The World vs. the Kingdom

     The apostles, especially John and Paul, elaborated on the magnitude of the differences between those who remained in bondage to the world and those who had been redeemed from the world into the kingdom.
      General characteristics of the world (kosmos) include transience, worthlessness, worries, and temptations.  As such the eyes of the world are fixed on material and corruptible things versus spiritual and eternal rewards.
     Those of the world have their own set of values and their own ‘wisdom.’  Such is totally incompatible with values of the kingdom.  In fact the worldly have no comprehension or interest in the kingdom.  They live in their own private world.
     Paul frequently reminded kingdom citizens that they were once citizens of the world but had been delivered out of its bondage.
     “And you He made alive…you once walked according to the course of this world…”  Ephesians 2:1
     Jesus taught His disciples that it was utter foolishness to spend effort on accumulating perishable things instead of investing in the kingdom and its future rewards, inasmuch as everything in this world will perish.
     “For what profit is it to a man it he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  Matthew 16:26a
     The challenge is very much present in the world today.  There is no room for compromise.
     Citizens of the world have great confidence in their own ability to successfully address life’s challenges.  The knowledge of a natural man is absolutely nothing compared to spiritual wisdom from above.
     “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 16:25
     The sad fact is that the citizens of the world far outnumber the citizens of the kingdom.
     Citizens of the kingdom are warned repeatedly not to be entangled in the world from which they had been delivered.  Without God’s direct intervention no man could free himself from the world.  In fact citizens of the world don’t even realize their state of bondage.
     Keep in mind that God ‘so loved the world’ which confirmed His love for His chosen whom He was about to deliver from bondage.  He also loved the fact that it was time to present and implement His plan for their deliverance.
     And when it was time to finish the work His Father sent Him to do, Jesus prayed for His disciples.
     “I have given them (disciples) Your word; and the world has hated them because they are 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…As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world…”  John 17:14-15, 19
      And then note Jesus’ following words.
     “I do not pray for these (disciples) alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their words…”  John 17:20
     Jesus Christ, the Son of God prayed for us!
     He continued by praying that his disciples would have the same relationship with the Father as He enjoyed.
     Jesus would soon depart, but His disciples would remain. 
     Jesus spoke often that the ‘world’ would hate His disciples and any member of the kingdom of God.  Those of the kingdom have been redeemed from the desires of the world while remaining in the world to reveal the kingdom of God.
     “If you were of the world, the world would love its own, Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”  John 15:19
     The disciples themselves were originally in the world; however, Jesus delivered them out of the world.  Therefore, those remaining in the world and the citizens of the kingdom had nothing in common which spurned the hatred.  Note that the world hated kingdom citizens; kingdom citizens did not hate the citizens of the world.
     Jesus’ half brother James firmly confirmed the animosity between the world and citizens of the kingdom.
     “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  James 4:4
     No compromise, no being lukewarm.

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