The Love God Hates

by Mike Ratliff

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NASB)

One of the markers of genuineness in a Christian is separation from the World. This isn’t a physical removal from planet Earth or a disintegration of the body of a Christian. A genuine Christian’s character should be in a continual upgrade unto Christlikeness. That means that as he or she cooperates with God in their sanctification, working out their salvation with fear and trembling, their character will take on more and more of Christ’s character. They will love what He loves and hate what he hates. God is love, but He hates a certain type of love.

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.  (John 15:18-19 NASB)

15 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. 16 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. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17 NASB)

If professing believers love the very thing that hates the truth of God’s sovereignty, His genuine character–not the one they have made up, and all genuine Christians who proclaim these truths then they prove either that they are very immature Christians or the love of the Father is not in them. The word love used here, in the Greek, means “affection and devotion.” John is telling us that genuine Christians will not habitually have affection and devotion for the world or the things in the world.

I know many professing Christians who believe that death is a tremendous tragedy. They love their life here more than anything else. They pursue entertainment in everything they do seeking to be fulfilled in sports, or movies, or recognition for working hard in church. On the other hand, John tells us in the passage from 1 John that if we habitually love the world like that then we are in the process of revealing that we are disingenuous Christians.

Why does God hate love for the world and the things in the world? God, not the world must have first place in His children’s hearts. (Matthew 10:37; Philipians 3:20) We must remember that what God is against here is not planet Earth, but the invisible, spiritual system of evil dominated by Satan that our flesh loves. This world system keeps people in bondage, blinds their hearts, and opposes God and all that belong to Him.

These evil forces bring to bear the three motivations for people to sin. These are seen in v16. It says, “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 word “lust” here carries with it a connotation of desiring that which is wrong to have. The first lust or desire is “of the flesh.” Immature Christians are suckers for this. They have not learned that we must deny ourselves, take up our crosses and follow Christ as a way of life. Instead they battle with their sin nature’s number one target for self-gratification – the flesh. This lust is best understood as that which creates a “passion” for whatever it is that is wrong to have. The second lust is “of the eyes.” This speaks of a desire to possess something or someone that is not theirs. This is akin to covetousness. It seems that our path to Christian maturity starts with dealing with these two lusts. We must conquer our passions and desires to posses the things of this world. If we don’t then we are revealing our love for these things and that means we don’t have the love of the Father in us. This is frightening! Have you examined yourself in this area? The third motivation to sin is boastful pride of life. This speaks of having power. The rich are powerful are they not? Don’t power brokers in this world also possess the things in this world that most of wish we had? If I am in the habit of showing off my Citizen Eco Drive solar powered watch to everyone or my wife is always showing off her diamond ring aren’t we being prideful as we attempt to show others how powerful we are?

If we are in love with the world and things in the world as John speaks of in this passage then we will also be dominated by these three motivations to sin. On the other hand, if we are being sanctified, working out our salvation with fear and trembling, all three of these things will come under attack. God will not allow His children to be idol worshippers. Their idols must come down. They must be cast into the fire.

As we grow in grace, these battles will continue, but victories will grow more and more frequent. Some of us will battle this, and lose, to the end. However, I deeply desire victory over my besetting sins of seeking passion, possessions, and power. How can we do this. I probably sound like a recording that repeats over and over again, but here it is: We must cooperate with God in our sanctification. We must work out our salvation with fear and trembling. We must seek purity. We must love God more than life itself. We must put our love for Him above all things and everyone else. We must love Him with our entire being. Why?

1 See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are. For this reason the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:1-3 NASB)

Beloved, we must take this to heart. This purity speaks of being cleansed from the contamination of this world. If we are pure here it is because we are not conformed to this world, but have become transformed by the renewing of our minds. In so doing, we have drawn near to God, He has drawn near to us, and we have learned to discern His will and we obey Him in all we do, by His grace.

Soli Deo Gloria

7 thoughts on “The Love God Hates

  1. Another excellent post Mike, may the Lord be praised. This is a post we all must take to heart, separation from the world can only be possible if Christ has first precedence in the heart. This is a daily ‘thing’; as is dying to self. We are in a battle and we must not forget that.

    I had been in conversation with a professing believer who insists she is saved because she ‘accepted Jesus into her heart’, and yet, she defends the sexual abomination of lesbianism. Even after I had given her every verse God has speaking out against it, she still does not believe it’s wrong. She loves the world and its filth, she has not separated herself from it. She is also an example of the majority of Christianity in America. Her professed ‘love’ of Jesus is not a biblical love, it is a perverted love. She is also an example of what you speak of when you said “If we are in love with the world and things in the world as John speaks of in this passage then we will also be dominated by these three motivations to sin”.

    thank you for you laboring for truth.


  2. Dear Mike,
    Grace and peace in Christ Jesus!
    I love when God keeps emphasizing the same message, in His precious Word, in a hundred different ways! Today in Sunday school we were studying 2 Timothy and was struck afresh by:

    “‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and’ Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.’ Now in a large house there are not only gold and silver vessels, but also vessels of wood and of earthenware, and some to honor and some to dishonor. Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. Now flee from youthful lusts and pursue righteousness, faith love and peace, with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.”. 2 Timothy 2:19-22

    There it is again! Clean the vessels, flee from lusts, abstain from wickedness, then we can have clean hands and a pure heart to be able to serve the Lord:) You know this has been on my heart. May God grant us the desire to clean out our temples for His Glory. Blessings to you and your ministry, charisse


  3. Mike, you have found your “overdrive” Christian teaching gear! These Truths you teach are far from modern jesus franchise pablum, and are welcomed by true disciples as the cold water of a morning shower…stimulating yet uncomfortable as it wakes us from our slumber!


  4. New to this site, but AMEN to the post and to all the comments. Glory to God!

    your sister in Christ Jesus,
    Cherie c.


Comments are closed.