A Sketch of "The World"

“Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the use of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the father, but is from the world. the world is passing away and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

While "the earth" is good and belongs to the Lord (Psalm 24:1), the Bible usually uses “the world” to describe the portion of creation that is still in rebellion against God. This is “the world” that we are called to not be conformed to (Romans 12:2). The following conclusions come from a written discussion between E. C. Fuqua and Thomas B. Warren in 1954. But you can look the passages up to see for yourself what is attributed to "the world" in the Scriptures. Here’s what belongs to the world: 

    •    Its god (2 Cor. 4:4)

    •    Its prince (John 12:31)

    •    Its spirit (1 Cor. 2:12)

    •    Its wisdom (1 Cor. 1:20)

    •    Its kingdoms (Matt. 4:8; Luke 4:5)

    •    Its worry (Matt. 13:22)

    •    Its children (Luke 16:8)

    •    Its form (1 Cor. 7:31)

    •    Its sorrow (2 Cor. 7:10)

    •    Its course (Eph. 2:2)

    •    Its rulers (Eph. 6:12)

    •    Its elements (Col. 2:20)

    •    Its friendships (James 4:4)

Jesus says that our relationship to the world is now one of being "in it" but no longer "of it” (John 17:14-16). As citizens of the world, it’s so easy to remain in love with a worldly lifestyle. But God calls us to the Kingdom of light through which we reject the worldly approach to all of the above.  

However, let us never forget that it is this same rotten “world” that God so loved that He gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). Jesus is at work reconciling “the world” to God, and He calls us to be ministers in that reconciliation work (2 Cor. 5:18-20). So keep rejecting the things of the world while loving the people of the world. 


To His Glory,