1 John 2:15-16 says, “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.” 

There is some dispute over whether this portion is addressed to the believers or to the lost.  However, I do not believe the Lord would tell an unbeliever not to love the world.  To the lost, the world is all they know.  It is where they live and are a part of its systems.  Therefore, I believe this portion is addressing the believers, telling us not to allow ourselves to love the world.  Some point out that, as a test, a true believer would never love the world, for that is contrary to what the Lord loves.

“LOVE NOT THE WORLD.”  The Greek word for ‘love’ here is ‘agapao’ and it suggests a deep love or devotion.  The heart of a true believer will lead him/her to love the Lord above all else.  We read in Matthew 22:37, “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”  At this point, we might ask, “What is the world that we should not love it at all?”  1 John 5:19 tells us, “And we know that we are of God, and THE WHOLE WORLD LIETH IN WICKEDNESS.”  1 John 2:16 tells us, “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.” 

The WORLD that the Lord does not want us to love is the wickedness in the world and its systems.  The entire world system “lies in the power of the evil one.” (NASB).  It is said of the Lord Jesus in Isaiah 53:3, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”  This world hated and rejected the Lord!  This world we live in had no desire for the Lord.  This world despises His principles.  This world is comprised of “the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life”  and that is “not of the Father.”  Consider this: How could it possible for the believer to love the world which hates and opposes our blessed Lord who loved us and gave His life for us?  James 4:4 tells us plainly, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.”  This verse, I believe, is a strong warning written to believers who have wondered away from precious fellowship with the Lord and are being attracted to the world. 

What is the solution?  What is it that can draw our hearts away from the world and fixed our hearts upon the Lord?  James 4:7-8 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”  Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” 

As I pointed out above, “Some point out that, as a test, a true believer would never love the world, for that is contrary to what the Lord loves.”  Dear reader, where is your heart?  Do you love the Lord with all your heart, or do you love the world?  If you find you have no desire for the Lord, but love the very world that rejected and hated him, perhaps you should heed the words of 2 Corinthians 13:5 and, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith…”  Someone who truly believes in the Lord but is somewhat drawn to the world does not lose his/her salvation.  (He does need to be restored, though.)  However, perhaps your love for the world has prevented you from fully putting your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love Him above all other people and things.  (470.4)