Monday, December 31, 2007

Peace in 2008?

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt "There is no peace," says my God, "for the wicked."………The way of peace they have not known, and there is no justice in their ways; they have made themselves crooked paths; whoever takes that way shall not know peace. --- Isaiah 57:20, 21; 59:8

As 2007 closed out with eruptions of violence in many places and crowned with the assassination of the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto, the quest for peace continues unabated.

Just how successful will be the efforts in establishing peace in 2008? At the risk of being labeled a gloom and doom pessimist of the first magnitude I have to respond and say, “There will be no peace of any significant note!”

An Authority far greater than any existing government in the world or that monstrosity of confusion and chaos known as the United Nations has revealed that peace will never be a reality as the world presently stands.

Jesus said that prior to His return to earth conflicts will be the order of the day:

"And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.” --- Matthew 24:6-9

He also indicated that mass rejection and division over Him will result in conflicts on a major scale:

"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved……..Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.' And 'a man's foes will be those of his own household.' He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it. He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.” --- Matthew 10:16-22, 32-40

Since the vast majority of the world population is unregenerate in mind and heart, including leaders of existing governments, it can be said that 2 Timothy 3:1-5 is literally being fulfilled before our very eyes:

But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: for men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! --- 2 Timothy 3:1-5

Actions and policies advocated by politicians at both the federal and state levels of government in the United States provide daily displays of the truth of 2 Timothy 3:1-5 as well!

Will there ever be peace? Yes, but only due to the direct personal intervention of Jesus Christ when He comes back to this world in His glorious majesty as King of kings and Lord of lords! Until then the message and witness of every Christian is basically,

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life……..Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. --- John 3:16; Romans 5:1, 2

Only through Jesus Christ can there be personal peace as well as corporate peace!

"Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid......These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." --- John 14:27; 16:33

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