under a special agreement with
Winners Series 2
under a special agreement with
Lesson 11: My Enemy, "the World"
Every Christian has three terrible enemies—“the world,” the flesh, and the devil.
- What is “the world-system”?
- How did it come into being?
- Who controls “the world-system”?
The Bible uses the word “world” in three different ways. First, it can refer to the earth which God created. The Bible says,
“God…made the world and all things in it…” (Acts 17:24).
Next, it can refer to people.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16).
A third use is found in 1 John 2:15 where the child of God is told,
“Do not love the world, or the things that are in the world.”
The word “world” here refers to “the world-system”—the enemy of every child of God. This is the sense in which we will be using the word “world” in this lesson.
To understand what has happened in the world, we must go back to the beginning of things. When God created the world, He put Adam in charge and gave him dominion over everything.
When Adam rebelled against God, he took sides with Satan and came under his rule. Thus the rulership of the world passed out of Adam’s hands and into Satan’s hands. This is why the Bible calls Satan “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Even though Satan now had the world under his control, he still had a problem. His problem was how to keep people in his kingdom. There was a way of escape. Those who turned to God escaped from Satan’s kingdom. Satan did not like this so he came up with a plan.
Satan organized the people and the things in the world into a “world-system” based on selfishness, pride, greed, ambition, and sinful lusts and pleasures. There is nothing of God in these things.
What is “the world”? It is human society with God left out. Satan’s world-system includes entertainment, business, education, religion, politics, world kingdoms, world organizations, news media, and hundreds of other things. The world is anything that shuts God out.
Satan deceives people into thinking that this world is the only thing that matters. With his world-system, Satan can give people riches, possessions, fame, power, and all kinds of sinful pleasures.
Who is the ruler of “the world-system”?
The ruler of this world is Satan! Satan allows people to be in charge of things and seemingly to make the decisions, but Satan himself is the unseen ruler of the world behind the scenes. The Bible says,
“…the whole world lies under the power of the wicked one” (1 John 5:19).
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” 1 John 2:16
Satan knows that he cannot keep Christians from going to Heaven, but his object is to conform them to the world. He wants them to think like unsaved worldly people, to seek the same things they seek, and to do the same things they do.
We are warned against loving the world and the things of the world. The Bible says,
“Do not love the world, nor the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
God wants us to see that the world-system is controlled by Satan. To be a friend of the world is to be the enemy of God. The Bible says,
“…Do you not know that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).
The world is doomed to destruction.
Our deliverance from the world comes from seeing the world as God sees it. The world crucified God’s Son. It is the enemy of God, the enemy of God’s Son, and the enemy of God’s people. God has condemned it to total destruction!
God wants us to see that the world-system has no future. The world is like a giant ocean liner that is old, rusted, and leaking badly. The engines have stopped working. Water is pouring in faster than it can be pumped out. It is only a matter of time before the ship sinks.
The captain of the ship has received an urgent message from the owner of the ship: “Don’t waste your time trying to save the ship! A rescue ship is on the way. I have a new and much better ship waiting for you. Do all you can to get the passengers into the lifeboats.”
If I understand that this world is controlled by Satan and that it is doomed to destruction, what place of honor do I want in it? NONE!
The two creations.
The Bible says that Jesus Christ “gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4). When Jesus rose from the dead, He rose as the King of God’s new creation.
There are now two creations—the old creation and the new creation. The old creation is the kingdom where Satan rules. The new creation is the kingdom where God’s Son, the Lord Jesus, reigns. Nothing of the old creation can come into God’s new creation.
How could I, as a sinner, come into God’s new creation? There is only one way. God must end my old life and give me a new life. That is exactly what God did!
God put me in Christ on the cross. When Christ died, I died with Him. When He was buried, I was buried with Him. That was the end of my old life so far as God is concerned.
When Christ rose from the dead, I rose with Him as a new person in God’s new creation. The Bible says, “Therefore if anyone is in Christ; he is a new creation…” (2 Corinthians 5:17). God has delivered me from Satan’s kingdom and put me in Christ’s kingdom. The Bible says,
“Giving thanks to the Father…who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of His dear Son” (Colossians 1:12-13).
Satan wants to deceive us.
Satan wants to deceive us into living for the things of this world instead of living for God. But now we know the truth. We know that the world-system is controlled by Satan. We know that the world-system has been condemned by God. One day this world and all that is in it will be completely destroyed by fire. The Bible says,
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth also and the works that are in it shall be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10).
The world’s wealth and splendor, and all its glittering attractions lose their power over the person who is continually expecting his Savior to return in glory and power to translate him in a moment to the glories of Heaven.
We belong to Christ! He could come for us at any moment! The Bible says,
“Our citizenship is in Heaven, from which also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body…” (Philippians 3:20-21).
“How can I live in a way that pleases the Lord?”
There are some definite things that you can do that will please the Lord:
Love Jesus Christ with all your heart.
Your glorious Savior at the right hand of the Father loves you with all His heart. When you love Him with all your heart, the things of this world lose their power over you. The Bible says,
“Whom having not seen, you love; in whom, though now you see Him not, yet believing, you rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory” (1 Peter 1:8).
Separate yourself from the sinful things of the world.
No Christian makes any progress until he separates himself from the unclean things of the world. God says,
“Come out from among them, and be separate… and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and you shall be My sons and daughters…” (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).
God is saying to you, “If you will keep yourself from the sinful things of the world, I will be a Father to you, and I will love you and take care of you.” This is much better than being a friend of Satan’s world-system.
Confess Christ’s name.
The Lord has left us in the world to be His “ambassadors” to the unsaved. If you love your unsaved friends and relatives, tell them about the Savior who loves them and died for them.
Every time you mention Christ’s name with reverence, it will be told to the tens of thousands in Heaven! Jesus said,
“Whoever shall confess Me before men, him shall the Son of Man confess before the angels of God” (Luke 12:8).
Remember always that Christ lives in you.
Jesus said, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5). My main object should be to please Him. Since Jesus is always with me, I must ask myself some questions. Is Jesus pleased when I watch a TV show or a movie with bad stuff in it? No, He is not. Does the Lord Jesus enjoy listening to music that has dirty words in it? No, He does not. If I truly love the Lord Jesus, I will not want to do anything that would displease Him or make Him ashamed of me.
God delivers us from the love of the world by giving us something better. If I see a little child playing with a sharp knife, how do I get it away from him? I offer him something bright and colorful. He drops the knife and takes what I am offering him. That is the way God delivers us from the love of the world. He shows us something much better!
Christ is better than anything this world can offer us. When we know Christ and His glories at the right hand of God, we have the key to everything that God has in mind for the universe.
God says, “My Son, Jesus Christ, is going to be the Center, the Glory, and the Head of everything in My new universe.”
The great secret of blessing is to keep your eyes on Christ in glory. All of God’s satisfaction and glory rests on Christ. I am in Christ and He is in me. I am an object of delight to God because I love His Son. One day Christ is coming to take me to be with Him forever in Heaven. The Bible says,
“As it is written, Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).
Ruth—she chose God
…Where you go, I will go, and where you live, I will live: your people shall be my people, and your God my God….” Ruth 1:16
During a famine in the land of Israel, a man named Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and their two sons to the country of Moab. Soon after this, Elimelech died, leaving Naomi and her two sons.
The two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, took wives of the women of Moab. One was named Orpah, and the name of the other was Ruth. They lived there about ten years; then both of the sons died.
Naomi heard that the famine was over in the land of Israel, so she left Moab with her two daughters-in-law. Naomi urged them to return to their land and marry again. Both wept because they loved Naomi. Orpah kissed her mother-in-law as she was leaving. But Ruth made a decision that changed her future forever. She said,
“Do not intreat me to leave you…for where you go, I will go, and where you live, I will live: your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die, and there I will be buried…” (Ruth 1:16-17).
Naomi and Ruth came to Bethlehem at the time of the barley harvest. Naomi had a kinsman, a mighty man of wealth, whose name was Boaz. Ruth went to glean what grain she could in the fields of Boaz.
In time Boaz fell in love with Ruth. He bought back the land that had once belonged to Elimelech and took Ruth to be his wife. God blessed them and Ruth had a son, whom they named Obed. The women said to Naomi,
“Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto you a restorer of your life, and a nourisher of your old age: for your daughter-in-law, who loves you, is better to you than seven sons…” (Ruth 4:14-15).
Originally, Ruth was a Moabitess, and a worshiper of idols. But she learned of the one true and living God from Naomi. She chose to leave her people to serve Naomi’s God. God always rewards those who choose Him. He rewarded Ruth by giving her a son, Obed, who was the father of Jesse, the father of David, Israel’s greatest king. From David’s descendants came our Lord Jesus Christ.
In establishing David’s family, which was to produce the Savior of the world, God chose Ruth, a beautiful heathen girl. He led her to Bethlehem and made her the bride of Boaz. She became the great-grandmother of David, Israel’s greatest king.
This is God’s grace. He adopts the Gentiles into Christ’s family. We see also how God rewarded the faithfulness of Naomi. It was from Naomi that Ruth learned of the true God.