What’s that mean, anyhow, to say “No” to the world? Are Christians supposed to say no to the world – the kosmos, the system of the world? What did John mean when he wrote, “For God so loved the world (kosmos) that He gave His only begotten Son…. (Jn 3:16)”?

And what did John mean in his first letter, when he wrote this?

1Jo 2:15-17 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world…..

God loved the world, but we can’t love the world, or the love of the Father is not in us. Hmmmm.

James says a similar thing: Jas 4:4 – You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

Then there is Peter:

1Pe 5:9 – But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.

2Pe 1:4 – For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.

By “world” Peter means the Jews. The use of kosmos isn’t as narrow as we may think. We have the world system, created by God. We have the lust of the world, and the flesh, and the devil. We have the Jewish non-believers. Clearly, we should not hate what God created, called “good”, and came to redeem.

But we should not love the ungodly systems by which men govern themselves.

So, are we to turn our backs on the world, deny it, because we want to be spiritual? In fact, can we do this, seeing as we are to be in the world, but not of it? This is of course a bit of a trick question. Think about it. How do we become spiritual, and how do we know we are walking in the spirit?

We are no longer a part of this world system, because we are now in the kingdom of God. We walk in the spirit now. We don’t “turn our backs on the world” because we are not of the world – we are taken out of that system and placed into God’s!

1Jo 4:4-5 – You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.

2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh,

Eph 4:17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

Eph 5:8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Col 1:13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,

We are called to actively bring His kingdom into the kosmos!

It was Jesus who said to pray that the Father’s kingdom come and for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.

We are in it now!

Are we bringing the good news of the kingdom to the world? It’s more than preaching, but it is a message confirmed by signs. Physical healing is one sign that is promised to follow those that believe. It’s not a full message without the signs.

Say no to the world?

How can we say no, or yes, to something we have no part in?

We are dead to the kosmos – how can we then have any relationship to it?