THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE WAY FORWARD IN CHRIST
THE END TIMES - 13
Today’s reading: 1 John 2:12-17
“Yet the world and its enticement are passing away.”
(v.17a). We are in the end times. These are crucial times,
because when the Lord returns, then it will be “game
over.” We will face judgment. Thus we must be prepared,
and that means being in a right situation before God.
he is saying being very important, John is repetitive. He
addresses the whole people of God, of all generations (fathers,
young men, children), and tells them the facts. “I am
writing to you, children, because your sins have been forgiven
for his name’s sake.” (v.12). “I am writing
to you, fathers, because you know him who is from the beginning.”
(v.13a). “I am writing to you, young men, because you
have conquered the evil one.” (v.13b). Here are the
facts: your sins have been forgiven, you know Jesus, you have
victory in him over the enemy.
there is a threat. We continue to sin, we continue to marginalize
Jesus in our lives, we are constantly assaulted by the evil
one. The enemy continues to try to bring us down, to distance
us from Jesus, to rob us of our victory. His way is the world
and its allurements. John is not referring to the world that
God created, which is good. He is referring to all that is
hostile to God and is alienated from him. This is the fallen
for us, this is the world we live in. What is “all that
is in the world” (v.16a)?
“sensual lust” (v.16b). This is the lust of
the flesh. It is inordinate desire for physical gratification.
Today we have a culture of sex and of hedonism. It has
led to licentiousness, to corruption, and even such things
as gluttony that brings the problem of obesity.
for the eyes” (v.16c). This is the lust of the eyes.
It is avarice or covetousness. Today we have a culture
of consumerism. People desire to have more and more, even
way beyond their own needs. Many go to extremes, desiring
what is not theirs, like someone else’s spouse or
“a pretentious life” (v.16d). This is the
pride of life. It is arrogance that reflects a willful
independence from God. It is ostentation in one’e
lifestyle that opposes the ways of God.
says pointedly: this “is not from the Father but is
from the world.” (v.16e). That is why John was emphatic
and insistent and repetitive about what was from God. This
is not it. The two are opposed. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The world will draw you away from God.
comes the warning: “Do not love the world or the things
of the world.” (v.15a). This is precisely what people
love. Do not be among such people. Resist the attraction of
a worldly lifestyle. It will not only bring you astray, you
can lose everything! God loves you, such love is freely given,
but you can lose it. How? “If anyone loves the world,
the love of the Father is not in him.” (v.15b). Notice
the either-or. We try to have the both-and. We say we love
God, but we also love what the world offers. It cannot be
that way. The two are mutually exclusive.
before it is too late, because we are in the end times, John
reminds us, John warns us. “I write to you, young men,
because you are strong and the word of God remains in you,
and you have conquered the evil one.” (v.14c). This
is who you are. You are strong in the grace of God and the
power of the Holy Spirit. You know the scriptures and all
God’s prescriptions for proper living. In Jesus the
enemy has no power over you. So reject the world and its fallen
are in the end times. Most people in the world go about their
merry way, enjoying their worldly lifestyles, unmindful of
the wrath to come. “Yet the world and its enticement
are passing away.” (v.17a). The world will end. Death
will come. Judgment will follow. What remains? “But
whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (v.17b).