Be Careful About What the Bible Calls “The World”
I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world (John 17:14-16).
God’s people have always been a separated people. We are to shine as lights in the darkness around us. We have the influence of salt in a bland, sin-filled world.
John tells us not to love the world. Do not love the world or 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 lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life — is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever (1 John 2:15-17).
The world is defined by Kenneth Wuest as all the floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations that are at any time current in the world.
Smith Wigglesworth defines the world as that which cools my affection towards God.
Here in 1 John, the world is defined as the sinful longings of the flesh and eyes, and as the pride of life.
The world looms large as an enticing danger to every believer. For that reason we must guard ourselves. If we love the world (1 John 2:15), we could become friends with the world, which is actually classed with being an enemy of God (James 4:4). We then could become spotted or tainted by the world (James 1:27). The end result of all of this is being conformed to the world (Romans 12:2). And if a person continues in that, he or she could be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
A believer that becomes friendly, spotted, in love with, and conformed to the world, is open to receive the chastening of the Lord. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:31-32).
He does not want us to lose our spiritual life to the influence of the world. So the Father gives us an opportunity to repent, and if we choose not to judge ourselves from this behavior of becoming like the world, He then chastens us. When God chastens, His hand of protection is removed, and the enemy is allowed to move in where he then seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
Let’s keep ourselves today, so that the enemy has no inroad into our life through the world. Jesus has prayed for us to be kept from the world. Let’s refuse to compromise. Let’s be salty, light filled believers!