Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Fate of those Who Love the World

This morning in my personal time with God I read Revelation 18 and rejoiced at the certain demise, and destruction, of the world as we know it. The day will come when the riches and pleasures of this world, which seem so strong now, will fall to pieces in a single hour. And in that day, God will speak these soul-shattering words to all who have loved the world and the things in the world:

"The fruit for which your soul longed has gone from you, and all your delicacies and your splendors are lost to you, never to be found again!" (Revelation 18:14)

This doesn't mean that we cannot enjoy things like food and drink and sex and leisure, but it does mean that we must enjoy them in the way God designed. To snub our nose at God and rebel against his designs, to give ourselves to the pleasures of this life in ways that he forbids, is to love the world and the things in the world, and to set ourselves up for a fall--a very great fall that will mean the eternal death of pleasure for those who have rebelled against God.

For instance, sex is God's idea, by which I mean both the mechanics of it and the intense pleasure in it. God purposely designed sex as he did for some very good reasons and because of these reasons he commands that it be restricted to the context of marriage. But this "restriction" is in fact the path to great sexual pleasure because in honoring God's design we gain access to God's joy--a joy which both lasts and increases in intensity.

On the other hand, when we think we know better than God and dishonor his design and indulge in sexual pleasures outside the confines of marriage, we eventually lose what we think we've gained and a whole lot more. Hugh Hefner and all who have followed him over the last 50 years are going to be shocked--eternally shocked--when the Lord speaks the words of Revelation 18:14 to them and they realize the error of their ways and the high price that has to be paid.

So, I want to close this entry with the words of the Apostle John and King David. May the Lord give us ears to hear and hearts to desire and pursue true and lasting joy in Him.

"Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him" (1 John 2:4).

"You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

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