Do Not Love the World
Passage: 1 John 2:15–2:17
Do Not Love the World
Pastor David Lovi
April 30, 2017
I have found in my time as a pastor that the Lord many times gives me an object lesson about the text I’m preparing to preach.
This week was no exception.
In 1985, my big brother, Brian, came home one day with the most amazing thing my five-year eyes had ever seen: a Nintendo Entertainment System.
From that time on Super Mario and his brother Luigi were my best friends. Along with Mega man, Double Dragon, Dragon Warrior, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, Tecmo Bowl, Zelda, and so many more. Hundreds of hours were spent on that Nintendo. I had every game that Nintendo ever made. And then I went to college and I left the Nintendo at home.
One day I came home from college to find out the mom had given my Nintendo and all of games to the neighbors across the street. And they were, of course, Christian, and they gave my Nintendo games to some poor kid.
They were gone forever.
I was not happy.
That was it—no more Nintendo.
But, then about six or eight months ago, I heard that Nintendo made an updated version of the old game system called Nintendo Classic.
It’s was only $60.00 and I had to get one.
But every time I went to Best Buy or Walmart, they were sold out. In fact, they were sold out ten minutes after every new shipment. Most likely those systems were bought by people in their mid-30’s trying to relive their childhood—like me.
Here was the object lesson the Lord gave me:
Last Sunday after church, I went home and was sitting on the couch decompressing. I saw on the news that Nintendo decided to discontinue making the Nintendo Classic; they would ship out one final batch of an unknown quantity to Best Buy the next morning.
I called Best Buy, this was about 7 or 8 at night, and asked them what time they were going to open the next day and the lady said, “Oh, are you calling about Nintendo?”
I said, “Yes.”
“Oh, we already have people setting up tents outside.”
I did what every sane person would do—I kissed my wife and my son and I told them,
“I’m going to the store to buy a tent.”
And as I was walking out the door, my precious wife said to me, “Oh, by the way, what is your sermon about next week?”
Sometimes the Holy Spirit uses my wife . . . :)
I said, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If you love the world, the love of the Father is not in you.”
I can’t go. I can’t go. What a painful struggle it was.
I slinked back to the couch and Amy said to me, “Hey, at least you have a good sermon illustration for next week.”
Which was no consolation.
Throughout that night, I was tossing and turning and I was thinking maybe only a couple of people had tents. Maybe there was only like a hundred of them. And so in the morning I woke up and said, “I think this is a good morning for Martyn and I to go on a little drive.”
And then Amy said to me. “Okay, if you don’t want to use this sermon illustration.”
Ah, all right. I didn’t go. And the Nintendos are gone now.
But at least I have the love of the Father. :)
What does it mean that John says, “Do not love the world?”
Doesn’t God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son? Well, depending on the context of the word “world,” it has different meanings.
John gives the church this passage we’re going to look at today. He knows that worldliness is one of the greatest enemies to the Christian. I would even say the love of the world and the way John uses it today, is far and away the greatest snare for Christians in our age and especially for Christians in our country.
And so in our passage today we’re going to learn why the love of the world is so poisonous and what the only remedy is for those ensnared by it.