Summary: As Christians we need to know what God says about war. Didn’t Christ come preaching peace? If so how can war be compatible with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ? Isn’t war a contradiction to the teachings of God’s Word?
"But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills; and people shall flow unto it. And many nations shall come, and say, Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. And he shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. But they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid: for the mouth of the LORD of hosts hath spoken it."
INTRODUCTION: As a nation, whenever we are engaged in war, numerous antiwar protestors make their voices heard. Many demonstrators have started carrying signs with the slogan "Who would Jesus bomb?" Joining many of these protestors are religious leaders who state that war is inconsistent with the nature of God and the person of Jesus Christ. One of these protestors, Jim Winkler of the United Methodist Church said, "Nothing I understand about Jesus Christ leads me to believe that support of war and violence are necessary or tolerable actions for Christian people." I believe that as Christians we need to know what God says about war. Didn’t Christ come preaching peace? If so how can war be compatible with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ? Isn’t war a contradiction to the teachings of God’s Word? Let’s turn to God’s Word for the answers.
I. DOES GOD TAKE PLEASURE IN WAR?
A. No one in his or her right mind enjoys or takes pleasure in war.
B. Norman Schwarzkopf, general of the Desert Storm allied forces, was interviewed by Ted Koppel. During the interview General Schwarzkopf , while describing his own understanding and philosophy of warfare said, "I would never want to serve under a general who enjoyed war." He spoke about his heroes from World War II: Omar Bradley, Dwight Eisenhower, and George Marshall. He mentioned a couple of others who he said hated war. He said it made them safe to be generals in a war. - Earl Palmer, "Weighing Others Heavy," Preaching Today, Tape No. 134.
C. Ezekiel 18:32 "For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye."
D. Romans 15:33 "Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."
E. War is the result of the fallen, sinful natures of man.
F. Leighton Ford – The wars that rage within the world are a reflection of the wars that rage inside people.
G. Sin itself is an act of war and aggression against God.
H. Psalms 7:11 "God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day."
I. Romans 8:7 "...the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be."
II. DOES GOD HAVE A PURPOSE FOR WAR?
A. Ecclesiastes 3:1,8 "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… "A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."
B. God is Sovereign and has a purpose in war. There are three purposes for war that can be observed from the Word of God – Defense, Liberation, and Judgment.
1. War is not to be for selfish ambition or aggression. Nor is it for vengeance.
2. Romans 12:18 "If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men."
3. There are times when one must defend his family, and country.
4. Luke 11:21-22 "When a strong man armed keeps his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he takes from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divides his spoils."
5. Numbers 10:9 "And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresses (attacks/ terrorizes) you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies."
6. Leviticus 26:7-8 "And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword."