Tag Archives: The world

Where’s Home?

At the Olympics this week, USA beat Russia in hockey and the Cossacks beat Pussy Riot in Sochi Square.  That second event must have been a vivid reminder to any westerner who witnessed it: You are not in Kansas, Toto; you are in Russia.  Russia is under the control of Putin.  And, Putin is not happy with Pussy Riot.  Maybe you have been comfortable in Sochi, but don’t be fooled: you don’t belong there – not if you appreciate the freedoms we protect at home.  Dennis Rodman may feel welcomed in North Korea.  But, if he made one wrong move, he would quickly discover who really controls the country that it is not his home.

When a person discovers the truth about Jesus, and turns to Him by faith, he or she turns away from the world.  They are not physically leaving the world, but are shifting their allegiance to Christ and becoming citizens of His kingdom.  They are in the world, but no longer belong to it. They experience a radical shift in understanding and in priorities.  Important motivators for the world, like seductiveness, fame or wealth, now make as much sense as Cossacks beating young girls in a punk band.  Followers of Jesus, they have become alien visitors in this world.  John reminds us:

We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.  (1 John 5:19-20)

Is the whole world under Satan’s control?  You can do your own assessment.  Start with the news…  Take a trip to the Ukraine, to Venezuela, to North Korea, to Egypt, Iran or Washington DC.  Sit through a few previews of “Coming Attractions” to see what Hollywood thinks will sell.  Figure out why so many public idols have overdosed.  Is the world getting better?

Me? I’ll follow my King, my God and My Savior, Jesus.  If you are curious and want to know more, I’ll do my best to show you what I have discovered.  The nice thing is that it really is your call.

Changing the Rules

Did you know it is a sin to love the world?  That’s what John said:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  (1 John 2:15)

But how can that be true, if “God so loved the world…”? (John 3:16a)

Someone once asked me if it was ethical  to keep a valuable guitar. He had been hiking in the wilderness and found it in an old, abandoned house, a home that was evidently abandoned.  He let himself in, looked around and found this rare and beautiful guitar.  Could he keep it?  Was it right?

If you had found that guitar, what would you have decided?   Wouldn’t your “rules” change, depending upon whether or not you thought someone else currently owned the home?  If someone had died and left no heirs, perhaps you would think:  “finders keepers.”  But, if you knew he was still alive but just away on a trip, then taking the guitar would be stealing. What you think it is right to do, would change if you realized you were in someone else’s home.

The same principle is at work when people fail to realize that we live in God’s “home.”   God created this world; it’s His.  Therefore He gets to make the rules.  The rules about what is right and wrong change substantially when you take God out of the equation.   Without God, we assume that we can do whatever seems right to us.  Do you remember in the 60’s when people decided “if it feels good, do it”?  It wasn’t long before we began to discover that that idea wasn’t necessarily accurate.

The “rules” that have been developed since people lost their connection to God, the mindset that assumes that we are in charge of what is right and wrong, is what John calls “the world.”  Jesus coined that term.  The mindset of the world” is very different from the mindset of Jesus’ “logos.”  If you understand what “the world” means, then this verse that sounds so outrageous begins to make more sense:

Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (1 John 2:15)

We’ll poke and prod this idea next time…