The Gospel of John
1. Our Lord gives a wonderful promise in John 16:33, “In me ye might have peace.” Then our Lord makes a contrast by adding, “In the world ye shall have tribulation.” Note those words: “in me” (16:33).
2. Those of us who have accepted Christ as our Saviour have made peace with God. Romans 5:1 says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
3. People try and find peace apart from God but that is futile. It is a waste of time. There is no peace without Christ.
4. Isaiah 48:22 says, “There is no peace, saith the LORD, unto the wicked.”
5. And again, Isaiah 57:20 and 21 says, “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.”
6. I assume most people (perhaps every person) in this room tonight are saved. Therefore, you have already made peace with God.
7. You have already found the peace of God. You have experienced what the apostle Paul wrote about in Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
8. Therefore, let us concentrate on the latter part of John 16:33.
9. Though we know the peace of God we must constantly battle the world, the flesh, and the devil. Our Lord says in John 16:33, “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Our Lord was referring to the cross. These were His final words to His disciples before the cross.
I. THIS WORLD IS CONTROLLED BY SATAN, BUT THE LORD JESUS CHRIST HAS “OVERCOME THE WORLD.”
1. Back in John 12:31, our Lord said, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.”
2. And then in John 14:30, our Lord said, “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.”
3. Then right here in John 16:11, our Lord says, “the prince of this world is judged.”
4. Second Corinthians 4:3, 4 says, “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”
5. First John 5:19 says, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness (or literally “in the Wicked One”).”
6. The Scofield Study Bible says that in the NT, the word “world” refers to the “order” or the “arrangement under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principle of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure… This world-system is imposing and powerful with armies and fleets; is often outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant…and is dominated by Satanic principles.”
7. You will recall that when our Lord was tempted by the devil in Matthew 4, the Bible says, “the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them.”
8. Then Matthew 4:9 says the devil said to our Lord, “All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.”
9. This still holds true today. The devil still controls the kingdoms of this world. He controls the United Nations. Here in America he controls politics, big business, the court system, the media, the entertainment business, most of the universities and the public school system. Most religious activity is directed by Satan and his demons. If we want to protect our church we must obey the Bible.
10. Lest we get frightened or discouraged, let me stress that this world order, or world system controlled by Satan is only temporary.
11. Satan’s authority is only temporary. Jesus said, “The prince of this world is judged” (John 16:11). In Revelation 20:2 we read that Satan will be bound in the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
12. And in Revelation 20:10 we read that the devil will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone.
II. THIS WORLD IS AT EMNITY WITH GOD (JAMES 4:4; I JOHN 2:15-17).
1. Oftentimes preachers will preach messages like this and quote Scriptures like this, and certain listeners will wonder, “What exactly does the preacher (and the Bible) mean by ‘the world’?”
2. FB Meyer wrote these words, “What, then, is ‘the world’? It consists of those who are destitute of the life and love of God, as contrasted with those who have received and welcomed the unspeakable gift which is offered to all in Jesus Christ. The great mass of unregenerate and unbelieving, considered as a unity, is ‘the world,’ as that term is sometimes used by Christ and His apostles. The world has its god; its religion, which was first instituted by Cain at the gates of Eden; its prince, and court, and laws; its maxims and principles and pleasures.”
3. Meyer also defined the world as “a spiritual influence poured out into the very atmosphere of our lives.” That is an excellent definition. This “spiritual influence” is everywhere; it is pervasive.
4. Why are young people so preoccupied with fashion and clothing styles? It is the pull of the world. I remember as a young boy going with my family to Rockaway Beach. I remember swimming far from the shore and my father yelling, “Be careful. There is a strong undertow!” The pull of the world is even stronger.
5. In fact, it is interesting to note that the apostle Paul uses the word “drown” in I Timothy 6:9. Many church people are drowning in covetousness, drowning in worldliness, drowning in sensuality, and drowning in materialism.
6. One Christian school administrator told me that his school instituted a strict uniform policy because the students were judging each other on the basis of their clothing. But after they instituted the uniform policy the students were judging each other by the cars their parents drive. This is the pull of the world.
7. Of course, this worldly spirit is not just prevalent with children. Even many older people are hooked on rock music. Worldliness defiles believers. James 1:27 tells us we are to keep ourselves “unspotted from the world.”
III. JESUS HAS OVERCOME THE WORLD, AND SO CAN WE
1. This word “overcome” is only found one time in the Gospel of John – right here in John 16:33. However, the apostle John uses this word six times in his first epistle (cf. I John 5:4, 5), and thirteen times in the book of Revelation (cf. Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21; 12:11).
2. FB Meyer said we are content with this world only until Christ reveals to us “the glory of the unseen and eternal.”
After 16:33, Jesus prayed (cf. 17:1).