GOD LOVES THE WORLD
I CAN’T ?
“Don’t you know that if you love the world, you are God’s enemies?
And if you decide to be a friend of the world, you make yourself
an enemy of God.” James 4:4
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” John 3:16 KJV.
Then what about this verse?
Don’t love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you cannot love the Father.” I John 2:15
The answer to this love conflict can be found in defining the world as well as defining the people of this world as they relate to God and mankind.
“The World”, as opposed to the people of this world, is a way of existence. It speaks not to the physical realm, rather the inner, spiritual conflict between Godly character and the crude assimilation, defilement and vulgarity of fallen man.
“Our foolish pride comes from this world, and so do our selfish desires and our desire to have everything we see. None of this comes from the Father. The world and the desires it causes are disappearing. But if we obey God, we will live forever.” I John 2:16,17.
The people of this world are the objects of Gods love. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ means that their is hope for those who place their trust and life in Him.
“Everyone who has faith in the Son has eternal life. But no one who rejects him will ever share in that life, and God will be angry with them forever.” John 3:36
“Adam sinned, and that sin brought death into the world. Now everyone has sinned, and so everyone must die. Sin pays off with death. But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord”. Romans 5:12, 6:23
“God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ. All of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.” Romans 3:22-24
The Rest of the Story…
John 3:16-21 CEV helps us to see a bit clearer
“God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them! No one who has faith in God’s Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn’t have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God’s only Son. The light has come into the world and people who do evil things are judged guilty because they love the dark more than the light. People who do evil hate the light and won’t come to the light, because it clearly shows what they have done. But everyone who lives by the truth will come to the light, because they want others to know that God is really the one doing what they do.”
The Motivation of God’s Love?
For Us to Receive—Accept His Son
“Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful…God showed us how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.” Romans 5:6,8
Many people of this world think that trying to be good is how one becomes Christian. This is a great deception. As a disciple of Christ, if I do good, it is because I am already a Christian, not to become or remain one.
“You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God’s gift to you and not anything you have done on your own. It isn’t something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.” Ephesians 2:8,9
“Think how much the Father loves us. He loves us so much that he lets us be called his children, as we truly are. But since the people of this world did not know who Christ is, they don’t know who we are”. I John 3:1
“So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe and tell it to others…There is only one Lord, and he is generous to everyone who asks for his help. All who call out to the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9,10 12b,13
A NEW STANDARD
The Apostle Paul distinguished people of this world as “outsiders”. In doing so, he also revealed the behavioral expectations of those who were professing believers and church members.
“In my other letter I told you not to have anything to do with immoral people. But I wasn’t talking about the people of this world. You would have to leave this world to get away from everyone who is immoral or greedy or who cheats or worships idols. I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curses others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them! Why should I judge outsiders? Aren’t we supposed to judge only church members? God judges everyone else. The scriptures say, ‘chase away any of your own people who are evil.’” I Corinthians 5:9-13
Today’s church often inverts this, preferring very little accountability within and heavy judgment toward those without who do not profess to believe in the Bible or it’s Christ; expecting them to live as a Christian without being one. Today’s church further confuses the world by trying to become like it in order to be accepted. The Jesus in the bible was never popular to the world. When he is today, it is usually about money, not faith. (e.g. see “Christian” television)
“My friends, you are acting like the people of this world. That is why I could not speak to you as spiritual people. You are like babies as far as your faith in Christ is concerned.” I Corinthians 3:1
“Let the Spirit change your way of thinking and make you into a new person. You were created to be like God, and so you must please him and be truly holy. We are part of the same body. Stop lying and start telling each other the truth. Don’t get so angry that you sin. Don’t go to bed angry and don’t give the devil a chance. If you are a thief, quit stealing. Be honest and work hard, so you will have something to give to people in need. Stop all your dirty talk. Say the right things at the right time and help others by what you say. Don’t make God’s Spirit sad. The Spirit makes you sure that someday you will be free from your sins. Stop being bitter and angry and mad at others. Don’t yell at one another or curse each other or ever be rude. Instead be kind and merciful, and forgive others, just as God forgave you because of Christ.” Ephesians 4:25-32
Finally, Grow in Unlikeness & Love
Christians inherit a new standard of living the moment they profess to trust in Jesus Christ. They will now love the people of this world as God does and discover what it means to not be of the world.
OTHER VERSES RELATING
“What happened to those wise people? What happened to those experts in the scriptures? What happened to the ones who think they have all the answers? Didn’t God show that the wisdom of this world is foolish? God was wise and decided not to let the people of this world use their wisdom to learn about him.” I Corinthians 1:20,21
Jesus said, “If the people of this world hate you, just remember that they hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it’s people would love you. But you don’t belong to the world. I have chosen you to leave the world behind, and that is why it’s people hate you.” John 15:18,19
“Jesus came to them and said: I have been given authority in heaven and on earth! Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to do everything I have told you. I will be with you always, even until the end of the world.” Matthew 28:18
“What we mean is that God was in Christ, offering peace and forgiveness to the people of this world.” 2 Cor. 5:19
“You are like light for the whole world. Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven”. Matthew 5:14,16
Jesus said: “The people of this world cannot accept the Spirit because they don’t see or know Him.” “I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.” John 14:17, 27
“Don’t be like the people of this world, but let God change the way you think. Then you will know how to do everything that is good and pleasing to him.” Romans 12:2
“No one can defeat the world without having faith in Jesus as the Son of God.” I John 5:5
“But God has given us his Spirit. That’s why we don’t think the same way that the people of this world think. That’s also why we can recognize the blessings that God has given us.” I Corinthians 2:12
“Because of his cross, the world is dead as far as I am concerned, and I am dead as far as the world is concerned.” Galatians 6:14b
“You cannot be the slave of two masters! You will like one more than the other or be more loyal to one than the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24