A World Passing Away: 1st John 2:17

The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

The second reason Christians should not love this world is because the realm of darkness and its evil desires are passing away and only those who do the will of God will remain forever.

The world and its desires: are the uses of this world and its lusts that are alien to the nature of God:

Galatians 5:19-21 (CSB) Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, 21 envy,, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

John 3:19-21 (CSB) This is the judgment: The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. 21 But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.”

The world and its desires are those things and uses of God’s creation that people love which are contrary to God’s nature.

Pass away: God’s good creation – though created good – was plunged into darkness and subjected to corruption by our sin so that what was created good has been covered in darkness until the day when creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God too (Romans 8:18-21).

This domain of darkness – with the greed, lust, and pride that has plunged the world into sin and death – is passing away:

2nd Peter 3:10-13 (CSB) But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness 12 as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. 13 But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

The point is not merely that the world around us is subject to decay and corruption, but that our Creator is going to return in judgment to destroy this sin-stained realm with fire and re-make all things new.  The message is poignant and penetrating: whoever is walking in the way of this world – in the desires of darkness – is passing away and will be consumed in the wrath that is going to be revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness.

Peter and John join in chorus, declaring “it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God” and “whoever does the will of God lives forever”.

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