Peace

As we continue the Advent series we find ourselves with the same dilemma as we did with Hope. The biblical definition of peace, like hope, does not match the world’s definition. We find in the prophesies of Isaiah a difficult passage about the coming Messiah. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. Isaiah 9:6-7a (NIV). I personally do not doubt that Jesus was the one Isaiah was referring to but I believe that you can put up a good argument that peace was not and still has not been realized through His arrival. As a matter of fact, things actually became less peaceful once He established a following during and after His life on earth. Even Jesus said…

Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace…

…to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matthew 10:34 (NIV) . Jesus himself said that people would turn against each other because of Him (Matthew 10:35-37). This does not sound like peace to me based on the peace our culture is looking for. Peace in worldly terms is the absence of conflict between countries, cultures, ideologies, religions and people. John Lennon’s “Imagine” lays out his world view of peace which excludes Heaven, Hell, and religion. If you are going to argue that Jesus did not fill the role laid out in Isaiah, John Lennon’s “Imagine” is a great place to start. However, your argument would be founded in a cultural/worldly view of peace not a biblical definition of the peace that Jesus brought. As long as there is rebellion against God there will be conflict in the world…

Sin is the root of all conflict, conflict between each other and God.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ Romans 5:1 (NIV). Through Jesus we no longer, for those who believe, live in conflict with God. Because of Jesus we live in conflict with the world and sin. Peace in biblical terms is not the absence of conflict between human beings but rather the absence of conflict between God and human beings offered through faith in Jesus Christ. We hope for, look forward to, anticipate, the second coming of Jesus when sin will be removed and therefore peace will increase and become the norm under the perfect rule of the King of Kings. As long as we live outside of the perfection that will be established by the return of Christ…

We will be tempted to seek the peace defined by our culture.

Our churches practice a hybrid model of worldly peace and biblical peace. In the name of unity we stifle discussion. In the name of peace we demand silence when there is a dissenting point of view about church direction, pastoral/leadership oversight. By doing this it is possible that we end the potential of conflict while fostering a culture of sin. We have made the absence of conflict the symbol of unity and peace in the church while preaching Christ crucified as the ultimate peace. This is the hybrid model of world and biblical peace (see the YouTube video for more)…

7 comments

  1. As you point out, the “peace” described in John Lennon’s song “Imagine” is grossly misleading. Though on the surface appealing, it is, in fact, a satanic deception. You will recall that the lyrics to the song go like this:

    “Imagine there’s no heaven
    It’s easy if you try
    No hell below us
    Above us only sky
    Imagine all the people living for today”

    That is the state of the world these days. The majority of people no longer believe in heaven, hell, or eternal consequences for their action. They live for today w/o regard to tomorrow.

    By contrast, Christ said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10: 34). The sword refers to the ongoing conflict between good and evil w/ persecution for Christian beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You may not read this until Saturday morning, but my Saturday morning quiz is on Luke 2. One of the questions? To whom will they receive on earth peace? To those whom God’s favor rests. The angels were not referring to a universal peace, but the peace that you spoke about in your sermon. I think people do not make that connection. Thank you for your message.

    Liked by 1 person

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