It is dangerous for believers to be enamored with the world; it not only impedes spiritual growth but can ultimately result in spiritual death for those who have not progressed beyond the ABC’s of Christian doctrine. Worldly love isn’t just materialism, what we own, it is also egotism; being concerned about one’s reputation success, status; it can also manifest itself through loving and trusting religion. Many within the visible Christian church are enamored with materialism, egotism and religion, and are flirting with disaster, loving this world rather than loving Christ. We are warned in Hebrews about the necessity to let go of worldly affection and grow as believers, if not the result will be apostasy.
9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, 10 called by God as High Priest “according to the order of Melchizedek,” 11 of whom we have much to say, and hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. 1 Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits. 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the power of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. 7 For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; 8 but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned. 9 But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this matter. Hebrews 5:9-6:9
Worldly love diminishes love for the Word of God, so those who are in love with the world are immature, unable to progress beyond the first principles of God’s Word regarding Christ. They are not able to discern between truth and error, so that they are incapable of handling the word of righteousness, and so cannot discriminate between good and evil. They are easily deceived and led into various lusts.
Worldly believers don’t move beyond the elementary principles of Christ, they may have been enlightened, tasted the heavenly gift, partaken of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, but are not necessarily genuine believers. They may have edged up to the living waters but not partaken for their salvation. If they fall away from what they have attained to, they cannot be brought back to Christ because they put Him to open shame and crucify Him for themselves again. In other words, they want Christ to be crucified on their behalf again, testifying that His crucifixion was insufficient for their salvation and they needed something more. This is the terrible destiny of all who love this world’s system, all that it entails, and turn away from Christ.
Worldly love causes those who receive God’s blessings to produce briers, wicked works, rather than the herbs, good works, that should be useful for God who has blessed them. This brings to mind what Jesus Christ said about abiding in Him in John chapter fifteen.
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples. John 15:1-8
Jesus Christ’s disciples have been cleansed through belief in His Word, which reveals the gospel of our salvation. They abide in Him, know His Word, pray according to His will for His glory, and bear much fruit for His kingdom. Worldly Christians follow the world’s religious systems, reject Christ, are removed from the vine and are burned in the fire of eternal judgment in hell. For all of you worldly Christians, please repent, please stop loving the worldly religious systems that try to pass for the beloved church of Christ, please get away from all that distracts you from following Christ, and set your heart to study God’s Word beseeching Him to enlighten your mind so you can understand what He has to say to you. Humble yourself, resist the devil, submit to God and draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you. Weep and moan over your desperate state and implore God to forgive you for your disloyalty to Him and restore you to walking with Christ in faith and love. God bless us.
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts you double-minded. 9 Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:7-10