!Sermon by Pr. Paddick Van Zyl
19 Sep , 2014
!Do Not Love
The 'Do Not Enter' sign we often see in a building or in a public place, or even a street, was placed there for a specific purpose. Sign posts or boards play a very important role in our daily lives. There purpose is that of supplying information, showing direction and in some cases warning us of danger ahead, sadly though, many choose to ignore sign boards or interpret the message they were designed to proclaim, to suit themselves. The Word of God has many important sign boards, some of which, if we choose to ignore, will bring us loss, sorrow and death. Let's look at one very important sign today...Do Not Love!
When we love someone or something, we show affection towards the person or object.
We are repeatedly commanded to love others, love God, but we are also commanded to not love the world. Let me explain: The world I refer to is not the trees or birds or created things God gave us to enjoy! It is neither the unsaved. It is the worldly system of sin. We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. It is a world or philosophy system (both religious and secular) that opposes Christ and the Word and holds this life as supreme, as Ray C. Stedman notes:
'But nevertheless there is a world that we must not love and John evidently expects his readers to know what that world is. It is something he has evidently often talked over with them and described to them, and now he does not need to define it for he knows that they know what he means. This would suggest that the world which John has in view here is clearly defined for us in other parts of Scripture. We shall find it most clearly in John's previous writing, the Gospel of John. In the Upper Room Discourse John records our Lord's words, and he speaks in warning about the world:
"If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." 18 RSV)
Here is a world that hated Jesus Christ. What world is that? Obviously, the representatives of that world were the enemies of Jesus. Who were they? It is most striking to recall that the enemies of Jesus were basically religious men. This world which the Christian is not to love is, therefore basically, primarily a religious world. It is not exclusively so for there was a secular world which hated Jesus as well. The representatives of the secular world hated the Lord Jesus, not with the hate of outright enmity, but, which is worse, with the hate of callous indifference. Our Lord said that the world would hate us because it hated him, and John says this is the world we must not love. We must not love that which hates Christ.
The world hated him because he constantly challenged its basic philosophy. He was in continual protest against that to which the world was irrevocably committed. Our Lord put the whole matter plainly one day when he said, "You are those who seek, not the honor which comes from God, but that which comes from man," John 5:44). There is the philosophy of the world, the world that John says we must not love. It does not look beyond this life, it is concerned only with the honor which comes from men and unconcerned about the honor which comes from God.
It is a philosophy which is bounded at one end by a cradle and at the other end by a casket. It is centered only in this life and this world. Jesus challenged that concept wherever he went and whenever he spoke. Because he thrust so decisively against this, he was hated and men banded together to put him to death. It was this philosophy which was ultimately responsible for nailing the Son of God to a bloody cross.
Think about that for a moment -- this philosophy that says the only important thing is this life -- think how widespread that is today. Are we not constantly exposed to this idea? Does it not subtly penetrate everything we touch today? We see it underlying all of life. It makes its appeal in every magazine. It is blazoned on every billboard. It is shouted abroad by radio and television, every time we turn a dial. It can be summed up in this precise way. "There is nothing better, there is nothing higher, there is nothing more precious than what this earth can give you: its money, its pleasures, its fame. You had best eat, drink, and be merry, for there is no nobler life than that."
Now, John says do not love that idea, do not love that philosophy, do not think it important. Be careful that you do not give yourself to that way of thinking. If you do, you will lose out on the fullness of Christian experience. You will be eaten by the devil. You will be trapped, deluded. You will become the victim of the Big Lie, and your very humanity will be wizened and withered by that philosophy.' #
Charles Swindoll stated, “Esther is a story of triumph that grew out of tragedy, ecstasy out of agony, celebration out of devastation. Yours can be the same.”[i] This book has shown us many things, including that God can use anyone for His glory that is willing to be used, that He is ultimately in control of all things in our lives, and He will work according to His fore knowledge to bring all things together in our lives for our best and His glory (Romans 8:28 ff.). The enemy may rage, but God will turn his attacks back on his own head ultimately. We need to stand strong against the three-fold enemy that directed the lives of Ahasuerus and Haman, “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1 John 2:16, nkjv). It destroyed them both ultimately.'##
We are to present our bodies and minds to God as a living sacrifice not half alive...
2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Amp
29-31 AMP - Read
*The order of this world is passing away
1-13 AMP - Read
*The well known parable about the 5 wise (on- fire and in love with the Lord) & 5 foolish (lazy, worldly loving) virgins (Christians) - a great truth to be learned here!
27Amplified Bible (AMP)
- '... keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.'
4 AMP - Read
*Friendship with the world makes one an enemy of God and visa versa
37 The Message - Read
*To trade your soul for the world is utter foolishness and leads only to death and separation from God!
How should a Christian behave:?
9-21 (AMP tells us exactly how:
9 [Let your] love be sincere (a real thing); hate what is evil [loathe all un godliness, turn in horror from wickedness], but hold fast to that which is good:
*Show honor to one another v.10
*Be zealous and on fire v.11
*Be hopeful, steadfast, patient, constant in prayer v.12
*Giving, hospitable v.13
*Bless and do not curse v.14
*Share in others' joy & grief v.15
*Live harmoniously, don't be haughty or high minded v.16
*Don't take revenge, live above reproach v.17,19
*Live at peace with other people & self v.18
'Monks went to monasteries in the wilderness, where no one else would go. They were trying to escape from "the world" so they wouldn't be tempted by it. But how could they be "the light of the world" (Matt. 5:14) if they were not in it?
Jesus wants us to go into the world, but He doesn't want the world to get into us. A submarine can't fulfill its purpose if it is out of the water. It must be submerged into the ocean before it can be effective. Even though the sub is surrounded by water, the water can't get inside because it is insulated. The submarine was prepared ahead of time, before it went into the sea, to have all possible areas sealed where leaks could occur.
In the same way, we are to be insulated from the world but not isolated from it. We need to be prepared ahead of time, before we go into the world, to seal off all possible areas where the world can leak in. The Lord wants us to influence the world--but not for the world to influence us.' Kent Crockett ###
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth not the world and that if the salt loses its flavor it is good only for the rubbish dump....in other words it is worthless! To be salt that provides the taste of holiness and the gospel, we need to lay of worldliness and embrace godliness and the fear of the Lord in our day lives....
# Ray C. Stedman 1 John 2 Expository Studies http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rsc/view.cgi?bk=1jo&ch=2&vs=15#15
## Thomas Klock Harvest Ministries http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/old-testament/the-book-of-esther-in-review-11554857.html
### Kent Crockett. http://www.kentcrockett.com/cgi-bin/illustrations/index.cgi?topic=Worldly