A life that leads to eternity
“Do not love the world or anything that belongs to the world. If you love the world, you do not love the Father. Everything that belongs to the world—what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world. The world and everything in it that people desire is passing away; but those who do the will of God live forever.” 1 John 2:15-17 (GNT).
There we have it. The only life that leads to eternity is a life where we do God’s will.
What does the apostle mean when he says that “what the sinful self desires, what people see and want, and everything in this world that people are so proud of—none of this comes from the Father; it all comes from the world?” It means that it is not the Father, our creator, who is behind this strong desire. It is the god of this world who is behind it. He is the one of whom Jesus says, “A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I came to give life—life in all its fullness.” John 10:10 (NCV). The one steals from you, the other gives to you. The thief steals the joy in your life, “kills” the will to live and destroys your future.
Lusts and desires cannot be satisfied
It is necessary that we understand this. We cannot help having lusts and desires in our flesh, in our sinful nature. But we must understand that they are there as a result of the fall of man. (Genesis chapter 3.) God created us with senses, and He meant that we could use them to enjoy everything He had created—in all purity. For example, Paul wrote about food: “… which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:3.
Something to satisfy a natural need, like for example food, can be received with thanksgiving—that is, with thankfulness. But a lust or sinful desire cannot be satisfied with thankfulness. It never gets enough, it is unstoppable, like a fire that wants more and more. The lust or sinful desire does not give us anything; it just takes. It takes everything, and you are left without any joy or satisfaction.
Jude writes about the result of living according to one’s own lusts and desires: “These people grumble and complain and live by their own selfish desires …” Jude 16 -(CEV). You would think that they would be thankful and happy. But the fruit of their lusts and desires is grumbling and complaining, disappointment and bitterness. Such a life does not lead to eternal life.
The result is thankfulness
The good news is that these lusts and desires can be crucified by faith, because “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh [their sinful nature] with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:24 (NIV). The end result of this is thankfulness. We have received something, and can say thank you!
“And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” 1 John 5:11. It is only a life where we have fellowship with Jesus, and obey Him, that leads to eternal life.
Just look at some of the promises in the gospel: Life in all its fullness! Do the will of God and—live forever!