ENEMIES of the Soul
“Enemies” – Part 2 (The World)
Text: 2 Peter 2:20-22
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 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. 22 But it is 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.
Today we look at another subtle enemy of the souls of men – the world.
First it is important to identify our subject and focus in on this word from a Bible perspective, since the word “world” covers such broad scope.
Three important terms are used in the Scripture describing the world for us. Distinguishing one meaning from the other and keeping each in context is important.
– KOSMOS – Is a Greek word meaning the orderly arrangement of the world including its inhabitants. Sum total of what God has created. Refers to the fact that the world (kosmos), is the abode of man. The order of things within which humanity moves and of which man is the center. World, in the New Testament, in most places is translated kosmos.
World in the following verses would be properly translated kosmos.
“He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10).
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples make with hands.” (Acts 17:24).
“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).
– AION – Is a Greek word meaning a space or period of time, especially a lifetime. Used of one’s time of life or age. It also means a long space of time, eternity, or forever.
An age, perpetuity, a messianic period, present, or future course. World is properly translated aion in the following verses.
“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
“For Demas hath forsaken me having loved this present world” (2 Timothy 4:10).
“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.” (Romans 12:2).
“Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” (Titus 2:12).
“He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.” (Matthew 13:22).
– OIKQUMENE – (oy-kou-men’-ay), Is a Greek word for world meaning land, globe, or earth. The literal ground, earth, or scope of God’s creation. The inhabited earth. World would be translated to oikqumene in the following verses.
“And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matthew 24:14).
“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” (Luke 2:1).
“And the devil, taking Him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.” (Luke 4:5).
“And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the spirit that there should be a great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar.” (Acts 11:28).
Our soul’s enemy is not the land surface described in number three (3). It is not necessarily the universe with its inhabitants described in number one (1). Rather our enemy becomes the age (aion), of number two (2). From each age (aion), there arises a spirit, inventions, allurements, enticements, carnal trappings, places, and events invented by man. Every generation of humanity produces an atmosphere and environment, peculiar to its own day that is destructive to spirituality if you involve yourself in it.
WHAT COMPRISES THE WORLD?
You can pinpoint the elements that the world is made up of regardless of the age or time in which you live. Root causes can be traced to one of the following things (I John 2:15-17).
LUST OF THE FLESH.
LUST OF THE EYES.
PRIDE OF LIFE.
We have desires, ambitions, and strong inclinations to be like our contemporaries and participate in the activities of our own age. Satanic devices, peculiar to our day, must be discerned as such, then shunned, avoided, and removed from our lives.
God doesn’t alarm us without cause. If no danger existed nothing would be imposed upon us in God’s Word. There are dangers, and we are adequately warned; therefore let’s examine the Word of the Lord on this important matter. Each of these relate to the age (aion), of each generation.
The world has its pollutions (2 Peter 2:20).
The world has its corruption (2 Peter 1:4).
The world has its cares (Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:14).
The world has its god (2 Corinthians 4:4).
The world has its course (Ephesians 2:2).
The world has its lusts (Titus 2:12).
The world has its fashion (1 Corinthians 7:31).
The world has its evil (Galatians 1:4).
The world has its wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:20; 2:6; 3:18; James 3:15-17).
The world has its spirit (1 Corinthians 2:12).
A SCRIPTURAL METHOD FOR HANDLING THE WORLD
The Biblical method for handling the world is to OVERCOME it.
– OVERCOME – In the original Greek this word meant to subdue, conquer, prevail, or get the victory. Webster’s dictionary defines it as to get the better of in competition,
to master, suppress, prevail over, surmount, or overwhelm.
Jesus overcame the world (John 16:33).
We are to overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21).
There is a victory that overcomes the world (1 John 5:4-5).
We can overcome because of the force within us (1 John 4:1-4).
If we overcome we will inherit all things (Revelation 21:7).
God has made some glorious promises to the overcomers. Study these seven (7), promises…
PROMISES TO OVERCOMERS
EPHESUS – Eat of the Tree of Life – Revelation 2:7
SMYRNA – Not hurt of Second Death – Revelation 2:11
PERGAMUS – Eat of Manna, White Stone – Revelation 2:17
THYATIRA – Power over the nations – Revelation 2:26
SARDIS – Clothed in White Raiment – Revelation 3:5
PHILADELPHIA – Pillar in the Temple of God – Revelation 3:12
LAODICEA – Sit with ME in MY THRONE – Revelation 3:21
God will never take us out of this world to protect us just because we get saved. Only the rapture will eventually solve this problem of getting His church out of a worldly environment.
While using this world may we never abuse it (1 Corinthians 7:31). God’s promises are to the overcomers not the conformers (Romans 12:1-2). Your age needs a witness and you are the light of the world, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16).