Summary: There will only be peace on earth when Jesus comes again to rule. All Bible references are from the NASB.
We have been examining what the angels were praising God about when they praised God with the words:
Luke 2:14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
As we have commented on this over the past few weeks, this peace on earth was directed towards those (stated more clearly in the NIV) “on whom His favored rest.” Who does God favor, but those who seek Him and His salvation through Jesus Christ whom He has sent. We individually can experience His peace by being at peace with God:
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Because have made peace with God through Jesus, we can have the peace of God:
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Because we in the church possess the peace of God, we within the church should be experiencing this peace with one another. But what about the rest of the world. Where is peace for them? We talk about peace on earth, especially this time of year, but the hard truth of the matter is, there is no peace on earth nor will there be peace until Jesus comes and establishes peace Himself.
As Christians, perhaps we need to realize that God allows storms to come into our lives just so an unbeliever can observe first hand, how His peace, God’s peace, is at work in our lives. Often the biggest the biggest witness we perform is how we show that peace, not by what is said. What is the definition of peace according to the world? According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary peace is defined as:
a state of tranquillity or quiet: as freedom from civil disturbance; a state of security or order within a community provided for by law or custom; a breach of the peace; a state or period of mutual concord between governments; a pact or agreement to end hostilities between those who have been at war or in a state of enmity.
Last week talked about what Jesus said we can expect from the world. From Jesus we can have peace, but from the world what can we expect?
John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”
What about the peace the world has to offer?
In the over 3100 years of recorded secular world history, the world has only been at peace 8% of the time or a total of 286 years, and over 8000 treaties have been made and broken. During this period there have been 14,531 wars, large and small, in which 3,640,000,000 (3.64 billion) people have been killed.
Jeremiah said it best.
Jeremiah 6:13–14 “For from the least of them even to the greatest of them, Everyone is greedy for gain, And from the prophet even to the priest Everyone deals falsely. 14 “They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.
Isn’t that what the world tells us and tries to convince us with? Look at the peace talks between Israel and the muslim nations surrounding them. Have we seen any real peace there? Every agreement has been broken. Do you think peace will come out of Washington? We cannot get the Democrats and Republicans to agree to anything. The call now is for unity, yet the divide between the people here in the united State grow deeper and wider every day. What make us think our government can author any lasting peace?
In this world, will even Christianity bring peace? For starters, it doesn’t take a deep study of history to know that large percentage of wars in the past 1500 years were started in the name of Christianity. Look at the words of Jesus:
Matthew 10:34–36 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to SET A MAN AGAINST HIS FATHER, AND A DAUGHTER AGAINST HER MOTHER, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; 36 and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.
You see, Christianity by its very nature will bring division. Christianity will bring you anything but peace with the world. In fact, the world will hate you just because you are a Christian, Just because you are a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus explains:
John 15:18 “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
Jesus also said:
Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.