Whose World Is It? Part 2

In some ways, I think the commenter I quoted from in Part 1 of this short series may have been going for shock value to call our world a Christian world. Or maybe that’s my wishful thinking. I do know that his view has some validity.

After all, Bible-believing Christians agree on one level that this is God’s world, He being sovereign and all. The corruption of the world and its fading glory are not out of His control or outside His plan.

But just as “God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity” (Rom. 1:24a), I believe He has given this world over to destruction. Jesus said on more than one occasion that heaven and earth would pass away (see Matt. 5:18 and Luke 16:17).

He also told a parable about the world likened to a field of grain.

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also.

The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’

And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’

The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’

But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘ ” (Matt. 13:24-30)

Here’s His interpretation of that story for His disciples:

And He said, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man, and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one; and the enemy who sowed them is the devil, and the harvest is the end of the age; and the reapers are angels. So just as the tares are gathered up and burned with fire, so shall it be at the end of the age” (Matt. 13:37-40).

The field belongs to God, but He didn’t plant the tares. He did, however, determine that the tares could keep growing side by side with the wheat. In essence, He gave the world over to what the enemy did to spoil His crop.

Isn’t this what we see in our world today? Tares and wheat, so alike you can’t always tell them apart, growing together, the tares at times choking out the wheat. Not the field God planted.

Peter makes it clear what’s to come of this world:

But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7).

Clearly, God is not planning to redeem this world, nor has He already done so.

The truth is, as the tares were allowed to grow in the field, so Satan is allowed to rule this world. “We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19 – emphasis mine. See also John 12:31, 1 John 4:4, 2 Corinthians 4:4, John 16:11, John 14:30.)

Because God is sovereign, there’s only one way that the whole world comes under Satan’s power, only one way he becomes the god of this world, or its ruler — God allows it, and in fact turns it over to him as part of the consequence of the Fall.

Hence, God is still very much sovereign and yet this world is not a Christian world. It is a Satan-ruled world.

Does creation still reflect God? It does. As I finish up this post, I’m being treated to the dramatic beauty of storm clouds bunching over the mountains, dropping lower, prematurely graying the fading afternoon. And I’m mindful of God. It’s His handiwork I see, His power in the storm, His mercy in sending the rain and in bringing it to an end.

The field is God’s, and He gave it over to Satan.

So does God’s sovereignty mean the world is Christian? Or does the fact that Satan rules the world mean it’s not?

Published in: on November 4, 2011 at 6:11 pm  Comments (24)  
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