Do not love the world nor things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 Because all the things in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, are not from the Father but are from the world. 17 And the world is passing away and its lusts, but the one who does the will of the Father remains forever.
This passage begins the recurring theme of love and its import to the Christian. This time, love is focused in a negative way, as in what not to love. The world here stands for those things not from God. This can be seen in the terse explanation that love of the world precludes love from God.
Note how that was worded: love of the world, in other words the love one has for the world, precludes love from God, that is the love instantiated in the person of Christ. One can either love the world or be saved. John does not allow room for gray, he sees this in simple black and white.
The things of this world are all sins (not necessarily all the types of sins in the world, John is not trying to be exhaustive, only descriptive), the two lusts and pride.
The lust of the flesh are the things which are common to humanity, namely sexual desire, the want of better and more food, things along those lines. The lust of the eyes focuses more on coveting, wanting what others have but you yourself do not. The pride of life is the self-satisfaction we have in seeing what we have accomplished or what we own and giving ourselves the credit instead of giving God the glory. John is calling out the sin of living apart from God, of not letting God live through you.
John does not end there, with a simple do and don’t, he continues with the consequences. If you are of the world, you will pass away. Only if you are of God will you be forever.
John is calling each and every believer to give up what entangles us, to look past what we have in this life and concentrate on what God wants. God does not desire that we have big houses, or that we have the best cars, or that our kids are the best dressed at school, no what God wants is us to love each other and the world based on His love for us.
Jesus died for you, can you die to the world for Him?