Today, I am going to tell you about the world where we live in.
Apostle John urges us not to love this world or anything in the world. He said, “if anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.”
If this is true, then what about John 3:16? It says, “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.”
The same John said this time, “we should not love the world.”
Was he confused?
Of course not!
‘The world’ in John 3:16 is ‘the people in the world.’ God so loved the people in the world, not the world itself.
God loves the people whom He created in His likeness. God wants to recover the lost people and bring them back to the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s why God sent His Son to us.
Because we are the descendants of Adam and Eve, who sinned against God, we inherited the sinful desires from Adam and Eve. Since then, the world in here is the world of sin, which is controlled by Satan. Satan always tries to control and destroy us with the earthly things in this world.
James says, “the friendship with the world means against God.”
“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4,
The same way, John says, “If anyone loves the world, they don’t love Father God.” What does this mean?
That means everything in the world is related to Satan’s temptation. Let’s see what’s in the world:
a. The lust of the flesh
The desires of our body. We have desires of fulfilling our body’s needs. Water, food, rest, sleep, sex, exercise, and so on. They are not evil. However, if we put these ahead of the faith in God, it will be a problem. Satan usually tries to destroy us using our physical needs.
When you want to read the Bible, then suddenly you become very sleepy or very hungry. Eventually, you cannot read.
When you are about to come to church, suddenly, the phone starts ringing. After finishing the conversation, it’s already 10 minutes late…
Some Christians addicted in some bad habits – smoking, drinking, drug, pornography, gambling and many other bad habits. This kind temptation stimulates our physical needs and ruins our holy life.
Do you remember, after 40 days of fasting, Satan tempted Jesus by asking “Make these stones to bread.” But Jesus defeated Satan with the Word of God, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’ ”
b. The lust of the eyes
When you see something very good, which you like it and you are eager to have one, don’t you have any temptation? That’s the lust of the eyes. Satan always tries to tempt us with many luxurious stuff – nice jewelry, a nice car, nice house, nice yacht, nice dog and anything nice looking.
Again, Jesus was tempted with the lust of the eyes. In Gospel Matthew 4:8
“The devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan!” For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ”
c. How about the pride of life?
Are you interested in your power in a public organization? Do you want your name to be honored in this world? Then, you may have to watch out yourself. If you think you are better than others, then again, you love the world more than God.
For instance, I have more money, a better house, and a higher position, more education than others. Or, I am nicer, smarter, and better… If you are more proud of what you have and what you are, than being a Christian, then you may be trapped in this category of the ‘the pride of life’ temptation.
Again, Jesus was tempted with this category.
Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:
“‘He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands” Jesus defeated the temptation with the word of God.
As we have talked, Satan tries to destroy us with mainly these three types of temptations in our daily life. If so, how can we defeat Satan?
I would like to suggest the following:
- We should humble ourselves.
- The word of God has the power to defeat Satan.
Jesus defeated Satan with the word of God. That’s why it is important to read the Bible daily and listen to the sermon at church and on the radio.
- We should pray with the faith in Christ and the love of God
“Oh, God! Please help me to defeat the temptation.”
- Try not to give yourself a chance to be tempted.
If you have a bad habit, then try to avoid the situation.
If you are too sleepy to read the Bible, then read it early in the morning, before watching TV or having the breakfast.
- Another very powerful weapon is “Commanding Satan in Jesus name.”
When you are tempted, say loud, “Satan, Get away from me. I command you in Jesus’ Name.”
When we are struggling with these kinds of temptations, our LORD will be proud of you and gives you the power.
Let’s not forget the promise here in verse 17,
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”
Yes. Our hope is not in this world. Everything in this world is temporary.
Let’s defeat the temptations of this world in the name of Jesus Christ, so that we can endure our faith in this world. That’s because our eternal happiness is in heaven. Amen.