Love of the world is a danger for all of us, for it is much easier to fall for the attractions of things that we can see, hear, smell, and touch, than to set our affections firmly upon heavenly things.  I do not think that John means we should not enjoy a good meal, admire a beautiful sunrise, or take part in many earthly pleasures that are lawful according to the Word of God.  Certainly, this admonition would include a warning not to make idols out of even those things that are lawful.  There are many things which are perfectly acceptable in and of themselves, which the human heart may turn into an idol.  A prudent wife is from the Lord, Solomon says, and yet a man may make his wife into an idol.  Money is not evil in and of itself, and can be a blessing if used rightly.  But very often it is turned into an idol by men who are more entranced by the here and now than they are by the glory of Christ.

I think the primary usage of “world” here in I John 2:15 is the world system and philosophy.  It is the ungodly, unbelieving world, which makes idols out of things lawful and unlawful.  It is the ungodly world which constructs worldviews which are alien to Scripture, and lives according to human and devilish philosophies.  It is the world which has no concern for the glory of God and the interests of His kingdom, but rather sets itself to satiate the lusts of the flesh and eyes, and to delight itself in the pride of life.  In fact, I fancy this warning here is broad enough to cover every philosophy, every religion, every worldview, every opinion, that is not based squarely upon the infallible truth of God’s Word.  These things are not to be loved by the Christian, for his affections are to be in heaven, where Christ sits at the right hand of God.

If a man’s affections, and his goals in life, are centered upon the things of this sinful and dying world, then John instructs us in no uncertain terms that the love of the Father is not in him.  This does not mean he is simply spiritually deformed, but John would have us to understand that the man is unsaved.  The saving love of the Father, birthed in eternity and revealed in time to the hearts of His people, has in that man’s heart.  If it did, he would delight himself in the Gospel of Christ and live for Him, rather than searching for pleasure and satisfaction in the transitory pleasures of this earth.