Love the World with Christian Love
I received a lengthy comment from a reader the other day proclaiming that we should not love the world. It is true that Jesus did not pray for the world but rather that His disciples be kept from the evil one. Therefore, there is some validity to his comments. A counter point would be that Jesus taught that we should love our brother as ourselves, and He was also quite clear that all men are our brothers. Therefore, we are called to love the world, but not in a way that most would expect.
I bring it up because it raises the differences between loving the world for the things in it and for what we can get out of it, and the Christian love that we have been discussing for quite some time. Christian love is a love for the betterment of others and is perfectly demonstrated in the life of Jesus (of which we have provided numerous examples in our prior postings.)
Christian love is a gift of self for the benefit of another. The love the world knows is a self serving love of which we as Christians should avoid at all costs. It is a love of self gratification, often at the expense of others. So should we love the world? Yes, we should love the world with the intent of making the lives of others better, and no, we should not love the things of the world or what we can get out of it.
It is written:
“that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” (John 3: 15-17)
We can see from the passage above that God loved the world. Since we are to be imitators of God then we should attempt to do likewise. We who be doing as Jesus did in His ministry. We should be leading others along the Way of salvation. We should help others develop maturity in Christ such that they can become empowered for ministry. We should lead them into “the Truth” of God’s ministry, such that they can find their purpose on this earth, receive guidance in the steps that they must make, develop a deep and personal relationship with the Father and enter into spiritual warfare which is bring down the forces of worldly love.
In addition, we must help others to find their way to “the Life” of covenant, such that they can live forever under God’s protection and have their every need provided for. Yes this is the way that we should love the world.
From my point of view our life is all about the choices we make as we pass through this world. We can look at the people around us and take action in one of two ways. We can either love them with Christian love or we can love with worldly love. At a broad level we can seek to bring others into the light (Jesus said I am the light of the world) or cast them into darkness. We can seek to feed and care for the disadvantaged (Jesus said I am the bread of life) or we can allow them to starve. We can see another man struggling for life and we can choose to save him or save ourselves. We can take a chance of loosing our own life in exchange for the life of another or we can play it safe. It is for these reasons that we are here on this earth. We are here to choose the way of God or the way of the world. Why else could it be that we are still here? Jesus already came to save us. So what is He waiting for? He is evaluating our choices to determine what we are so that He can properly separate the goats from the sheep. This is what our lives are all about. Our time on this earth is the time that we have to demonstrate that we are God’s children and we can accomplish this by loving the world with Christian love.