|Back to Back Issues Page|
The World Contradiction
April 19, 2010
-------The World Contradiction-------
When non believers make excuses for not following God and the teachings of the Bible, one of their favorite alibis is, "The Bible contradicts itself so who can understand it?"
The Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit who enables man to understand the scriptures and without the aid of the Holy Spirit the natural man cannot understand the word of God resulting in the aforementioned criticisms of scripture.
Here is an example of a seeming contradiction in the word of God but it really is not a contradiction at all.
The verse in question: "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him."
People will ask, "How can we not love the world if God loved the world?" as it states in John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
To a non believer this would seem like a contradiction but there is an explanation.
God created the heavens and the earth and all was good at first. God created our world and all the living things that are in it and it was paradise at first until Satan (indicating that sin had already entered into the heavenly realm) persuaded Eve to partake of the forbidden fruit who, in turn, caused Adam to give into the temptation of sin.
Now God's creation, which was good, has now been marred with sin but God still loves his creation thus loving the world. Scripture tells us that Christ was foreordained before the foundation of the world according to 1 Peter 1:20.
The plan to redeem mankind goes back to the beginning which proves that God loves the world. Then what is the scripture talking about that tells us not to love the world?
The word "world" comes from the Greek word "Kosmos" which came to mean an ordered arrangement often referring to the physical universe but can also refer to the system that the world operates on.
What mankind considers to be important, God deems as worthless. If a man or woman is caught up in the cares or things of this life then they are not concerned about spiritual matters and, in fact, are standing opposed to God.
1 John 1:16 explains the world that John is talking about, "For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
What is the lust of the flesh? It is simply anything our flesh desires: sex, food, competition, thrills. God has made provision for the flesh such as instituting marriage for sex but how many people have sex only with their spouses? We have to have food to live but we don't need 5 bowls of ice cream for dessert. Obesity is major modern problem because people can indulge in overeating which stems from lust of the flesh. We play games and to the victor go the spoils. We pay millions of dollars to watch athletes compete but these games do nothing in adding to the kingdom of God. They have no spiritual value. People climb mountains, ride roller coasters, and jump out of airplanes simply "for the thrill of it". It satisfies the flesh but, again, has no spiritual value.
What is the lust of the eye? It is the reason people end up in debt and it is a major cause of sin and very closely connected to lust of the flesh. Take King David for instance. He was perfectly fine until he saw a naked Bathsheba bathing on a rooftop then had to have what he saw which led him to committing adultery then murder. The lust of the eye is what our free market system operates on. Most people don't want something until they see it and then they can't wait to get it and will go into debt for a material good that they believe will make them happy but all it really does is make them slaves to debt. The addiction to pornography is a result of the lust of the eye. The lust of the eye is closely associated with greed.
What is the pride of the life? It is simply having an higher opinion of yourself than you should have. It is the sin that caused Lucifer to become Satan. Everyone wants recognition and people desire this. Examples of the pride of life are personal boasting, excessive nationalism, racism, and economic and educational elitism.
These worldly things are a result of the system our world operates on and scripture states that Satan is the god of this age (or world system).
When Eve gave into Satan's deception, she gave into the lust of the flesh (the forbidden fruit was good to eat), the lust of the eye (it was a scrumptious looking fruit) and the pride of life (she wanted to be like God as Satan told her she would know good from evil).
We are no different from Eve and Adam. Our nature is to be like the system our world operates on but our nature can be changed thanks to the redemptive work of Christ on the cross and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Too bad most people choose the world rather than God.
Copyright 2010 by Gary Goodworth
|Back to Back Issues Page|