The World Is Passing Away

by Terry Wayne Benton

"The world is passing away" (I John 2:15,17).

But AD 70 brethren say that the world is not passing away, using Ephesians 3:21 to say "world without end," and they say Isaiah 9:6f affirms that the "increase of His government...is without end;" therefore, the world will keep on supplying people for Jesus' kingdom. So, how can the world and all things in it pass away and never pass away?

First, Isaiah 9:6f is not saying the government of Jesus would keep on increasing in size and number forever. The word "increase" is a word that speaks of the yield or production of something. If the yield has a never ending nature, it will be a product that doesn't die away. For example, the farmer has an increase or yield to what he planted, but the increase or yield fades away into rot and consumption. It has an end. Assyria had an increase in subjects and citizens, but that increase soon faded into death and capture by other rising powers. The increase had an end. However, those brought into captivity to Christ have no end. His kingdom's increase or yield does not die out with time.

Now, Ephesians 3:21 does not mean this earth is without end, but that the age of glorifying God flows endlessly. But I John 2:15,17 say that the things of the world will pass away. II Peter 3 speaks of the same world that flooded with water is reserved for fire and will be burned up. So, there will be a last day of earth life, and it clearly did not happen in AD 70. The point of John is that this world and all the things you might lust for in it will pass away. Better devote your attention and life to God and eternity.