In this short section of John’s letter, with few words, he teaches a significant lesson. The bottom line is that Christians shall not love the world, for it is passing away. It is such a simple statement, but it has a great depth found in the language that is used. While John often speaks of love, this is the one time that love is used in a negative manner.
Author: Gordon Bland
The epistle’s recipients are not known for sure, with some arguing Jewish converts, and others arguing for gentiles. However, it can be concluded that the recipients were first-century Christians who were experiencing a situation that was causing them to have concerns—perhaps the persecution under Nero. The author, historically believed to be Peter, wanted to reassure the readers of their salvation and to encourage them to persevere through their trials.
The book of Hebrews has been a great source of theological and pastoral direction for the Christian church since the first century. At the same time, it has been a contested book as the author is unknown, and the audience is still not fully understood. While many have attributed authorship to Paul, it is unlikely, and at best, the safest speculation is that the audience is a Hellenistic Judeo-Christian community.
The Letter to the Hebrews in Social-Scientific Perspective is deSilva’s attempt to gain further insight into this epistle by examining the authorship and audience based on the hints found in the text. He asserts the interpretation of this letter stands upon understanding the community to whom it was written and what precipitated such a response. These desired details are sparse, so deSilva posits that the missing information may be found in external sources.
We know that the Lord will win over all His enemies, so perhaps the Lord has given the secular world to their own debased thinking. In the absurdity of post-modern thought, the Truth will come out. It is an opportunity to bring people back to the Truth that God has revealed to us. So how shall we then live?
By listening to the present rhetoric of politics, culture, and education, Christianity is backward and in great danger of extinction. According to the world, Christianity’s only hope is to modernize by assimilating to the present day’s standards. The church should no longer teach the “mythical stories” of the Bible, and the moral teachings of Scripture should be updated to accept the cultural direction of the day. The teachings that disagree with science should be cast into the garbage, and perhaps then, the church may survive.