Summary: A sermon on peace from 2 Thessalonians 3:16
Sermon for 4/7/2002
Consider the sad story of Wilmer McLean. Prior to the Civil War, McLean owned a house on the Bull Run in Northern Virginia. In 1861, during action at Manassas, an artillery shell fell down McLean’s chimney and into a stew being prepared for CSA Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard.
Seeking a more tranquil place to live, McLean bought a farmhouse in — of all places — Appomattox County. McLean’s house was chosen for the surrender meeting between Grant and Lee. The two military leaders met in McLean’s parlor, after which Union officers stripped the room for souvenirs.
The McLeans left Appomattox Court House and returned to Mrs. McLean’s Prince William County, Virginia estate in the fall of 1867. When Wilmer McLean defaulted on repayment of loans, the banking house of "Harrison, Goddin, and Apperson" of Richmond, Virginia brought a judgement against him, and the "Surrender House" was sold at public auction on November 29, 1869.
Peace is a stranger to us. Wars we have had in abundance. We have had two world wars. The last half of the last century was peppered with between 60 to 100 other wars, depending on how we define the word "war." Individual lives have been equally chaotic. Homes and marriage torn apart, civil strife, crime on the street and in politics; where can there be peace? The beginning years of this century do not seem to offer much hope for future.
The world describes peace by thinking of the opposite of peace and says what peace isn’t; it isn’t war.
The peace that Jesus came to bring was not just peace for one nation, but for all the nations of the world. This peace would not be brought about through political force or conquest of war, but through the humble Jesus.
The question being asked today from all walks of life is, "Where does world peace begin?" World peace does not start way over there somewhere. It begins in our hearts and minds.
When there is peace in the heart, there is peace in the family; when there is peace in the family, there is peace in the community; when there is peace in the community; there is peace in the nation; when there is peace in the nation, there is peace in the world.
World works on outward peace, starts there. Christ works on inward peace and then attempts to bring that peace to others, Christ starts on the heart and works his way outward.
Thesis: Let’s talk about the nature, the source, the channel, the duration, and then the absence of peace.
** The Wonderful Word edited by Leon Tucker, I came upon a tremendous sermon by W.H. Griffith entitled "The Power of Peace." He gave an exposition of 2 Thess. 3:16, "Now the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always by all means."
I. The Nature of Peace
1. Peace of a quiet conscience (Rom. 8:33-35; three questions)
a. Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
1) Even when mankind brings some charge against us, we know that through Jesus Christ we are fine.
2) If we are guilty, we know that the blood has covered us.
3) If we are not guilty, we know that God will judge and bring vengeance against the slanderer.
4) We do not have to worry or fret over false or true charges.
5) Legal dramas where the lawyers are scrambling to find solutions or answers. Don’t have to worry.
b. Who is he that condemns?
1) Jesus Christ is going to judge the world. (John 5:22 NIV) Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son,
2) We should fear the condemnation of the Son. Do we know the Son? Are we under the blood? Have we made him our Lord and Savior?
3) No hard questions on the Day of Judgment. Do you know my Son? Is he a friend of yours?
c. Who or what shall separate us from the love of Christ?
1) Vs. 37
2) If we have a good relationship with Jesus Christ, our consciences should be clear.
3) (Heb 13:18 NIV) Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscience and desire to live honorably in every way.
4) Many people’s consciences condemn them. Keep playing the tapes over and over.
d. Reminds me of some Catholic convents. They look for young women who eat, laugh and sleep well. If they eat well, they physically can endure any hardship and any living condition. If they laugh well, they have a joyful spirit and can bear their cross easily and with gladness. If they sleep well, they have no serious sins and have a healthy spiritual life.
e. Do you have a healthy spiritual life?