The World Passeth Away

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love 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 pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:15-17). The verb “passeth” is present indicative middle. The present tense is a continuous tense. So the world is passing away. The indicative mood “asserts something which is occurring while the speaker is making the statement.” So the world system is passing away at this time. The middle voice tells us that the world is passing away “by an action acting upon itself or concerning itself.” So the world is being passed away. We know that the world is not passing itself away, and we know that the god of this world is not passing it away. Rather, it is God who is passing the world away. He holds the reins. He is using this present world system for His eternal plans and glory, and it will be finished exactly when God decides, to be replaced by Christ’s kingdom. The prophet Daniel described the end of this present world system. In the dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, it was depicted as a great image of a man representing the ruling empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome (Da. 2:31-35). Daniel’s interpretation explains that Rome continues in various forms until the return of Christ, at which time the world system will be crushed and replaced with Christ’s righteous kingdom. “Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth” (Da. 2:34-35). Bible commentator Robert Lenski says, “The world is now in the act of passing away. It is its very nature not to last. Its doom is overtaking it. Its glory is fading, its flowers are withering, its promises are failing, its hopes are crumbling. Isa. 14:11. Does the siren voice of the world tickle your ears? Hear the word of truth: ‘The world is passing away!’ The bank is breaking, it was never solvent–will you deposit in it? The foundation is tottering, it was never solid but only sham–will you build on it? The mountain is rumbling, quaking, it was never anything but volcanic, ready to blow off its head at any time–will you build your city there?”

(Friday Church News Notes, April 10, 2020,, 866-295-4143)