In World War II Germany attacked and defeated the Dutch and the Belgians after a six week blitzkrieg. The French formed a new government and quickly surrendered to the Germans. Certain elements of the former government didn’t recognize the legitimacy of the new French government or the surrender. Some left France but many didn’t. Those who stayed secretly continued to fight.
After God created the heavens and the earth, an enemy, Satan, successfully attacked God’s perfect creation. He introduced sin (Romans 5:12) and corruption into the world (2 Peter 1:4). Then he took control of it (1 John 5:19). Since then the followers of God have been at war with Satan and his followers (Genesis 3:15).
Every time a person becomes a follower of God, he is transferred from the kingdom of Satan to the kingdom of God’s beloved Son (Colossians 1:13). We all remain here to live, but this isn’t our home (Philippians 3:20) and we are part of the resistance.
Satan has put in place a system of controls we call the world or world system.
The World Defined
Here’s my definition of the enemy the Bible calls the “world” based upon studying everything the Bible says about it:
The world is a transitory system of beliefs, standards, values and priorities, opposed to God, influenced and controlled by Satan, and accepted, embraced and promoted by the society in which we live. 1 John 2:16-17; Matthew 4:8-9; John 14:30; 15:18-19; Titus 2:12; Ephesians 2:1-2
The world is controlled by Satan but it is different from him. Along with Satan and the sinful nature it is one of our three enemies as Christians.
5 Sobering Facts about the World
- We are in a world that hated Jesus (John 7:7). It still does.
- The world can’t receive the Spirit of truth (John 14:17). Just think how common and acceptable it is to lie.
- The wisdom of the world is folly with God. (1 Cor. 3:19). Belief in the supernatural is ridiculed.
- The world tempts us to love it (1 John 2:15) through alluring advertising and beautiful stuff.
- When we befriend the world we become an enemy of God (James 4:4). This is when we accept the world’s values instead of God’s values.
5 Reassuring Facts about the World
- Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33). It killed Him but He rose again. It couldn’t defeat Him.
- We are in but not of the world (John 17:14-18). It isn’t home.
- We are to be light of the world (Matthew 5:14). Our job, shine for Jesus where you are.
- Greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4). Don’t fear, we’re on the winning side.
- The wonderful end of the story is that at a point in the future the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:15).
You and I are living behind enemy lines. Immerse yourself in reading and meditating on the Bible so that our minds stay focused on godly things (Romans 12:1-2). Don’t accept the world’s values. Don’t stop fighting!
What is the biggest problem the world gives you? How do you fight the world? I’d love to hear from you so please leave a comment or question below.
It’s a big, big world, and it seems to be getting bigger every day. There are so many distractions with TV and social media etc., sometimes it’s difficult to keep up with it all.
What I find curious is everyone’s insistence on labeling themselves and others, confining the broad dimensions of their humanity into tiny little boxes. Just because I like dogs, doesn’t mean I don’t like cats; just because I’m a Christian it doesn’t mean I’m homophobic and just because I’m not homophobic doesn’t mean I condone a gay lifestyle. If I share an unpopular opinion on one subject, I am labeled as an all around close-minded bigot, discrediting anything I might say in the future (with some people.)
It’s easy to say, “I don’t care,” but the reality is I do care. It disturbs me that in this world of instant access, most people don’t give much thought to anything other than what just flashed across their computer screen and how they can prove to everybody that they’re more special than the next guy. Will that new tattoo that “defines” who they are today, confine them to a box that they won’t allow themselves to grow out of?
The devil’s got an upper hand on instant gratification. Other than refocusing my thoughts and praying A LOT, I’m not sure what I can do to change the collective…
I’m surrounded by the Borg, but thankfully resistance is not futile.
EDIT to add: Good read if you haven’t already- The Vanishing Conscience by John MacArthur
You add an interesting point, Peggy Lee, about how the worldly culture works. If love covers a multitude of sins, the culture tries to uncover them or perhaps even issues where none should exist. Labeling is a key part of our current culture, but I wonder if it is any different from what it was when our parents grew up or if it is just with instant communication it seems worse? I agree we should care, at least about the issues that matter to us!
Hmmm… The love of money/ fear of not having it when needed/ the world says “you need this and that”‘ or “you need to save in case….”
whether spending it on what does not advance the Gospel, or saving it and holding back from investing in the advancement of the Gospel. The world offers so many options and distractions. It’s not really about spending and saving its the temptation to do either for purposes other than Kingdom purposes. A constant need to examine my “why?”, “where am I laying up my treasure?” and seek the Lord rather than the wisdom of the world.