“And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
The third reason for not loving the world is that it is in the process of passing away:
1. We cannot love God and the world simultaneously (2:15)
2. The system of values in the world are contrary to God’s values (2:16)
3. The world’s values are transitory (2:17)
And the world is passing away,
The Greek conveys the idea that the world as in the process of passing away. It has not passed away yet, but it is on the way. The world is a temporary system. There are more lasting values than those of the world.
By its very nature, a sinful worldview is self-destructive.
The world is a temporary system. God’s values endure into eternity. Why commit ourselves to something that will pass away? We need to keep eternal values in view because the dissolution of this world’s values is going on at present.
There is nothing permanent about the values of this world, for they move with prevailing opinion. They shift with the tide of public opinion. There are no absolutes in this world. Lusts feed on fleeting things. If we anchor ourselves to something temporal, we will never know how to live with absolutes and for an absolute God.
God has designed the world’s system to end. It is already in the process of disintegration by accomplishing its own dissolution. All the lust generated and incited likewise will eventually gut true values. The glittering treasures of yesterday will curve into faded antiquities and oddities of a future day.
This world is fundamentally transient in character. All the evils that characterize this world will one day be gone. Trust in the things of this world will ultimately let us down, for it is in the process of perishing.
Some say, “There will always be an England.” Others say, “The United States will always be here.” It will come as a shock to some that the world and its system of values will pass away. The United States will not be the dominant power in the world forever. It will not exist forever.
If we trust ourselves to the temporal, we cannot come to know eternal things. Fleeting lusts
point us nowhere. The treasures of time will pass away. There is a hell on earth for Christians who live for themselves.
We deceive ourselves with the so-called permanence of things. There is no stability in a bank account. We need to ascertain the irrelevance of temporal, passing things, and the permanent relevance of eternal things.
Mt 24:35, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.”