Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

Mark 13:31 (NIV)

I have been fortunate to live in and visit some of the most beautiful places on earth. I’ve been atop mountains, and danced among the snowflakes, swam with the sea turtles surrounded by tropical fish. I’ve walked among people freed from political persecution, and laid beneath the Eiffel Tower, just looking up and enjoying the view. I have been so blessed in this life to see so much of this incredible world that God made. You know what, it’s all going to pass away one day and will be no more.

The Apostle John wrote, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them” (1 John 2:15 NIV). When you read that, what do you think it means? Does it mean it’s wrong for me to love the beautiful roses that adorn my window sill, framing my view of Sacramento? What about the dogs? Is it wrong for me to love them? God forbid, it’s not telling me I shouldn’t love my family and friends, is it?!

It’s easy sometimes to read something in the Bible and misunderstand what we’ve read. This is why I like comparing translations. Let’s take a look at this verse from 1 John from the Amplified Version of the Bible.

Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

1 John 2:15 (AMP)

That clears some things up then, doesn’t it? Let’s say, for a moment, you didn’t have another version to look at, or perhaps another version said the same thing? What could we do then?

One of the most famous verses in the Bible is John 3:16.

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)

If God loved the world so much that He sent Jesus to die for the people of the world then surely what John wrote isn’t about loving the flowers, dogs, cats, and people in our lives. This is the same John who wrote John 3:16 so there’s that to consider as well.

When we read the Bible, we should take those verses we might have problems with and compare them to the character of God and the rest of the Bible. Indeed, anytime we think something is from God we need to compare it to His character and what the Bible says.

This verse is talking about loving sin and anything that stands in opposition to God. In my experience, there aren’t many people who will say, “You know what, I love sin!” Most people, whether they follow the Lord or not, have an understanding that sin is wrong, so they’re not apt to say they love it.

However, when we condone sin and sinful actions we’re showing an acceptance and, dare I say, a love for it over a love for God and His ways. This is what John is talking about when he wrote this epistle. There’s a lot in this world that we condone, whether or not we realize it.

I used to watch a lot of television when I was a kid. I watched so much T.V. that my father used to jokingly refer to me as a walking T.V. guide. However, I rarely watched anything “adult-oriented” because my parents wouldn’t allow it and it was on late at night. Over the years, the content of “adult-oriented” or “mature” materials have changed so much that they would have never been allowed on television in the Fifties through the Eighties in the United States. Even what’s acceptable today as “normal” surprises me.

For example, I’m a big science fiction fan. I watched re-runs of the original Star Trek when I was a kid and Star Trek the Next Generation growing up. I was surprised to find people swearing in more recent iterations from Star Trek and the Star Trek universe in productions today. This is just one way we condone sin in our lives.

When we allowed things to happen, such as the proliferation of profanity, violence, and nudity, to prosper on television, we opened the way for it to be the way it is today.

I’ve known of Christians who identify more with their political parties and other affiliations than with Christ. Our loyalty is supposed to be to God first in our lives. Even the denomination of our churches and the rules and regulations they have, don’t hold weight over the word of God. However, anytime we lean-to and obey the wishes of any organization over God, we’re showing love for the world.

We need to remember what Jesus said here, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mark 13:31 NIV). It’s great to be able to enjoy the world God made because He made it for us. It’s also important to take part in the things that are happening in the world because God also made us stewards of it. However, whatever it might be, we must know it’s temporary and we are eternal. We want to make sure that we guard our hearts and minds and keep them eternally focused on the Glorious One, who created it all, the Beautiful One we will spend eternity with, our Father in Heaven.

Do you know God? God knows you and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.