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Victor M. Eskew
A. In the study of God’s Word, a person will find that one word can have several different meanings.
B. We are going to study a word today that has numerous meanings. It is the word “world.”
C. In the New Testament, the word “world” is found 242 times in 203 verses.
I. THE PLACE OF MAN’S PRESENT EXISTENCE
A. Another word for world is “earth.”
1. Matthew 4:8
Again, the devil taketh him up to an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdom of the world, and the glory of them.
2. Mark 16:15
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
3. John 1:9
And that was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
C. The Bible says that this world had a beginning (Matt. 24:21; Acts 15:18; Eph. 3:9), and it will have an ending (Matt. 13:39, 40, 49).
II. A PLACE OF MAN’S FUTURE EXISTENCE
A. This is a place that is referred to as “the world to come.”
1. Matthew 12:32
And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him in this world, neither in the world to come.
2. Luke 18:30
Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.
III. THINGS IN THIS WORLD FOR MAN’S BENEFIT AND ENJOYMENT
A. In Jesus’ parable of the sower, the Master described these things as the cares, riches, and pleasures of this life (Luke 8:14; I John 3:17).
1. Matthew 16:26
For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
2. I Corinthians 7:33
But he that is married careth for the things that are of this world, how he may please his wife.
IV. A SMALLER SYSTEM THAT EXISTS WITHIN THE WORLD
A. We will often say that each of us has our “own little world” in which we live. It is that realm of people and activities that make up our daily lives.
B. Example: The tongue (James 3:6)
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity…
1. Communication is an element of our lives.
2. Revolving around communication is a “world of iniquity.”
3. NOTE: We have been studying the elements of that world in our Wednesday Night Bible Class.
V. A PERIOD OF TIME, AN AGE
A. The word “world” can refer to a period of time, that is, an age.
B. There is one passage tin which the word “world” definitely means age (Heb. 9:26).
For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
1. The second “world” of this verse means age.
2. Jesus appeared in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.
3. The end of the world does not mean the literal end of the earth.
4. It was the end of the age, the Jewish age.
C. Other passages:
1. Matthew 28:20
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.
a. The ESV translates the verse: “…to the end of the age.”
b. Many believe that Jesus has reference to the miraculous age, especially when compared to Mark 16:17-20.
1) The Lord promised His apostles miraculous gifts.
2) As they went forth preaching and confirming the word with signs following, the Lord was working with them (Mark 16:20).
3) He promised this presence with them until the end of that age, that is, when miracles came to an end (I Cor. 13:8-13).
2. Matthew 12:32
a. Some believe that the two words “world” could be translated “age.”
b. Thus, those who committed blasphemy against the Holy Ghost would not be forgiven in the Jewish age, nor the age to come, the Christian age.
VI. THE INHABITANTS OF THE WORLD
A. There are times when the world refers to the people who exist in the world.
1. Matthew 5:14
Ye are the light of the world.
2. John 1:29
The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
3. John 3:17
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
VII. THE EVIL SYSTEM OF THIS WORLD
A. The term world often refers to an evil system that exists and operates in our world.
1. It involves evil, deceitful ideologies and beliefs.
2. It involves wicked and sinful behavior.
3. The elements of this system are accepted by many who life on the earth. Thus, they are referred to as “the world.”
4. The world used in this manner stands in contrast to the church, that is, those who have been called out of the world.
B. Several examples:
1. John 15:19
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
a. The apostles are put in contrast to the world.
b. They are hated by the world because they are not of the world.
c. The Lord called them out of the world.
2. Romans 12:2
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.
3. Galatians 6:14
But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
4. James 4:4
Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
5. I John 5:19
And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.
A. Satan is “the god of this world” (John 12:31: 16:11; II Cor. 4:4; Eph. 2:2).
Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
B. Jesus gave Himself for us to deliver us from the evil world (Gal. 1:4).
Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from the present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father.
C. Jesus called us out of the darkness of this world into His marvelous light (I Pet. 2:9) by means of the gospel (II Thess. 2:14).
1. Those who answer the call by obedience to the gospel are added to the church, that is, the called out ones.
2. If you have not answered the call, you are still in the world.
D. It is possible for a child of God to return to the world (II Pet. 2:20-22).
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.