Do not love the world or anything in the world.
If anyone loves the world, love the Father is not in them.
Be careful not to read too much into what John says here. He is going to explain what he means by “the world” in the next sentence. Here, he warns against trying to love God and love selfish desires at the same time.
How do you know what you love? Simple. When two things you think you love compete, the one you give your time and attention to is what you love.
For everything in the world…
The lust of the flesh
The lust of the eyes,
And the pride of life
Comes not from the Father, but from the world.
John defines “the world” in this way: Things you crave for physical pleasure, things you crave for emotional pleasure, and things you crave in order to be perceived favorable for yourself and before others.
So, when there is a conflict between doing what needs to be done for someone you love and what you want to satisfy your own cravings, who wins? Many relationships have ended because craving trumped loving.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.
Of course, John isn’t saying that pleasure isn’t inherently sinful. Otherwise, who could go bowling? However, using pleasure in a way that makes a person irresponsible, or in some way inhibits fulfilling their best selves is sinful.
Always remember, what is fun and feels good has no lasting value. What is done to fulfill God’s will lasts forever.
Oh yeah, and what it God’s will?
That all people should be saved from the trap of this world and come to a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.