“..Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which
are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of
ungodly me….. Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleths
The need to understand the use of the word AGE (AION) AND WORLD (KOSMOS).
What do we really mean by the term “The end of the world” “The elements shall melt
with fervent heart” “the world to come” etc. Are all these referring to the physical globe? What exactly are the
“Heavens and earth that shall pass away”? What is the nature of the fire that will do this melting? What influence will
it have on us to know that, there is a different between the use of the words AGE and the word WORLD? etc.
AGE in the Greek is“AION” and may refer to a period of time in man’s history, whether having or not having specific dates of demarcation. “space of time” “clearly defined and marked out epoch” “age” and also “life time”, “life” and generation”.
For instance, when we read that Christ” will rule as king over the house of Jacob forever” Luke 1:33,it literally means “to (for) ages”. And the “fig tree” that was also cursed “forever” Math. 21:19 is also for the ages “or “age abiding” which is actually the house of Jacob (Jer. 8:13) referring to the Old Covenant that shall pass away forever. Heb.8: 13.
Another good example, of the meaning of the word, is found in Luke. 20:34-35 which says, “The sons of this AGE marry-but those worthy of that AGE and the resurrection – neither marry nor are given in marriage”. Compare Mk. 10:30. It denotes a long period of time, as in Acts 2:21, 15:18, Luke 1:33. Referring to the time of the prophecies about Christ, before the final fulfillment.
So we can see that, the basic sense of “AION is “AGE” or “PERIOD of EXISTENCE” and it often denotes a long space of time. (Jn.1:45). Liddell and Scots “A Greek-English Lexicon” (P 45) List as a definition of AION: “Space of time” clearly defined and marked out epoch, age, and era. It signifies a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period”.
And in this sense, the word AION is very close in meaning to the word WORLD (KOSMOS) which means “an order, SYSTEM OR ARRANGEMENT OF THINGS” In Gal. 1:4 we read of our being “delivered from the present evil world” KJV. “Present evil age” RSV. “Rescued us from the present evil world order” JP Philips. “Present age of wickedness” N.E.B. “Present wicked world” (Jerusalem Bible) “Present wicked system of things” (Int. Linear Trans.)
So you see, what is meant by the WORLD is not the globe, the stars in the galaxy or planets known and unknown.
Neither is it referring to the universes, but rather to the way of life, social structures, cultures, philosophies, political
ideologies, religion and the economic lifestyle of humanity, devised by man himself outside of God. It speaks of the
products of the carnal mind of man, which is enmity and death, Rom. 8:7-8 “for the whole world system, based as it
is on MEN’S PRIMITIVE DESIRES, THEIR GREEDY AMBITIONS and THE GLAMOUR OF ALL THAT THEY THINK SPLENDID” but “not derived from the father” “and we also know that the world around us is under the power
of the evil one? 1 Jn. 2:16; 5:19 (Philips).
Therefore when Paul wrote “quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your
mind over” (Rom. 12:2 (Int. Linear Trans)
it was not the time, period of itself that set the fashion, pattern or models for the people of that time, that he was saying they should change from. But the standards, practices, manners,
customs, ways, outlooks, styles and other features that formed the life style of that age. Walking in the way of the
world, is what the bible says in Eph. 2:2 as “following the course of this world “RSV. “Following the way of this world” Jb “when you followed the evil ways of this present age” N.E.B. “that you drifted along on the stream of this world’s ideas of living, and obeyed its unseen ruler (who is still operating in those who do not respond to the truth of God” .. (Philips).
Therefore “… the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of ALL MEN, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, for he gave Himself for us, that He might rescue us from all our EVIL WAYS and make for Himself a people of His own, clean and pure, with our hearts set upon Living a life that is good” Titus 2:11, 12, 14 (RSV, Philips).
To be continued …
(c) 2015 – Dr. Daivd O. Ogaga