We are commanded by God’s word to not love the world or anything in the world. Love of the world is not from God and is antithetical to love for God and His will.
15 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. 16 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. 17 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
It is possible for those who have loved and served the Lord Jesus Christ to desert Him for their love of the world. Demas was one who left the work of God because he loved the world. He was a fellow laborer with Paul, spreading the gospel amongst the Gentiles, but he left that work because he loved this present world.
23 Epaphras, my fellow prisoner in Christ Jesus, greets you, 24 as do Mark, Aristarchus, Demas, Luke, my fellow laborers. 25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. Philemon 23-25
12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician and Demas greet you. 15 Greet the brethren who are in Laodicea, and Nymphas and the church that is in his house. Now when this epistle is read among you, see that it is read also in the church of the Laodiceans, and that you likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. Colossians 4:12-16
9 Be diligent to come to me quickly; 10 for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world and has departed for Thessalonica, Crescens for Galatia, Titus for Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you , for he is useful for ministry. 2 Timothy 4:9-11
Demas was in good godly company and surrounded by sound teaching, however, he chose to leave the wonderful spiritual resources that God had given him, through Paul’s ministry, for the quiet comforts and pleasures of the world. The battle fought for God and His Word is fierce, and never seems to abate. Demas grew weary and left Paul for what the world had to offer. Unlike Epaphras, the bondservant of the Lord, who labored mightily for his beloved brethren throughout Hierapolis, Colossea, and Laodicea, Demas was a lukewarm believer, content with what the world had to offer. Just like Demas, even though the church at Laodicea had great spiritual resources in the ministries of Paul and Epaphras, they too lost their devotion and commitment to the Lord and instead became a thing of disgust to the Lord.
14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
Attachment to the world and all that it has to offer will quell any stirring of zeal for the Lord Jesus Christ, making one apathetic about the things of the Lord and content to sit still in the anesthesia of indifference. This is the condition of much of the church today. Instead of being strong in the Lord and the power of His might (Ephesians 6:10), many are like the church at Laodicea, content with the world’s few empty baubles that will quickly fade and degrade to naught and despair; they are wallowing in the filth of the world, being destitute of the Lord’s blessings and fellowship. Believers, we must wrestle against the constant solicitations by the world to relax, let down our guard and shuffle along with the status quo. With heroic strivings we must cast off the inexorable siren call of the world and slay those fleshly yearnings that longingly desire to yield to this forbidden love. Too many have succumbed to temptation and are led astray with delusions of wealth, wisdom, and well-being, not realizing they have cast aside the glory of eternity for empty bitterness and defeat.
Praise God that Jesus comes to us in our weakness, in our foolishness, in our disobedience and counsels us with words of life and liberty from the Bible by His Holy Spirit. Those who are lost in the love of the world must go to Jesus Christ and buy from Him the true wealth of eternal life, they must go to Jesus Christ and be clothed with His righteousness, and they must go to Jesus Christ to heal their blindness so that they may see. They must repent of their sin and believe in Him, know that He died on the cross for their sins to be forgiven and that He rose again from the dead for their salvation. He will then bless them with eternal life and the gift of His Holy Spirit so they may always be in fellowship with Him.
When believers struggle with worldly lusts we must cling to our faith and approach the throne of mercy beseeching the Lord of glory to heal our backslidings and straying into the world. He alone has the cure, He alone has the power to deliver, and He alone can rescue us from our wretchedness. His love constrains Him to rebuke and chasten us so that we will repent. When His erring children respond He lovingly receives us and restores us to fellowship with Him. Then He grants us the victory to share in His rule and reign for eternity. This is His promise to all those who overcome the scourge of the love of the world.
The trials of this life will soon be over. We will stand before the Lord of glory and give an account to Him. May we all live this life with faith in Jesus Christ, dependence upon the Holy Spirit, keeping ourselves in the love of God our Father. These trials are but for a moment, but the glory of eternity is endless. May God bless us as we stand for Him, stay true to His Son and His glorious gospel, walk in the Spirit, obedient to His Word and love one another until He comes again. Even so, come Lord Jesus Christ!
9 Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are well known to God, and I also trust well known in your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11