MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (December 28, 2020)

I want to share a series of posts over the next three weeks from Elder Buddy Abernathy. These posts are about the use of the word “world” in Scripture. This first one ends with an intriguing question; I encourage you to meditate upon it, and stay tuned for the rest of the writings on this subject by Bro. Buddy. Enjoy!


I believe the Old and New Testaments of the Bible are the inspired and inerrant word of God. I also believe the King James Version is the pure word of God in English. Without God’s written word, we have no valid support for our theology. It is impossible to determine theological truth without a standard of authority. One person’s opinion is no more valid than another’s. A Christian is a follower of the doctrines of Jesus Christ. The Bible contains the doctrines He taught. Consequently, if we reject His teachings, we are not Christians.

Jesus taught the first century Christians that, “…God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

Most Christians interpret the word “world” as a reference to every human being from all of time (past, present, and future), without exception. If that is how you interpret the verse, please consider the following three verses:

I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. (John 17:9 KJV) “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:18–19 KJV)

And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. (1 John 5:19 KJV)

Clearly, these three verses use the word “world” in a manner that is not referring to every human being. In John 17:9, Jesus says he is not praying for the “world” but for “them”. The “world” does not include “them”. He is speaking of two separate groups. In John 15:18-19, Jesus speaks of the “world” hating “you”. The “world” does not include “you”. He is speaking of two separate groups. In 1 John 5:19, John writes about the “whole world” and “we”. The “whole world” does not include “we”. He is speaking of two separate groups.

In light of the usage of “world” in these three verses, is it possible that the “world” in John 3:16 is not referring to every human being?

Elder Buddy Abernathy December 14, 2018