Woe to the World
Jesus Christ made the world (Jn 1:10; Col 1:16), and ironically, the world did not know Him when He came into the world (Jn 1:10), nor did it know God His Father (Jn 17:25). At the Son of God’s first advent, He did not come into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him (Jn 3:17). The obvious question is what happened that the world needs to be saved?
The god of this world (2 Cor 4:4), Satan, wrested dominion from Adam, through deception (Gen 3). The whole world now lies in the power of the evil one (1 Jn 5:19). Lucifer became the ruler of the kingdom of this world (Jn 12:31; 14:30; 16:11). Hence, the characteristic of the world kingdom is sin (Jn 16:8). It is a world of trouble for its inhabitants (Jn 16:33), especially, for those whom God chose out of the world (Jn 15:19). These chosen ones, God the Father gave to Jesus out of the world (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 6, 24).
Jesus is not of the world (Jn 18:36), so those who come to Him are also considered not of this world (Jn 17:14, 16). Still, these remain in the world (Jn 17:15), even being sent as missionaries throughout the world (Jn 17:18; Acts 1:8). They are sent so that the world might know that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world (Jn 3:16; 17:23), to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), to testify to the truth (Jn 18:37), and to destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn 3:8).
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world (Jn 18:36), so he spoke openly to the world (Jn 18:20), about His gathering His sheep from among them (Jn 10). This ingathering of those who belong to Christ infuriated the strong man (devil), who held God’s holy nation in slavery to his world system (Jn 8:34; Rom 6:6, 16–20). This is the adversary, Satan, and his children (Jn 8:44; 1 Jn 3:10), who Jesus refused to pray for to his Father (Jn 17:9). The strong man, himself, was judged by Jesus’ first advent (Jn 16:41).
The hostility harbored by the ruler of this world, for Jesus Christ, is shared by his subjects, the sons of disobedience and children of wrath (Eph 2:2–3). The world loves its own, but it hates the followers of Jesus (Jn 15:18–25) because they are indwelt with the Spirit of truth (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Cor 3:16; Gal 4:6; 2 Tim 1:14; Jas 4:5), whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him (Jn 14:17). The reprobate sinner does not belong to Jesus Christ (Jn 10:26; Rom 8:9).
Jesus loves His own who are in the world (Jn 13:1), just as His Father loved Him from before the foundation of the world (Jn 17:24). The people of God’s own possession are found in every nation, tribe, and tongue (Rev 5:9; 7:9); therefore, God’s love reaches the whole world (Jn 3:16). Jesus is the Light of the world (Jn 8:12), so everyone who believes in Him will not remain in darkness (Jn 12:46).
The kingdom of this world is the domain of darkness (Col 1:13), and its inhabitants walk in darkness (Jn 8:12) because men love darkness, for their deeds are evil (Jn 3:19). He, who sees the Light of this world, will not stumble (Jn 11:9). Therefore, the more light the children of light possess, the more they hate their lives in this world (Jn 12:25). They long for the world to come (Rev 21–22), in which righteousness dwells (2 Pet 3:13).
Jesus has given Himself, His flesh, for the life of the world (Jn 6:33, 51) because He is the Savior of the world (Jn 4:42; Titus 1:3; 2:13; 3:6). He has taken away the sin of the world (Jn 1:29) — He Himself being the propitiation for our sins (Rom 3:25; Heb 2:17; 1 Jn 2:2; 4:10).
The believer in Jesus, having Christ’s life-giving Spirit abiding in her, must not love the world, nor the things of the world any longer (1 Jn 2:15). The reason is that all that is in the world is sin (1 Jn 2:16), and this world is passing away (1 Jn 2:17). New things have come for the Christian, including love from God the Father that positions the newly adopted child of God in the kingdom of God’s Beloved Son (Rom 8:15, 23; Col 1:13; 1 Jn 3:1, 10).
The kingdom of God, being a kingdom of light, is in the Spirit (Rom 14:17). For this reason, the world does not know us (1 Jn 3:1), which means we should not be surprised if the world hates us (1 Jn 3:13). Our union with Christ includes His indwelling Spirit (Rom 8:9, 11; 1 Jn 4:13). The Spirit wars with the flesh (Gal 5:17); but the good news is — He that is in us (Holy Spirit) is greater than he that is in the world (1 Jn 4:4).
The enemy has sent many false prophets into the world (2 Cor 11:3–4; 1 Jn 4:1; 2 Jn 1:7), to those who are without God in the world (Eph 2:12). These represent the spirit of anti-Christ (1 Jn 4:3), who is from the world, speaks of the world, and the world listens to their false messages. God even sends a deluding spirit upon them to believe what is false (2 Thess 2:11).
For these reasons, the world must be overcome. Jesus has overcome the world (Jn 16:33), and whatever is born of God overcomes the world (1 Jn 5:4). It is the faith of the believer in Jesus that secures the victory over the world (1 Jn 5:5), over world forces of this darkness, and against the spiritual forces of wickedness in heavenly places (Eph 6:12).
No longer walking according to the course of this world (Eph 2:2), we must not be conformed to the world (Rom 12:2). In this, we have become a spectacle to the world (1 Cor 4:9), even the scum of the world (1 Cor 4:13), but we will not be condemned along with the world (1 Cor 11:32). In fact, the saints will judge the world and the angels (1 Cor 6:2–3).
Sin has entered the world through one man (Rom 5:12), and all the world is accountable to God (Rom 3:19). Therefore, God has sent preachers, “So their voice has gone out into all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world (Rom 10:18).” These appear as lights in the world (Phil 2:15). They bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mt 24:14; Mk 16:15), which is bearing fruit in all the world (Col 1:6), in those of the world who have believed on Him (1 Tim 3:16).
Christian, God has chosen the poor of this world, you and me, to be rich in faith (Jas 2:5); therefore, let us not be friends of the world (Jas 4:4), so that we may be unstained by the world (Jas 1:27). For it is written, just as Jesus said, “Woe to the world (Mt 18:7).”
Spokane Valley, Washington
May 30, 2022