The previous message dealt with what we should think about the world. Right actions depend on right thinking. The following is a summary of those right thoughts. Note: the first three are referring to an ungodly, antichrist kingdom that promotes lust and pride, and is contrary to the love of God. The last point is referring to people - souls in need of redemption.
- The world is full of Sin. (I John 5:19)
- The world is full of hostility towards God and those whom God loves. (I John 3:1,13)
- The world is full of false prophets with a worldly message. (I John 2:18-27; 4:1-6)
- The world (people) is the focal point of God's grace, mercy, love, and truth. (I John 4:9,14; 2:2)
This leads to ask ourselves some serious questions:
- Do I have a healthy desire to not love this world, so that I can have room in my heart and life to love God and be His friend? (James 4:1-10)
- Do I love truth as God Does? (John 8:30-32; I Corinthians 13:6)
- Do I love people as God does? (Matthew 5:43-48)
- As I separate from world, does the hatred and the evil of this world caused me to isolate myself and not want contact with people who are in the world and of the world?
- (I Corinthians 5:9-10; 9:19-23; 10:31-33)
Our Scripture reading today offers us…
- Fellowship (partnership) with God (I John 1:3,5-6 cp. I John 4:15-16)
- Fellowship with the apostles (via the New Testament (I John 1:1-4 cp. 4:5-6 - "we," "us")
- Fellowship with the children of God (I John 1:7 cp. I John 5:1-2).
We need to make sure that we have received and partaken of this offer (John 1:12-13; Isaiah 55:6-7; Romans 10:9-13).
Now we answer the question, "What shall we do with the world?"
Escape from the world - I John 1:5-7
Jesus came to deliver us from this present evil world (Galatians 1:3-4), to deliver us from the dark kingdom of the Devil (I John 2:12-14; 3:7-8; 5:18-19 cp. Acts 26:18), to deliver us from the penalty and power of our sin (I John 1:8 - 2:2; 3:5 cp. Matthew 1:21; I Thessalonians 1:9-10).
If you have not received the free gift of salvation through Christ, then obey the Gospel and escape this world's influence over you. Come out of its devilish darkness and come to the light of Christ. Do not allow yourself to be condemned with this present evil world (John 3:16-21; Acts 2:40).
Overcome the world - I John 5:1-5, 18-21
The world has a way of trying to draw us back, deceiving and tempting us to fleshly ways of thinking - to seeking security and pleasures. This hurts our testimony for Christ and hinders our spiritual growth. We cannot enjoy both the pleasures of this world and the pleasures of God. Our Lord calls us to come out from worldly ways and walk in His power and love. He has provided everything we need to do this.
- I John 2:15-17; 4:1-4,5-6
- Romans 12:1-3,21 cp. 8:31-39
- James 1:2-8,12,21-27; 4:1-10 cp. Revelation 18:1-5
- II Peter 1:2-11
Reach out to the world - I John 4:2-3, 14, 17
The Scriptures, mentioned above, emphasize that we should confess Christ and testify of Christ to others and that we should be like Christ in this world. In developing a distaste for the things of this world, we can easily want to withdraw and isolate ourselves from people. When Jesus had finished His work on Earth, He gave us a mission: Preach the Gospel to every person in the world (John 20:21; Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:18-20; Luke 24:44-48; Acts 1:8).
In noting I John 4:17, consider that Christ is not only holy and pure, but he is the light of the world (John 8:12). We are to reflect that light, as we represent Him to others in this world (Matthew 5:14-16; Philippians 2:14-16; Ephesians 5:1-17). See also Romans 10:13-17; II Timothy 2:8-13.
Have you escaped the wrath of God that is upon this world?
Have you escaped the world's pollutions and been liberated by the love of God?
Are you reaching back to those who are still trapped in the world's lies and temptations?