15b If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
What this verse says is that the one who unabashedly loves the world has never tasted the Father’s love. There is no ambiguity in what is stated in this verse. It is an indisputable fact that a man who continues to love the world and will not forsake it, does not have the love of God in him. Unashamed embracing of worldliness in an individual is an absolute proof that God’s love has not entered his heart.
If one has truly experienced the most fascinating, enthralling, wondrous paternal love of God, he would not easily run into the arms of the world. Who would ever fondly think of loving the world, if he has already been ushered into the love of God? Even when the world seduces a Christian with its powerful temptations, he will be most miserable in that condition and will seek to return to the Lord as soon as he realises his mistake.
The love of God will push out love for the world. They cannot coexist in one’s heart. No human heart can hold these two opposing loves together. To pledge allegiance to one side is to declare war to the other!
As Jesus said in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” James 4:4 rebukes those who went after the world, saying, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” The Father’s kingdom is at war with the kingdom of this world; the two will never co-exist peacefully. How then will His children love those who are their Father’s sworn enemies? Worldliness will put you together with all the God-haters of the world.
How would a Christian know if he is being ensnared by worldliness? For one, an undue concern for earthly rather than spiritual matters will fill the heart. A Christian affected by worldliness will not be big-hearted when it comes to the service of God. He will grudge and murmur about the labour, fatigue, expense, frustration, etc. involved in the cause of Christ, or in the service of their fellow men. He cherishes the company of worldly men more than Christians. He keeps away from fellowships, prayer meetings, and other Christian activities while preferring the camaraderie and enjoyment of worldly places. What delights you more – God or the world?