For the form of this world is passing away
For the form of this world is passing away,”
1 Corinthians 7: 31
What is meant by the usage of this world by the believers, and how is this going to be according to their faith and hope in the eternal life? The “world” may mean in some verses in the Holy Bible the worldly desires as mentioned in the epistle of the Apostle James: “…Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?” (James 4:4). And also in the first epistle of the Apostle John, “Do not love the world or 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, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life--is not of the Father but is of the world,” (1John 2:15, 16). Thus these three matters should be avoided by the real believers: “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” because these issues are used by the “the ruler of this world” (John 14:30) to draw to himself his prey, because these things are not from the Father. Also these three matters include all the falls that may strike man through the body, the soul and the spirit. Therefore the lust of the flesh hits man: “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish,” (Galatians 5:17) and the lust of the eyes is related to the soul, for the soul of a person may be related or even rather bound and tied to particular places or certain persons, or specific things.
Thus we find some people bound to see certain things in the television or to see certain famous people or particular things. But the pride of life is related to the pride of the spirit. We ought to follow the Lord Jesus who said, “…the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me,” (John 14:30). Therefore all of our usage of the world is temporary and for the glory of Lord, and we should not be dependant on what we use because all of these are temporary things. Let us imitate the apostles who “…when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him,” (Luke 5:11). They had what they used for their living but when the one who “all things were made through Him” (John 1:3) called them they forsook all and followed Him.
The world has ended for the believers, therefore we see the apostle Paul says, “…(We) upon whom the ends of the ages have come,” (1Corinthians 10:11) although this was about two thousand years ago, but it is the ends of the ages in which there was the economy of the salvation of mankind. However now, as the Lord Jesus said, “…the ruler of this world is judged,” (John 16:11). If he is judged indeed and has no authority anymore as he claimed before when he said, “…for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish,” (Luke 4:6) the temporal matters of this world are never real but unreal because it is fate that is perishing, “For the form of this world is passing away,” (1 Corinthians 7: 31).
If the matter is like that, how can we depend on unreal things? We should rather put all these matters and all our life in the hand of the One who uses it and guides us to His never perishing eternal kingdom.
Therefore Saint Basil said: “the wise does not fear anyone except the fearful, (Revelation 15:4) and does not hope in anyone except the incomprehensible, thus he does not fear pains and does not hope for the permanence of the worldly pleasures because they quickly vanish. As he does not fear passions he endures them and as he does not hope for those pleasures he does not seek them.” And one of the fathers said, “the perfectly wise is not the one who enjoys any of the worldly pleasures or mourns over any of its ordeals, or becomes grieved, but the perfectly wise is the one who is not made happy by favorable events and does not grieve over unfavorable events. But he knows about the beginning and what the fate will be." As we see the prophecies fulfilled with every accuracy and the things and the signs prophesied of by the Lord Jesus happens in our present time, let us be attentive for the passing away of this world, “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever,” (1John 2:17).
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