Can you truly say, that you have so far taken the everlasting enjoyment of God for your happiness, that it has the most of your heart, of your love, desire, and care; and that you are resolved, by the strength of Divine grace, to let go all that you have in the world, rather than hazard it; and that it is your daily, and your principal business to seek it? Can you truly say, that though you have your failings and sins, yet your main care, and the bent of your whole life, is to please God, and to enjoy him forever; and that you give the world God’s leavings, as it were, and not God the world’s leavings; and that your worldly business is but as a traveler’s seeking for provision in his journey, and heaven is the place that you take for your home?
Why not love the world?
1. Because the gain of it is the loss of the soul – Matthew 16:25.
2. Because its friendship is hatred to God – James 4:4.
3. Because it did not know Christ – John 1:10; 17:25.
4. Because it hates Christ – John 7:7; 15:18.
5. Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us – 1 John 2:15.
6. Because Christ did not pray for it – John 17:9.
7. Because Christ’s people do not belong to it – John 17:16.
8. Because it will not receive the Spirit – John 14:27.
9. Because its Prince is Satan – John 13:31; 16:11.
10. Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it – John 18:36.
11. Because its wisdom is foolishness – 1 Corinthians 1:20.
12. Because its wisdom is ignorance – 1 Corinthians 1:21.
13. Because Christ does not belong to it – John 8:23.
14. Because it is condemned – 1 Corinthians 11:32.
15. Because the fashion of it will pass away – 1 Corinthians 7:31 .
16. Because it slew Christ – James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.
17. Because it is crucified to us – Galatians 6:14.
18. Because we are crucified to it – Galatians 6:14.
19. Because it is the seat of wickedness – 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.
The two poles could sooner meet, than the love of Christ and the love of the world.
Let us therefore, leaving off all other things, aim exclusively at this – that we may be approved by God and may be satisfied to have His approbation alone, as it justly ought to be regarded by us as of more value than all the applauses of the whole world.
Christ’s kingdom people are not to reflect the world but they are to influence the world; they are to be in it but not of it.
Our Lord calls us out of the world; while living in it, we are not to be stained by it (James 1:27). We are to be in it but not to love it (Duncan Rankin).
To be in the world, and yet not of the world; to use it for our temporal necessities, and yet not to abuse it for carnal purposes, is a high Christian attainment. May we be graciously delivered from a worldly spirit, which can assume a thousand forms to allure and to deceive.
The ways, and fashions, and amusements, and recreations of the world have a continually decreasing place in the heart of a growing Christian. He does not condemn them as downright sinful, nor say that those who have anything to do with them are going to hell. He only feels they have a constantly diminishing hold on his own affections and gradually seem smaller and more trifling in his eyes.
Our goal is to be saved from the world, not to be corrupted by the world and perhaps condemned with the world.
The Christian is the most contented man in the world, but he is the least contented with the world. He is like a traveler in an inn, perfectly satisfied with the inn and its accommodation, considering it as an inn, but putting quite out of all consideration the idea of making it his home.
The Christian life is a positive allegiance to Jesus Christ. It is becoming so occupied with Him that the values and standards of the world around us have little influence.
Christians are to be in the world, but not of the world, positively living out their faith in their various vocations in the “secular” realm and influencing it for the good, while remembering that their ultimate citizenship is in heaven.