Jesus deals with us in absolute categories. Jesus promised His disciples the hatred and persecution of the world (John 15:18-23). But He also promised His disciples eternal life (John 3:16). His offer is: persecution and hatred of the world and eternal life, or the love of the world and eternal death. At this point we try to negotiate. Can’t we be popular and still be His followers? Can’t we fit in and get along and still be Christians? The answer is no. It cannot be done. Give the world and its treasures a place in your heart, and they will take over. The Apostle John writes, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15b). Similarly James writes, “You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God” (James 4:4).
Terry Johnson, The Parables of Jesus (Christian Focus)