Are you being seduced and led astray by the god of this fallen ‘kosmos’?
Jesus continued His intercessory prayer to His Father, speaking of His disciples He said – “’I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them. Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.’” (John 17: 9-16)
What does Jesus mean here when He speaks of the “world”? This word “world” is from the Greek word ‘kosmos’. It tells us in John 1: 3 that Jesus created the ‘kosmos’ (“All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made”). Even before Jesus created the ‘kosmos,’ redemption through Him was planned. Ephesians 1: 4-7 teaches us – “just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved. In Him, we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”
The earth was ‘good’ when it was created. However, sin or rebellion against God began with Satan. He was originally created as a wise and beautiful angel, but was cast out of heaven for His arrogance and pride (Isaiah 14: 12-17; Ezekiel 28: 12-18). Adam and Eve, after being enticed by him, rebelled against God and the ‘kosmos’ was brought under its present curse. Today, Satan is the “god” of this world (2 Cor. 4: 4). The entire world lies under his influence. John wrote – “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lies under the sway of the wicked one.” (1 Jn. 5: 19)
Jesus prays that God would ‘keep’ His disciples. What did He mean ‘keep’? Consider what God does to preserve and ‘keep’ us. We learn from Romans 8: 28-39 – “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus provided His disciples many words of strength and comfort before He was crucified. He also told them that He had overcome the world, or the ‘kosmos’ – “’These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.’” (John 16: 33) He has done everything necessary for our complete spiritual and physical redemption. The ruler of this world would have us worship him, and not put our whole hope and trust in Jesus. Satan has been defeated, but is still in the business of spiritual deception. This fallen ‘kosmos’ is full of false hope, false gospels, and false Messiahs. If anyone, believers included, turn away from the admonitions in the New Testament about false teachings and embrace “another” gospel, he or she will become “bewitched” as those believers in Galatians were. The prince of this world wants us to be seduced by his counterfeits. He does his best work when he comes as an angel of light. He will mask the false as something good and harmless. Believe me, as one who spent years in his grasp of deception, if you have embraced darkness as light, you will never know what happened unless you allow the true light of the word of God to illuminate whatever has captured your attention. If you are turning to anything outside of the grace of Jesus Christ for your salvation, you are being deceived. Paul warned the Corinthians – “But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted – you may well put up with it!” (2 Cor. 11: 3-4)