This We Know: Love Not The World

John tells us not to love the world because the things of the world or not from the Father. When we love the things of the world it separates us from fellowship from the Father. Is it possible to love God and live for the things of the world?

1 John 2:12-17 Sermon Guide

We find ourselves in a world consumed with self-absorption, materialism, and other viewpoints and values contrary to God’s will and Word. Where do we fall prey to the false and fading desires of the world? How can we as believers live differently? In this week’s message of the This We Know: A Journey in 1 John series, Drew Zeiler contrasts the seduction and destruction of following the world and the freedom found through fellowship with the triune God.

Point #1: You cannot love God and simultaneously be living for the world. (1 John 2:12-15)

In this section, John reassures his fellow believers of their positional relationship with Christ and the realities of that relationship and the real results he’s witnessed from their faith. From this place of reassurance, John confidently and compassionately commands them, “Do not love the world or anything in the world.” Why such a stern warning? Love for the world’s corrupt values and love for God cannot coexist.

  1. Drew defines the usage of the term “world” in this passage as “the values that the world aspires to and treasures”. Biblically, he shows the world is under the rule of Satan (1 John 5:19), is enemy to God (James 4:4), and hostile to God (John 15:18). Why can love for the world and love for God not coexist?
  2. Where do you feel the seductive power of the world? Where are you threatened to go back to the authority of Satan and corruptive influence of the world?

Point #2: The seduction of the world draws us away from fellowship with the Father. (1 John 2:16)

In 1 John 2:16, John reveals “an evil trinity” (“the flesh, the eyes, and the pride of life”) that relentlessly works to draw us away from fellowship with the triune God.

  1. When it comes to your struggles with the flesh, where are you most prone to make a good desire an “over-desire” – something you make ultimate in your life in the place of God?
  2. When it comes to your struggles with the eyes, what are you most likely to justify as a need that is truly a want?
  3. When it comes to your struggles with the pride of life, whose opinion or approval are you most prone to elevate to a place that only God deserves?

Point #3: The things of the world will not last, but doing the will of God endures forever. (1 John 2:17)

Rather than living for the world that is fading and whose pleasures are fleeting, John calls his audience to live for what will last forever. God has lovingly rescued believers from the world and offers a new path for His people to forsake the world and its evil desires and follow Him.

  1. Like passengers on the Titanic, everyone who loves the world and lives for this world is destined for destruction. How have you personally experienced the pain of living under the world’s authority? Where are you seeking life and luxury on a sinking ship rather than heeding His warning and living our His perfect, permanent will?


  1. Read Isaiah 11:1-10 before next Sunday’s message as we begin our Advent series!
  2. Read Luke 4:1-13 to see how Jesus was tempted in all three of the ways warned against by John in 1 John 2:16, yet did not sin. How did Christ emerge victorious over temptation? Reflect upon the areas you are giving into temptation or trying to overcome them by your own efforts or strength. Confess and repent these areas to God and to your community group. In your weakness, be reassured by John’s comforting words from 1 John 1:9 and 1 John 2:1-2 to those who courageously confess their sins.