The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
God has ultimately won, though there is a battle yet today. In orderly rank, we are to Learn of Him, Love Him, and Live as an encouragement for others to trust Him.
The enemy cannot regain ownership of us. But he would ensnare us with an imitation—lust. When deceived and diverted, our testimony evaporates. There’s no heart to obey, when consumed with Vanity Fair.
In describing this snare, suppose the evil one (2:13,14) wrote a song, You Gotta Love The World!
The words “I,” “Me,” “My,” and “Mine” would fill it. Praises for money, fame, and freedom to do as the heart craves would flow. There would be lyrics on teaching children these “values,” with rhymes cheering a relentless pursuit of physical appearance and current fashion. A breakout rap mocking commitment to marriage, or any other selfless serving, would follow. The chorus would be snappy and memorable—love yourself, love the world. Larger than life notoriety will be your mark as others see your boundless life, aspiring to be just like you.
John writes in caution: don’t drink the Kool-Aid.
The good things God gives are to be embraced, and the root of loving the world—a lustful, fleshly heart—is to be daily put to death. The outworkings of unbridled lusts (2:15-16) are countered in this seventeenth verse. The enemy’s world treasures never satisfy. They are counterfeit, doomed to fade. They are lesser things, not worthy of you, a child of God. Seek the things of eternal value, here and now. Embrace your loving Lord; focus on obedience.
Resist the pop tunes of the enemy, no matter how loudly they play, day after passing day.