The Real and the Unreal World


dop_title_50 (1)

“He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.” (1 Samuel 2:8)

The above text contains the first reference in the Bible to God’s world. The “pillars” upon which it is set are, literally, “firm summits” (not “columns”), speaking of its permanence, “established that it shall not be moved” through the eternal ages when “the LORD reigneth” (Psalm 96:10).

That is the real world, where all who have been “raised up” by the Lord through faith in His Word will “inherit the throne of glory” and reign with Him forever. But that real world has, for a time, become “this present evil world” (Galatians 1:4), often mistakenly represented by its worldly inhabitants as their “real” world. In reality, this present world is very ephemeral, for “the world passeth away” (1 John 2:17).

This present unreal world has become the domain of Satan, “the god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4), for “the whole world lieth in wickedness [or ‘the wicked one’]” (1 John 5:19). Consequently, it is essential for believers now living in the world to heed the Lord’s warning: “I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:19).

The “world” includes its inhabitants and the world system they have developed. This present world, because of sin, has become so unreal that it no longer even knows its Creator. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not” (John 1:10). Nevertheless, “God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17). We can defeat this present evil world and prepare for our eternal service in the real world to come. “This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). HMM