Summary: This is an Advent sermon.
Advent is a time of preparation, not just for Christmas, but for the coming of Jesus. The celebration of Advent is more than a memory of Jesus’ birth. It is also a realization that he is coming again. There will be a Second Advent. Are you ready for Christmas? Are you ready for Jesus’ coming again?
Read Isaiah 2:1-5.
We see here the vision of Isaiah for the latter days, days yet in the future. This is not a manmade utopia. It is a God-made thing. Isaiah called the Messiah the “Prince of Peace.” What is that brought peace through Jesus. Luke says, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” (2:14). What does it mean that Jesus brings peace?
1. The ELEVATION.
In the OT, worship took place on a mountain. Pagans even worshiped on mountains. It was seen a place close to God. Jerusalem wasn’t the highest mountain in world. This isn’t so much literal meaning that the mountain would suddenly grow. What it means is that God will be elevated.
There is a day coming when everyone will look up to God. They will realize that “self” isn’t god. Isaiah says in 45:23, “To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear allegiance.”
2. The EXTENT.
What is the extent of the peace of God? God will be lifted up on his mountain. Verse 2 says, “All nations shall flow to it.” This is the picture of a river flowing to God. What way does water flow? (Downhill.) Have you ever seen water flow uphill? This is a picture of an uphill flow. I’ve seen water flow uphill, but that was an optical illusion. So what is the extent?
A. Not for the SELECT.
It isn’t for God’s “chosen people.” It isn’t just for the Jews. It isn’t just for the church.
B. For EVERYONE.
Verse 3 says, “Many peoples shall come.” It is for everyone. It is for all peoples and nations. Peter said, “Truly I understand that God shows no partiality” (Acts 10:34). Peter said that when Cornelius, a Gentile, received Christ as Savior.
Paul wrote, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28).
Notice to that they are encouraging others. “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord.” They are bringing friends along for the journey. True evangelism is drawing people to come along on the journey with God.
3. The INQUIRY.
The people flowing to God will inquire of him. Faith apart from the true God is hollow. When people realize how hollow it is they search and find God.
There was a man name Lee Strobel from Chicago who was an atheist. He became increasingly depressed with his life, even though he was highly successful. He decided to give faith a shot. He investigated several faiths. The truth of Christianity shone through. He gave his heart to Jesus. He has authored several books. He hosts “Faith Under Fire” on PAX TV.
The inquirers will seek the truth from God. They want him to “teach [them] his ways and that [they] may walk in his paths.” We need to seek God’s will. We are to seek the truth and how to apply it to our lives.
4. The INSTITUTION of peace.
In addition to seeking general wisdom about life, the nations will come to God so he can judge them. They will take their disputes to God to settle them.
How do most people settle disputes? Guns? Knives? Fists? Look what happed at the Pistons/Pacers game last week! That is what happens when people try to settle disputes on their own. How exactly does peace come? At the birth of Jesus, the angels announce “peace on earth.” Where does peace come from?
A. Not from HUMANITY.
The U. N. can’t bring peace. Look at the world in nearly 60 years of the U. N. You had Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Bosnia, Rwanda, civil wars in Central America, Iraq, 9/11, Afghanistan, the Israel/PLO war, the Cold War, the Israel/Lebanon war, trouble in Columbia, revolution in Iran, etc. We could go on and on.
When humanity tries to settle dispute, things escalate and we beat our plowshares into swords and pruning hooks into spears. It goes the opposite direction of what Isaiah says. During WWII, auto factories were turned into factories for ships, airplanes and tanks. One thing we are good at is fighting. It’s not guns. If you took away guns, people would find another way to kill people. You can’t ban the bomb. Someone somewhere would build one.
B. From GOD.
Peace only comes from having a relationship with God. Isaiah envisions a world where fighter jets are turned into tractors. The church is a change agent in the world. It is our job as the church to show the world true peace. We can’t be reduced to settling disputes like the rest of the world. When we act like the world, we drag down the name of God.