16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NIV)
John 3:16 says God loved the world.
But 1 John 2:15 (NIV) says “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
Those verses might seem incongruous. We might wonder if we are supposed to hate the world God loves.
Looking at the meaning of the word world can help us sort this out.
In the Scriptures, the word kosmos, which is translated world, can mean different things.
Kosmos refers to “the present condition of human affairs in alienation from and opposition to God.” Kosmos also refers to “order, arrangement, ornament, adornment” (creation) and the “human race, mankind” (Vine’s Concise Dictionary).
Certain views of 1 John 2:15 have led to various wrong beliefs and wrong living, including not caring about creation and dismissing God’s passion and desired will for humankind in the present.
Ironically, our understanding of the 1 John verse can lead us to reduce our view of the world which God loves, in the name of loving God.
These are important things to ponder in college because in college your world grows. You hear new ideas and meet new people. You are exposed to new places and things. You have more freedom. You might wonder if 1 John 2:15 is telling you to hate your new world.
I used to be into the idea that if I trusted Christ, I should hate the world. I used to think I was a corpse to the world, and the world was a corpse to me.
But being a corpse doesn’t look like Jesus.
Athlete, don’t think you should simply hate the world. Of course, be opposed to what is in the world that God is opposed to. But remember, Jesus came because God loved the world, not because He hated it.
Action: Delve into John 3:16 and 1 John 2:15. Rethink them.