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Dictionary of Bible Themes – 5541 society, negative aspects of
5541 society, negative aspects of

5541 society, negative aspects of

Often pictured as an immoral city or a world of evil, it is regarded as corrupt and godless, hostile to true faith and therefore destined for judgment.

The city as a symbol of corrupt society

Rev 18:2-3 Babylon stands for the corrupt Roman state and also for godless society in general. See also Ge 11:1-9; Ge 19:1-13; Eze 22:1-5; Mt 23:37-39 pp Lk 13:34-35; Rev 14:8

“The world” as a description of society alienated from, and hostile to, both God and his people

Gal 3:22 The Greek word translated “world” often means not the physical world, but the world of human life. See also Jn 15:18; Eph 6:12; 1Jn 5:19; Rev 12:9

Fallen society becomes pluralistic

Israel was continually threatened by the pluralism of the surrounding societies Jos 23:6-8 See also Ex 23:32-33; Jos 24:14-23; 1Ki 11:1-6; 1Ki 18:16-40 Baal was a name used for a variety of local Canaanite deities; Ezr 9:1-2; Isa 2:6-8; Da 3:1-12

Pluralism was also a feature of the societies of the NT Ac 17:16-23 See also 1Co 8:4-6; 2Ti 4:3-4; 1Jn 5:21

Pluralism is to be resisted and faith in one God and Saviour maintained 1Ti 2:5 See also Isa 43:10-11; Jn 14:6; Ac 4:12

Fallen society becomes secular

Life in a godless society becomes spiritually futile and morally depraved Ro 1:21 See also Ro 1:18-32; 2Ti 3:1-5; Rev 18:1-3

Israel ignores warnings about becoming a society which has forgotten God Ps 81:11-12 See also Jer 3:19-21; Heb 3:7-11

Israel became an example of a society which, though outwardly religious, lived without reference to God Am 5:21-24 Amos here summarises, and rejects, current religious practices in Israel in the 8th century B.C. See also Am 2:6-7; Am 5:4-15 Bethel and Gilgal were popular national shrines, where religion had taken the place of righteousness and relationship; Am 8:4-10

See also

4030world, behaviour in
4215Babylon
4263Rome
5001human race, the
5256city
6169godlessness
8710atheism
8768idolatry
8848worldliness

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