have thought a lot about this sin of worldliness since preaching on it two Sundays ago. We live in such an affluent and materialistic society. There are many things all around us into which we can invest both our time and our money. We must resist the temptation to just "go along" with our neighbors and pursue the stuff of this world. Instead, we must obey the Scripture which commands us, "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things" (Colossians 3:2). So instead of spending so many of the resources that God gives us on ourselves for mere temporal gratification - we should be spending these resources on the needy world of people around us and doing what we can to show people the love of Jesus, for without him and the Good News concerning his substitutionary death on the cross, people will be lost forever.

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