Love for the World :: by Scott Huckaby

It continues to amaze me that not all who profess to follow Jesus Christ are excited about His soon return. The top reasons I have found for my fellow Christians being cold toward Bible prophecy can be summarized as love for the world.

This attitude appears to especially be a problem for the church in America because of our prosperity. But this problem is not just limited to the United States; it is also an issue in Europe and generally worldwide wherever Western civilization is embraced.

America’s prosperity has lured us into idolatry. Collectively, we no longer believe we have been blessed by God to serve His purpose; instead, the conventional wisdom is that we have reached our comfortable position in life through strictly human achievement.

There is a general attitude today that we have gotten this far without God, so then there is no problem we can’t fix given enough time, funding, and focused human will. This attitude is much the same as it was at the tower of Babel.

“Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves” (Genesis 11:4).

Babylon is famous for collective human achievement attempting to usurp the role of God.

Now you’d think we wouldn’t have an idolatry problem in the Body of Christ, but the Idol of human prosperity has a big foothold in the American church. Jesus rebuked the Church of Laodicea for their being lukewarm toward Him and thinking their worldly wealth equated to spiritual wealth (Revelation 3:14-22).

Our prosperity has led American Christians to no longer be on fire for Jesus because we don’t depend on Him for our daily needs. We may live in the final Laodicean phase of the Church Age but this doesn’t mean we have to succumb to being Laodicean believers ourselves.

Loving the world is a characteristic of not being a child of God.

“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” (1 John 2:15).

In context, the world, here refers to the system created by society to manage the world. The world system people have collectively created is one that appeals to our natural selfish human nature. If we allow our selfish human nature to be the guide for our lives, we will find ourselves on a path away from God.

Our selfish human nature seeks the pleasures of this world, that which is attractive, and that which makes us feel good about ourselves.

“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” (1 John 2:16).

The three basic sins mentioned in 1 John 2:16 represent all the things that lead us from God. These appeals of the world were the very ones Satan leveraged to tempt Eve in the Garden of Eden and Jesus during His 40-day fast (Genesis 3:6 and Matthew 4:1-11). Society’s godless world system is driven by seeking the pleasurable, the attractive, and whatever makes us feel good.

God is the Creator of pleasure, attractiveness and all things good. But it is sin to seek these blessings through strictly human efforts while not regarding them as gifts from God to be enjoyed within His constraints and in His timing.

Society’s humanist world loving mindset has crept into the Church today causing many to be lukewarm toward Christ. Many in the Church now take a liberal view of Scripture, no longer seeing the Bible as the inerrant, inspired Word of God but just the story of mankind’s search for God. Thus there is less desire to spend time personally studying God’s Word.

Why waste time reading the Bible if it is just words of men that are subject to interpretation? Why bother to personally study the Bible if it has to be interpreted for you by scholarly theologians to tell us what God really meant by what He said? And why take any of this too seriously since we can’t really know if Bible interpreters are just making things up?

If the Bible is not the inspired Word of God then people are free to pick and choose whatever doctrines of men they like. And these dogmas change with the mores of society, causing people to be carried about with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14).

The only way to avoid being blown about by society’s changing winds of doctrine is to be well-grounded in God’s Word. And it is not possible to be well-grounded in God’s Word unless you have a correct view of the Bible as being inspired by God (2 Timothy 3:16).

Another way followers of Christ have allowed love for the world to creep into the Church is to embrace the world’s concept of evolution which attempts to explain how the creation could come to be without a Creator. Darwinian evolution is only a theory with no proof but the world has elevated it to the level of scientific truth.

If you don’t embrace Darwinian evolution as absolute “settled” truth you are considered by society to be an unscientific hayseed. Nobody wants to be rejected by their peers so this has given rise to followers of Christ figuring out how to fit evolution into Christian theology.

The idea that God used an evolutionary process to bring about the creation is called Theistic Evolution and to believe it requires you to take a pretty liberal view of Scripture. And it joins with the world in rejecting all the scientific evidence that supports the literal Genesis account of creation.

Theistic Evolution can be considered to be within the pale of orthodoxy because it technically has nothing to do with a person’s salvation. But theistic evolution does represent a gross compromise with the world that has contributed to the lukewarm attitude toward Christ that characterizes this Laodicean Age.

The problem with being lukewarm toward Christ is that one has to wonder if such individuals are truly children of God or if they are just deceiving themselves. Cultural Christians can talk the talk and walk the walk but don’t necessarily have a personal relationship with the Savior. Jesus said He would spew lukewarm Christians out of His mouth (Revelation 3:16).

He also said that many who did great things even in His name would find themselves banished from heaven because, I never knew you (Matthew 7:21-23). If you are truly seeking a personal relationship with the Savior, it is hard to be lukewarm toward Him.

A key indicator of Christians loving the world is Amillennialism. The idea that the kingdom of God will only be a spiritual kingdom until the eternal state is ushered in requires the same spiritualized, liberal view of Scripture that is necessary to embrace Theistic Evolution. The two false doctrines go hand-in-hand and are characteristic of the lukewarm church of this Laodicean Age.

It is hard for Christians who take a liberal view of Scripture to get excited about the return of Jesus. If it took millions of years for Jesus to come the first time, it will probably be millions of years before He returns.

Scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming?’” (2 Peter 3:3-4).

We are told in 1 John 2:17 why we shouldn’t love the world system men are building; this world along with even the passion for it—is passing away. Despite the prevailing humanist optimism, people inherently know there is something very broken with this world. No matter what we do, we still have poverty, despair and war in this world.

While most still think we can fix these problems through even more collective effort, we have been trying this and things are getting worse rather than better. Those who put their hope in more and more powerful human governments will have their own crisis of faith because the Bible says these efforts will fail.

We can already see the stage being set for a spectacular failure of the collective human effort. For example, we have been financing our prosperity by immorally building up debt. National and personal debt is a problem worldwide that has reached monumental proportions. Our collective conscience telling us that it is wrong to live beyond our means has been seared.

Debt always leads to bondage (Proverbs 22:7). And there will be consequences whether it is individual or national debt. It is increasingly obvious that there is an economic crash coming that will be so bad the world will demand a global government to fix it.

The only fix true for what ails this world is Jesus Christ; He will make a difference collectively to the world when He returns to establish His millennial kingdom. But He makes a difference to individuals in the here and now when we allow Him to be in our life as Savior and Lord.

Pursuing that relationship enables us to overcome the sin of this Laodicean Age to be resurrected as part of the Bride of Christ when He comes for us prior to the Tribulation that will prepare the world for the millennial kingdom.

The good news is that, he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:17). The will of God is to trust in Jesus Christ for your salvation (John 6:40). Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by allures of creation that would cause you to miss out on a personal relationship with the Creator.