What does Jesus mean when he says “you are not of this world”? The world in scripture refers to that society of people who are hostile towards God and opposed to his will. The world rejected Jesus, and his disciples can expect the same treatment. Jesus leaves no middle ground for his followers. We are either for him or against him, for his kingdom of light or for the kingdom of darkness.
The prophet Isaiah warned that people who separate themselves from God because of their rebellion and spiritual blindness would end up calling evil good and good evil (Isaiah 5:20).
(John 15: 18-21)
Jesus said to his disciples: “If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me.”
If we want to live in the light of God’s truth, how can we rightly distinguish good from evil? True love of God and his ways draw us to all that is lovely, truthful and good. If we truly love God then we will submit to his truth and will for our lives. A friend of God cannot expect to be a friend of the world because the world opposes God. Jesus’ demand is unequivocal and without compromise. Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15). We must make a choice either for or against God. Do you seek to please God in all your thoughts, actions, and relationships? Let the Holy Spirit fill your heart with the love of God (Romans 5:5).