This World, That World
Luke 20:34-38 (34) And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: (35) But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage: (36) Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. (37) Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. (38) For he is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto him. The Sadducees denied the future resurrection, angel or spirit (ACT 23:8). In the account at hand, they had posed a hypothetical question to Jesus which they hoped would prove the folly of the doctrine of the resurrection (LUK 20:27-33). As it turned out, all it proved was their ignorance. They did “...greatly err” (MAR 12:27), “...not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (MAT 22:29). And for such reasons many false doctrines and false accusations are put forward against the truth by heathen and professors of religion alike. If one does not know the scriptures, it is safe to say that he will not know (comprehensibly) the power of God. Jesus' answer to their query (per our text) sets forth some interesting observations. Here are two: 1. There are two worlds under consideration: this world (temporal state) and that world (glory or the eternal state). That world obviously equates with the children of God and immortality. There is a world for which Jesus does not pray: “...I pray not for the world...” (JOH 17:9). This certainly cannot refer to the world consisting of the children of God since Jesus prays for them (LUK 22:31-32; JOH 16:26; JOH 17:20-24; ROM 8:34; HEB 7:25). Clearly, there are two classes identified with two worlds: the children of this world and the children of that world. And herein lies the answer to the question, “What world was Jesus speaking of in JOH 3:16?” Was it this world equated with the children of this world for which He does not pray? Or, was it that world equated with the children of God which are obviously “...them which thou hast given me...” (JOH 17:9) for the purpose of giving them eternal life (JOH 17:2-3) for which He ever prays? Yes, God so loved a world: a world consisting of “All that the Father giveth me...” (JOH 6:37) chosen out of this world for which Jesus does not pray to be part of that world for which Jesus always prays. So, “...when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end” (JOH 13:1). 2. Marriage is unique to this world, not the next world. What is therefore a rule for the glory state should not be assumed to be a rule for this world (and vice-versa). Are there musical instruments for worship in glory? Yes (REV 5:8; REV 14:2; REV 15:2-3, et. al.). But for the church in this world under Christ's New Testament, the rule for musical worship is singing (EPH 5:19; COL 3:16). Jesus said, “...I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee” (HEB 2:12). Musical instruments are enjoyable and have their place in life but the musical ministry of the gospel church is a teaching ministry (EPH 5:19; COL 3:16). Instruments can stir the emotions but they can not instruct the soul. Instruction is the way of life (PRO 6:23; PRO 10:17); it IS life (PRO 4:13). But musical instruments are “...things without life giving sound...,” kind of like Pat Robertson, a known false prophet who lacks evidence of life (MAT 7:15-23) and whose blathering sound is hardly instructive.