• Joseph Durso

EarthBound or Heavenly Minded

"Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God continues to live forever." (1 John 2:15-17)

Those who turn from their sins and believe in Jesus Christ are heavenly bound but warned not to be worldly-minded. From John's quote, we understand there to be a distinction between the things of the world and the world itself. The things of the world constitute the things people can obtain in a variety of ways. Some ways can be good, honest, and God-glorifying; all other methods are idolatrous because they are contrary to God's will.

The word "world" in verse 15, translated from Greek, means cosmos, an ordered system. It is also the word from which we get "cosmetic," which is to adorn or honor someone. The world in which we live is ordered; however, by God's design, at present, Satan is given certain freedom to rule for his evil intentions. Unbelievers are part of this world system and unwittingly honor him; believers honor Christ. Therefore, they are to be heavenly-minded.

"And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience." (Ephesians 2:1, 2) Why is it so important to properly understand spiritual warfare? Because we are no longer to be held captive by the philosophy that now dominates this present world order.

To walk according to the course of this world system is to be enslaved to it. Thus, sinful men are not only bound by their sins but by those who orchestrate how men become bound. Eve believed Satan's lies in the Garden of Eden, thereby enslaving her to her sins and honoring the person that led her there. If I sell you a bridge and you realize you've been taken, you hate me for it. However, the world is taken, and they don't know it and honor the enslaving one.

During the Millenium, we are told, "And he took hold of the dragon, the serpent of old, who is the devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years." (Revelation 20:2) For a thousand years, Jesus will reign upon the earth, Satan is vanquished, and there will be peace and prosperity like never before. Sinners will be present, but Satan will not. Then an interesting thing will happen. "When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison, and will come out to deceive the nations which are at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together for the war" (Vs. 7, 8). With Satan's presence, war breaks out.

The Christian is not meant to live as others do in lies devised by the spirit of the antichrist. Nevertheless, John continues in his letter to warn his hearers of antichrist and confesses that the church should walk in the truth. "I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar except the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ?" (1 Jn. 2:21, 22). There are many ways to deny Jesus Christ, and the world proves it through a multitude of religions and cults that replicate, deny, and alter the truth by demons that masquerade as angels of light.

"If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where the Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth" (Colossians 3:1, 2). If you want to be genuinely free, set your affections on heaven and the behavior, desires, and purposes of God as revealed in His Word.

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