Stop Loving the World [ISBN 978-1-60178-118-5] by William Greenhill is an appended sermon to his book The Sound Hearted Christian and provides excellent advice on identifying and suppressing inordinate love of the world. In this book Mr. Greenhill expounds 1 John 2:15, "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world" by properly distinguishing between the correct use of the world versus the undue love the world.
Mr. Greenhill notes that "even saints are prone to love the world" and that "[t]here is a great suitableness between the world and hour corrupt hearts and natures," (p. 2). In Chapter 4 he gives directions for examining the Christian's heart for the love of the world.
First, he looks at the usefulness of applying the doctrine to not love the world:
- Examining the heart informs a Christian of the corruption of his nature, which is very prone to love the world and the things of the world (pp. 42-43).
- If those in a state of grace should not love the world, then there are very few who are truly in the state of grace because there are so few who do not love the world (pp. 43-44).
- If a Christian should not love the world, then those who are gracious and godly should be content with a little of the world (p. 44).
- Examining the heart serves to reprove professing Christians (pp. 44-45).
Next, the author provides probing questions to help the Christian examine his heart:
- Am I more concerned about the things of the world than I am for heaven and spiritual things? (p. 45-46)
- Does the world push aside and cut out the things that are of God? (pp. 46-48)
- Am I content with a little when it comes to matters of the soul? (pp. 48-49)
- In what then do I find most sweetness and contentment? (pp. 49-50)
- Do I use questionable or unlawful means to get the world? Do I neglect lawful and unquestionable means that would get me heaven and spiritual things? (pp. 50-51)
- Do I love ideas, learning, wisdom of words, talents, gifts, and things of this nature? (pp. 51-52)
- Am I more grieved for the loss of outward, worldly things than I am for the loss of spiritual things? (p. 52)
Mr. Greenhill concludes this chapter with the following directions: "Honestly answering these several questions should help you know whether you love the world or not. And if you find that your heart is set on this world, you are worthy of great blame," (p. 52).
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 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. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," (1 John 2:15-17).