War?!

War?!

Featured in the February, 2008 Issue of the Ashburn Baptist News

We have all heard the slogans, “Peace in our time”, “End all War” and “Global Peace Now”.

Nobody loves war. War hurts everyone and helps no one. It leaves behind loss of property and disruption of progress. In its wake are diseases, disability and death.

But the “peace people” need to grow up and face reality. The history of the world has been a history of war. There has been strife since the second generation of our race when Cain killed his brother Abel. In fact, peaceniks will fight you if you disagree with them. They are a hostile bunch.

But isn’t Christianity for peace? Now it is time to read the Bible, which is a record of numerous wars. One entire Bible book is named after a military commander, Joshua, and is a record of multiple battles.

There was peace during New Testament times, the Pax Romana, only because the Romans had conquered everybody in sight.

Though Jesus had a special blessing for peacemakers (Matthew 5:9), he also said, “Think not that I have come to bring peace on earth; I came not to send peace but a sword” (Matthew 10:34). And it was Jesus who stated that our time would be marked by “wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24:6).

Instead of getting on some starry-eyed campaign for world peace, why not work on a smaller scale. How about having peace in the family instead of arguing and quarreling? Every divorce is evidence of conflict.

The main line denominations, which usually issue statements about peace, have internal battles over key issues that are about to cause division. Also, let’s have peace in our schools instead of all the shooting incidents. It would also be wonderful to have peace in our big cities, where there have been more deaths from gunshot than in our Iraq war.

However, the most important peace is personal peace, that is peace with God. The Bible clearly says, “Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker” (Isaiah 45:9).

But the glorious promise is that we can be justified; that is, made right with God through faith and consequently be at “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). You can have this personal peace with God now. It was Jesus who said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).

We will have world peace only when the Prince of Peace returns (Revelation
19:11-16) and wins the war over all his enemies and establishes universal
peace. Then, people will “beat their swords into plowshares and their spears
into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither
shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).