Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

Youth Page

Written by Peter Langbroek
Please read the Bible passage that follows and think about what that means. It would be a great idea if you talked about this passage with an adult before you read what I have to say. This is the passage:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever. (I John 2: 15-17)

What does this passage mean?

First, what does the world mean? The world means the group of people who do not love the world, right? So, does this mean we must hate anyone who isn't a Christian? Surely not! God commands us to love everyone, including our enemies (Matthew 5: 44). The clue to the right meaning of this command, "Do not love the world," lies in what is in the world: Òthe lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life.Ó

Do you know what these three vices or evils of the world mean? Let me explain by describing two scenes:

Scene 1:
After the Church Service Behind the Church Building
"Hey, geeky!" sneered Jason. Three boys laughed nervously behind him, watching Darren feel Jason's sharp words attack him. Darren winced. His heart beat faster and his cheeks flushed. Oh, how he wished he wasn't there. He should have known. He and Jason were rivals since Grade 1.

"You think you're so tough, don't you? Daddy let you play hockey, hey! My baby brother could skate circles around you!"

"Yeah, right!Ó Darren shot back. "You wouldn't even know how to tie your skates." Darren looked at Jason. Jason's eyes mocked him. He looked at the other boys. They were laughing too, even his friend Ben, who was afraid to look at him, feeling badly but not wanting to be unpopular.

Darren backed up. Jason saw the puddle behind him. Making a mad dash he pushed him. Darren lost his balance and fell in the mud.

"Let's see you skate ... in the mud! Ha, ha, ha." Jason and the boys laughed hard as they ran past him. "See ya later, geek!"

Scene 2:
After the Church Service in the Fellowship Hall
Melissa held on to her mother's arm. Her mother was sitting at the table drinking coffee with Mrs. Harris. The Harris's were a new family that just joined their church. Melissa looked across the hall. There was Pauline Harris, a girl her age, playing with Stephanie. She watched her.

She saw how Stephanie and Pauline were laughing and talking. For a split second, she even thought Pauline was laughing and looking at her. Pauline was pretty, she thought. She had long blonde hair, not like her curly matted brown hair. And look at her dress! She didn't have dresses like that.

As she watched, a bad feeling swept over her. Pauline had taken away her best friend Stephanie! Why didn't she get the things Pauline gets? She looked at her mom. Her parents were so strict! Why couldn't she go to the theatre to watch "Stuart Little" like Pauline? Her heart beat faster and her cheeks flushed. She let go of her mom and walked out of the fellowship hall into their beat-up old van.

Is it clearer to you now? The lust of the flesh is the desire to act wickedly, against God's command to love Him and others. It is a desire that lurks within the heart. The lust of the eyes is the attraction of things that are seen, a desire for things for their own sake. This desire is coveting which leads to envy, dissatisfaction and all forms of evil. It is the love of it apart from the love of God, and it leads us into temptation.

Lastly, what is the pride of life? It is the pride of man, boasting about what he has, either in talents, (brains, looks, being good at sports, personality, for example) or in possessions.

Boys and girls, if I asked you to write me stories like the two I wrote, I'm sure you could give me many. This passage from I John 2:15-17 is an important one because it shows us what it means to love the world. It means we should not seek the company of those who don't love God and it means we should avoid places that strongly promote the vices of the world.

I wish to impress on you that this warning does not rest only on the children in these two stories. This warning rests on you and on me. The two scenes took place in a church after the worship service. I donÕt think I'm far off to say that the spirit of the world may also be present among adults and children who go to church. And I'm right on when I say this spirit of the world rests in all our hearts.

The apostle John, writing through the Holy Spirit, wrote to a church, to people chosen and saved by God to be children of God. He wrote to them so they would not sin (I John 2:1). He wrote to them to encourage them with the words of encouragement that Christ died for the sins of the whole world (I John 2:2). He wrote to show that God's people are taken from the world that is dying with its desires, but that whoever does the will of God abides forever.

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