Randall Caselman

Bella Vista Church of Christ

03/04/2018 A.M.

 

Resisting The Tug Of Egypt

1 John 2.15-17

 

Love not the world... Nor the things of the world...

An imperative that we may not totally understand...

 

The world here is not the physical world...  The universe... As we know it... Including our earth.

 

The reason we know this is because when God created the world in Genesis chapter one... He said what He had done was Good.

 

It can’t be... The human world... As in mankind... John has just said in verse 9-11... That we are to love our brother... Concluding that we can’t say... We love God... If we don’t love our brother.

 

Beside this... John 3.16 has God loving the world of mankind enough to send His one and only Son to save us.

 

It was Paul who said... in Ephesians chapter six... Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, Not against mankind… But against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

 

John13.31 tells us that... This is the world Satan rules. He is Prince of this world of evil.

 

2 Corinthians 4.4 speaks of Satan as... The god of this age... God of this world...Who has blinded the minds of unbelievers... So they cannot see God.

 

We use such descriptive terms all the time... We talk about the world of sports...The world of finance... The world of entertainment... These are organized systems where sports... finance... entertainment... Are dominate factors.

 

In Satan’s world.... Evil is dominate... It’s a world in which He rules as Prince.

So...This command is to not love...

• the world of sin...

• The world of evil...

• The world ruled by satan...

• The world system that opposes god.  

 

John tells us that this evil system... This evil world...

Is characterized by three things...

 

Lust of the flesh....

This phrase refers to the unbridled desires of our humanity... Our flesh nature... Sins that are enumerated in Galatians 5.19-21... The acts of the sinful flesh nature are obvious... Sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

 

Lust of the eyes...

Refers to the unlawful longing for things which we can see...

Achan saw... The wedge of gold... silver coins... the Babylonian garment... Nothing wrong with these things... But his covetousness eyes... Overcame... Ruledover... His obedience to God.

• Turn on the TV... Messages are designed to appeal to the lust of the eyes.

• Click on to the internet... Immediately we’re bombarded with images of a lustful nature.

• Drive the streets and highways and billboards appeal to the lust of the eyes.

 

You see... Some things our eyes see and desire are OK… Even good for us... But working to obtain them at any price is covetousness... Condemned both in the Old and New Testament.

 

Pride of life...

Pride in possessions... Prideful boasting about who we are... What we have done...About what we have... Egotism... Narcissism... Giving into the desire of  “It’s all about me.”

 

Peter is speaking of... Arrogance rather than humility. He’s talking about Sinful Ambitions that drive us to seek... Power... Privilege... Popularity... Possession... Political Clout... Accomplishments... That cause us to feel superior to others.

 

Pride of life speaks of one who is overly obsessed with how they look... What they have... Wanting an elevated social status... Wanting others to know that they are in the loop... They are in the know... Peter says our fulfilling this kind of desire can be a sin.  John specifically says in verse 16... That these three evils come from Satan... Not Our Father God.

 

It is Jesus who tells us in the Sermon on the Mount that...

• We can’t serve two masters...

• We can’t stock two shelves...

• We can’t serve God and this world...

We must make a choice... Love and serve God... Or Love and serve Satan and his world.

 

Here it is church... If we love God with all our.... heart... Mind... Strength... and Soul... There is no room for loving this world... Satan’s realm of evil.

 

Now... I want us to set these facts aside... Let them soak...

Go with me now to Egypt...

 

Egypt hermeneutically symbolizes the world... Evil.

You remember the first time Egypt is mentioned in Scripture is in Genesis chapter twelve... Abraham goes to Egypt... Gives in to Satan’s world... Perpetrates a lie… Telling Pharaoh that Sarah is his sister instead of his wife.

 

As we recall... This doesn’t turn out well... And Abraham... His family...Servants... And livestock... Are asked to leave the country.

 

Before we are too hard on Abraham... We gotta ask...

• How many times have we gone to Egypt?

• How many times have we left God’s will to visit the world of Satan?

 

Come let’s see what we can learn about Satan’s World of Sin...

By examining Israel’s experiences in Egypt...

 

First... Israel suffered in Egypt... They were in bondage.

Sin is about suffering... Sin is about bondage...

 

We must know that... Satan’s World... His realm... Is responsible for all the suffering in our world. Before sin... There was no Suffering... No bondage… Man was free to walk with God.

 

For Israel…Sin changed everything…

• Sin led to the Flood...

• Sin led to the forty year Wilderness Wandering...

• Sin caused the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities...

• Sin, ours or someone else’s, is responsible for all suffering... We live in a fallen world.

 

Church...Not only do we live in a fallen world... We participate in it... Listen to Ephesians chapter two... As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace you have been saved.

 

You see.. Living in Egypt is never a pleasure trip... In Egypt there was chaos... Darkness... ANXIETY... Fear... Bondage...Slavery... Death.

• If you don’t believe that... Come here on Monday and Tuesday evening and listen to the stories of those who have been enslaved by Alcohol.

• Ask those whose intimacy in marriage has been ruined by pornographic websites.

• Talk to those at the hospital who are dying because of their bad choices and addictions.

 

Egypt was not a pleasure trip for Israel, and sin is not a pleasure trip for us... It might seem fun at first... But leads to death... Eternal separation from God. Paul tells us plainly... The wages of sin is death.

 

Here is something else interesting... Israel’s suffering was progressive... It kept getting worse and worse... Sin leads… to bondage!… To addictions!

• There arose a Pharaoh who didn’t know them... Even enslaved them...

• They were made to make bricks for building construction...

• Then to make bricks without straw being provided...

• There was the death of male children...

 

Sin is progressive...

• I would never do that...

• Oh well, one time is not going to hurt...

• After all Scripture says moderation in all things...

• First thing you know... We commit that sin... Whatever it is... And feel no prick of conscience.

 

The Hebrews’ Writer says... At that point... our conscience has been seared... Hearts have been hardened. Three times in his letter… The Hebrews’ Writer admonishes us to not harden our hearts.  I wonder how many are not here this morning that have no prick of conscience... Because they have forsaken so many assemblies that it doesn’t bother them anymore.?

God help me... US... To never get into this arena where sin has no impact on conscience... Amen?

 

Like us...Israel was delivered... Not by their own efforts... But by the power of God.

God raised a deliverer from among their own people Moses...

God raised a deliverer from among us... Humanity... His own Son took on human form... Became our... Deliverer... Our savior...Redeemer.

 

Ephesians 2.8-9 tells us we were not delivered by our own efforts... For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no-one can boast.

 

Acts 2.38... Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

 

Acts 16.31... Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved--you and your household.

 

Galatians3.26-27...You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus... For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

 

Amazing isn’t it that...

• Even though we have been delivered from past sins...

• Even though this deliverance was complete...

• Even though this deliverance came as a gift of God...

Egypt is still in our mind?... Still in our heart?... Still in our dreams?... Still in our desires?

 

For instance...

Israel got to desiring the provisions... the routine of Egypt.

Pharaoh supplied three meals a day... Meals they could count on.

Here Israel is being cared for by God... He supplies the manna... Water from a rock...Quail on an east wind... Israel was living God’s adventure!!...But they don’t know what to expect tomorrow... They weren’t sure they could trust God’s provision... So they dreamed of the monotony of Egypt.

 

I gotta ask... Do we get up every morning saying... Lord... What adventure do you have for me today... Do we place our faith in His world or this world?.. In His provision or this world’s provision… God help us to trust God’s caring for us... Amen?

 

It was Jesus who said... Do not worry about tomorrow... But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness... And all these thing will be given you.

 

Amazing how some of us feel the tug of Egypt that’s stronger than our trust in God.

 

Israel desired...the Spirits... The God’s... of Egypt...

They were not satisfied with God’s presence... So they made gods of their own...

Again...How amazing that while Moses was on Mt. Sinai...

• The children of Israel could see... the smoke... the lightning...

• Hear the thunder...

• Feel the mountain shake with the presence of God...

Yet they asked Aaron to make them a god that would deliver them... That would guide them back to Egypt.

 

Question...Do we find ourselves worshiping the gods of our world... Power?... Politics?... Prestige?...Money?... Sex?... Attention?... Possessions?... Addictions?

 

Paul thought we do... Listen to him from Colossians 2.20... Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules.

 

Do we feel the tug of Egypt... Sure we do... We must pray for strength to resist.

 

Israel grew tired of... God’s design... God’s way.

Numbers 21.4 & 5 reads... The people grew impatient on the way... They spoke against God and Moses saying... Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness.

 

Israel thought God’s way was too tough...

In Egypt each day was predictable... Now... Each day was for them and us an adventure.

 

As their Shepherd...

• He led them in green pasture... providing manna

• Beside still waters... from a rock

• He restored and revived them each day...

• He led them in paths of righteousness...

• He led them through the valley of the shadow of death...

• He protected them from their enemies...

• He promised them and us a Promise Land... A place in the Father’s house.

 

But...Church... The important thing is that... HE led them... He LEADS US... Amen?

 

Hebrews 12.2 reads... Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

 

Indeed...When Israel took their eyes off God... Ugly things happened... We can experience the same.

 

Lastly... We note that Israel came to despise their savior God...

Deuteronomy 1.27 says... They grumbled in their tents saying... The Lord hates us... He brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.


Amazing isn’t it that they are being sustained in every way by God...

• Food...

• Water...

• Clothes that didn’t wear out...

• Sandals that didn’t rot...

• Health that kept thousands from dying of disease in the desert....

Yet they despised Him... Mistrusted Him... Forsook Him.

 

But there are times we are found saying... I’d rather have the world than the Father...

• We say that when we forsake the assemblies...

• When we give in to our favorite sin...That sin that so easily besets us...

• When we find more in common with this world than His world...

• When we fail to be thankful for every moment and blessing He provides...

• When we become impatient with the path He has chosen for us...

First Corinthians 10.10 asks us to not...Grumble... Murmur... or Complain... As did Israel.

 

Love not the world...Neither the things in the world...

Don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred towards God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.

 

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

 

Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul.

 

If we have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and SaviorJesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, we are worse off at the end than we were at the beginning.

 

Well…We gotta ask the question why...

Why not love the world?...

What’s wrong with loving the world?...

• Living as the world lives?...

Back to our text... Where we find John saying... Because the world will pass away...Verse 17... The world and its desires pass away... But the man who does the will of God lives for ever.

 

Most of us here this morning have escaped the world...

• By being children of God...

• By being in Christ... Clothed with Christ...

• We’ve been forgiven by His blood...We’re continually forgiven as we walk in the light...

 

What we don’t want to do is be... Like Israel... Or... Like Lot’s wife...

• Turn to look back longing into the world...

• We must not give in to the tug of Egypt...

• To the desires of the flesh... The lust of the eyes... Nor the pride of Life.

 

So...Here’s the question... Where does this morning’s lesson leave you and your speaker?.


Have we been delivered from the sins of the world...

• By faith in Jesus...

• By a changed lifestyle...

• By the New Birth of Baptism?...

 

Are we striving daily to walk in the light?... Or... Are we constantly feeling the tug of Egypt?

 

Let’s all pray that God deliver us from this tug... As we stand and sing.