Do you love the world or love the Savior Jesus Christ? How you answer this question will determine how you live. Many will claim to love Jesus Christ, but when their lives are examined and compared to the Scriptures, it can be seen that they are motivated by a different love. God through His Word the Bible characterizes love for the world and love for the Savior. Examination of these verses can clarify what love we indeed possess.
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 1 John 2:15-17
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:1-6
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself and enemy of God. James 4:1-4
First God, commands that we not love the world or the things in the world. If any love the world, then they do not have the love of the Father in them and are actually enemies of God. Loving the world turns them against God. If any love the world, then they desire the things of the world which only gives rise to fleshly desires and behaviors. They then become contentious and covetous. Being enemies of God, His love is not in them and so they are motivated by envy and hatred towards others, even resulting in murder.
Love of the world means they reject the truth of the Word of God. They instead follow the spirit of the Antichrist and then receive those teachings and doctrines, and spread those teachings and doctrines that are embraced by the Antichrist loving world. Ultimately, love of the world results in the rejection of God’s Son Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Savior of the world. There will of course be some sort of teaching about Jesus Christ, but it will deny that He is God the Son of God, that He came into the world to save sinners, that He was born of the virgin Mary, lived a holy and sinless life, perfectly fulfilled all righteousness, bore our sins upon His body on the cross taking our punishment, appeasing the wrath of God, died and then rose again from the dead, and will soon return to set-up His kingdom of righteousness upon this earth.
We can see many within the visible church who claim to be Christian, but refuse the truth of the Scriptures, reject the revelation of God in the Scriptures, refute the doctrine of Jesus Christ in the Scriptures, abhor the teaching of the Scriptures regarding righteousness and sin, and have substituted their own evil and vile teachings that have their origins in the spirit of the Antichrist. These false professors love abortion, homosexuality, perversion, blasphemy, godlessness, lying, and all manner of vile wicked corruption. Most of these individuals come from organized religion and mainline denominations such as the United Methodist Church, many Baptist denominations, Anglicans, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Disciples of Christ, Church of Christ, Congregationalists, many in Evangelicalism and the Charismatic Movement, etc. These individuals have a form of godliness, but deny its power and believers in Christ are commanded by God’s Word to turn away from such people. They do the works of the flesh which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like. They are lovers of the world and would rather appease the world and its godless system than fear God and believe in Him. They scoff at those who hold to the truth of the Scriptures and believe in God’s glorious Son Jesus Christ.
If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. John 14:15-17
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s Who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. John 14:23-26
These things I command you, that you love one another. If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:17-19
If we love Jesus Christ we will keep His commandments, we will love one another, we will keep His word, and we will be indwelt by the Holy Spirit who is our Helper. If we keep His word then the Father also loves us and we are the home of God Almighty Who indwells us.
If we love Jesus Christ, we will be taught by the Holy Spirit, and He will reveal the Word of God to us. We love Jesus Christ, not because of our own doing, but because He has called us out of the world to belong to Him. Therefore, we keep His commandments, love His Word, are loved by the Father, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
Belonging to Jesus Christ through faith in Him, we will be diametrically opposed to the evil fallen world system run by the spirit of the Antichrist, and we will therefore be hated by this wicked world. The world hates Jesus Christ and hates His beloved Bride the true church of God that believes and holds fast the truth revealed to us by the Holy Spirit from the Word of God. As those who love Jesus Christ, who are hated by the world, we will love one another because the Spirit of Christ is in us, we have been redeemed by the precious blood of Jesus Christ who died on the cross, Who bore our just punishment for our willful sin, and is risen and seated at the right hand of the Majesty on High interceding for us, and so we are united together through this love of our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.
Since we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, we have the fruit of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control. Because we love the Savior, we tell others about Him so they can know His wonderful love too. Because we love the Savior, we hold fast the faithful Word that has been delivered to us in the Scriptures and refuse, refute and reject the teachings and doctrines of the world that have their origins in the spirit of the Antichrist, and abhor the wickedness that such vile teaching engenders. If we love the Savior, we cannot love the world.