Sep 16

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Studying the two words: 1) world and 2) earth; it is necessary to call attention to verses that reveal how the word “world” is used. Many times, we just read the word, without thinking, how the word “world” is used in the verse. One of the reasons is very simple; in that we are giving the word, “world,” a meaning without much thought! We read the word “world” and think “earth” in an almost automatic manner!
In this fifth article about, “The world and the earth,” attention is called to a verse, that is so well known, it is called “the golden text of the Bible.” Yet, even without any thought the word “world” is read and the meaning is so clear, no one calls attention to it. Of course, the verse reads: “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” (John 3:16). So, the “world” that God so loved, “that he gave his only begotten Son,” is not the “earth,” neither is it “the things in the world.” God, of course, did not love the things on the earth; neither did he love the physical earth; no, God loved the souls of the inhabitants of the earth. The “world” of this verse can “believe,” and escape perishing and have “everlasting life.” Just to add a little understanding here, the “earth” is appointed for, as Peter wrote: “…the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up” (2 Pet. 3:10). There is nothing that can be done, to save the “earth” and “the works that are therein!” But, God has provided the means of saving the people of the earth!
So, you are saying, “I know all this, so why are you writing so much on this subject?” With this in mind, notice the next verse of John three: “For God sent not his Son into the world (kosmos) to condemn the world (kosmos); but that the world (kosmos) through him might be saved” (verse 17). Three times the word “world” appears is this verse and each time it is the Greek “kosmos.” Is the word “kosmos” used in the same manner each time or could it be used differently? Let us just paraphrase the verse: “For God sent not his Son among the inhabitants of the earth to condemn them; but that all the inhabitants through the Son might be saved.” This goes “hand in hand” with the commission Jesus gave the apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16). Here one verse sheds light upon another verse, in that it means, God would use because of this love, to save the world, the inhabitants, is the gospel! Let it be clear, the blood of Jesus is in the gospel!! Therefore, Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16); but the apostle did not stop here, as he also wrote of the appearing of Christ: “In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Thess. 1:8).
Looking a little more at the Greek word “kosmos,” Strong gives this: “kósmos” (literally, “something ordered”) – properly, an “ordered system” (like the universe, creation); the world.” Please notice the words, “ordered system.” Strong then says, “(like the universe, creation).” It never occurs to some people that Judaism was an “ordered system!” Despite this, many folks never look beyond the creation and the universe! Before continuing, Strong says the Greek word “kosmos” appears about 187 times in the New Testament. Look at the words of the apostle John: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world (kosmos) and this is the victory that overcometh the world (kosmos), even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Put your thinking “cap” on and answer the question: “How does John use the word “kosmos?” Is John referring to the earth, when he ,” writes: “overcometh the world,” the earth? Is John referring to the inhabitants of the earth, when he writes: “this is the victory that overcometh the world,” the people of the earth? Or, is John referring to the things of the world,” when he wrote: “this is the victory that overcometh the world, the things of this world? Of course, the victory comes by means of “our faith!” In order to help you, in trying to answer these questions; read John: “Love not the world (kosmos), neither the things that are in the world (kosmos). If any man love the world (kosmos), the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). In John’s uses of the Greek “kosmos,” one thing is very clear, if one loves it, “the love of the Father is not in him.” However, this might be called “punting the ball,” in modern terms. Therefore, I will not do it! The word “neither” needs to be noticed here, Strong says it is “a continued negation,” of “if any man love the world.” It should be noted, that John also wrote: “For God so loved the world,” (John 3:16). Is God “allowed” to love what we are not? In a word, “No!’ It appears to this humble writer, that the “world,” we are not to “love,” that the second use of the word “world,” is but a continuation of the first! F. F. Bruce noted the difference thus: “It is the world-system organized in rebellion against God which is in view…” Bruce also wrote showing the difference between two types of “love,“ as he wrote: “it is self-sacrificing love; (John 3:16, frw) here it is acquisitive love” (1 John 2:15, frw).” Let me put it this way: 1) one is the greatest love ever shown to mankind, while 2) is to love less and less, until there is no love at all.
This has turned into a “many” article series, but personally, I believe it is good to look at the verses which have been covered and will be covered.

Frank R. Williams

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