PEACE ON EARTH
to God in the highest, and on
One Dead in Slaying
Accident Claims Two
Fire Destroys Home
Break-and-enter on Rise
Peace!? How can anyone say "peace on earth"? Just look at what's going on around us, there is no peace.
In our world gone mad, the message so often proclaimed at Christmas appears to be no more than wishful thinking or distant hope. So which is it, a present promise, a distant hope or fantasy? To answer this question we need to examine many scripture passages concerning peace.
The angels spoke the message of peace on earth at the birth of Jesus. Hundreds of years before, the prophet Isaiah proclaimed...
The angel's message of peace is tied directly to this prophesied Prince of Peace -- Jesus. His kingdom was to be characterized by peace, increasing peace, peace that would come about because the Lord would perform it. This is not the artificial and often superficial peace which the world speaks of, rather this is God given peace.
So who will share in this peace? Everyone? Look again at the scriptures...
Obviously the peace spoken of will not be shared in by the wicked. Yet each us was born in sin (Romans 3:23) and were enemies of God (Colossians 1:21) -- truly wicked in our rebellion against God. So who can share in this peace?
John the Baptist was spoken of as one who would, as a prophet of the Highest, "give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:76-79) John preached a message of repentance and hope through the Messiah who was coming (Luke 3:8,16). The way of peace John spoke of was again linked with Jesus. Peace must begin with finding peace with God. Our sin and rebellion against God destroyed all peace with God, Jesus came to restore that peace.
In the preceding passage we are told that there was a price for this peace. The price was the shed blood of Jesus Christ paying the penalty for our sin and rebellion (Isaiah 53:5). The gift of God's salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9) and peace comes to wicked men now made righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Jew and Gentile alike (Ephesians 2:14-17).
This salvation and peace, so great and free, is costly as we must forsake all to follow Him.
By God's grace, we have peace now. When God makes us a new creation in Him we are no longer carnally minded (leading to death) but spiritually minded...
We, who have been freed from the curse of God's law, now uphold it (Romans 3:31) and seek to follow God's ways. Why? Because our trust is in Him alone.
This peace from God is a calm assurance that nothing happens where God is not in control. It's a personal peace for all God's people.
The inner nature of this peace was emphasized by Jesus when he contrasted the promised tribulations, and even personal opposition we will encounter for the sake of His gospel, to the peace which never passes away.
The message of "peace on earth" we need to be proclaiming is the true message of peace -- peace with God only through Jesus Christ (Romans 10:15).
Yes, things will go wrong, evil men will grow worse and worse (2 Timothy 3:13), yet we who trust in Lord have now, in increasing measure, peace on earth.
Written by Brent MacDonald of Lion Tracks Ministries. (c) 1995-1997. Feel free to duplicate as long as the source is cited.