The Youth’s Instructor


October 18, 1900

Love Not the World


“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 1

Christ's life on earth was the embodiment of purity and holiness. He was in the world, but not of the world. The world did not understand him. His life of self-sacrifice was to them a mystery. He lived a life apart from them. Had he united with them in eager pursuit for applause, for riches, for worldly honor, they would have known him; for he would have been of them. YI October 18, 1900, par. 2

Christ was the Light of the world, but the world knew him not; and because it knew him not, it knows not his followers. We can not follow Jesus, and keep the friendship of the world. True Christians will take Christ as their pattern, loving him with the whole heart, and serving him with the entire being. YI October 18, 1900, par. 3

“Ye can not serve God and mammon.” “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.” There must be an entire surrender on the part of the Christian, a complete forsaking and turning away from the things of the world. God's word declares, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 4

Christ has given us an example of how we should work. He did not come to this world to save the righteous: there were no righteous. He came to call sinners to repentance, to save those who felt their need of a Saviour. He identifies his interests with the interests of all who will receive his grace. YI October 18, 1900, par. 5

Christ labored to save men from delusion. To this end his servants must work. God has given to every man a measure of light, and he is to let this light shine forth to others. No Christian lives to himself. He who is devoted to self-serving is not learning of the divine Teacher, though he may profess to be a Christian. YI October 18, 1900, par. 6

Unless truth leads to right actions, it proves only the condemnation of the hearer. Truth is to be woven into the daily experience, controlling the life, making us pure, even as Christ is pure. We may know without doubt who are the true sons and daughters of God. And “every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” As Christ is pure in his sphere, so man may be pure in his sphere. YI October 18, 1900, par. 7

Conformity to the world is decidedly forbidden in the word of God. Paul writes: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 8

The mighty power of the Holy Spirit is a cleaver which separates men from the world, and sends them forth as missionaries for God into the highways and byways of life, to seek and to save lost, perishing souls, to minister to the physical and spiritual needs of suffering humanity. Thus Christ worked, and he says to us, “Learn of me.” “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.... For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 9

We can either honor or deny Christ. His work was to reveal to the world the glorious perfection of God. This is also our work. We are not to shut ourselves away from the world to escape from it. Christ's prayer to God in behalf of his disciples was, “Not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” We have a work to do—the work of seeking for lost souls. If you are necessarily associated with worldlings, remember that Christ is to be honored as your companion, your leader, your wisdom and sanctification. He says, “I am at your right hand to help you.” The child of God must not allow himself to be guided or governed by human wisdom; for this always leads from the path of self-denial and cross-bearing cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in. The undivided affections must be given to God. It is for our eternal welfare to stand with him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” “Whosoever will come after me,” Christ said, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 10

John thought it an honor of infinite importance for men to be called the sons of God, to be acknowledged by the Creator of the universe as his children. In comparison with this, all other honor sinks into insignificance. If our names are even mentioned with favor by the great men of this earth, we think it a matter of sufficient importance to cherish, yes, and tell again and again, that others may see how we have been honored. But the lips that give us this supposed honor are only mortal. Dust they are, and to dust they must return. Our names may be uttered with joy by the lips of Christ. It is our privilege to be honored by him who is King over all kings. If we are faithful, the eternal God will claim us as his sons and daughters. Then is it any condescension on our part to receive Christ? YI October 18, 1900, par. 11

John holds up before us the infinite sacrifice made in our behalf, and points us to the infinite possibilities that lie before us. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” We may enter into this sacred relationship. No pen can describe the honor this will bring to us. Many act as if it were a great humiliation to accept Christ as their Saviour. But there is no true honor except that which comes through Christ. Our highest good is found in following his example. We meet with many failures because we do not realize this. If we lift the cross cheerfully, Christ will guide us by his counsel, and afterward receive us into glory. “It doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” YI October 18, 1900, par. 12

Mrs. E. G. White