Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Beatitude Series #11: Peacemakers Part 1

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.” Matt. 5:9

Two groups of people are opposed to all war and refuse to fight.

The first group are the politically liberal, anti-war protestors who refuse to go to war for any cause. They think they are being peacemakers. Moral causes mean nothing to them because they reject the Bible as God’s Word and believe morality is relative. That’s why they claim to believe that America is fighting the war against the Terrorists simply for oil. That’s why they believe those Americans involved in leading the war are immoral.

A second group opposed to war are the religious pacifists. This includes the Mennonites, Amish and other smaller groups who take this beatitude as the basis for refusing to go to war. These people are for the most part conservatives and believe the Bible to be the Word of God. They are good people who have been led to believe that based on this Beatitude; Christians should not be involved in war. They are called conscientious objectors.

No Escape from War in This World

Regardless of what you think about war, the world has been at war from the beginning of time. Actually, war started in Heaven when Lucifer, the highest of God’s creation, decided to fight against God. The story of his rebellion and fall from Heaven is recorded in Isaiah 14:12-16.

When God created the earth and put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden; fallen, wicked Lucifer, now called Satan, deceived them and tempted them to sin. Now not only was Satan at war with God, but also the fallen human race had joined him in his war against God.

God graciously provided salvation for Adam by slaying an animal, perhaps a lamb, as an atonement for Adam and Eve’s sin. Then He clothed them for the first time with the skins of the slain animals in anticipation of the time when He would send His only begotten Son, the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.

Then God declared war on Satan and all those who follow him in sin. Genesis 3:15 is the seed plot of the Bible. It explains what has been going on in the world for over 6000 years and He announces how it will all end. “I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head and thou shalt bruise His heel.” Thus God pronounces doom on Satan and on his followers.

The Old Testament is a history of that war, starting with Cain killing his brother Abel and continuing through Israel, God’s Covenant People, warring against their enemies. This warfare was commanded by God repeatedly. Study these Scriptures. Deuteronomy 7:1-6; 9:1-3; 20:1-4 Joshua 1:1-11; 6:20-24; the book of Judges. I Samuel 15:1-3; 17:40-50; II Chronicles 20; Psalm 2; 18:30-50: 144:1-2. These are just a few of the many passages in the Old Testament that show God’s will about Israel fighting their enemies.

Jesus explains to His disciples that war will continue on this earth until He returns to set up His Kingdom of righteousness and peace. Matthew 24:3-8 In Revelation 19:11-21 we read of how Christ will return to this earth one day as Conqueror and King.

Until Jesus returns there will be no peace.

Those who reject Christ will never know peace. Isaiah 48:22 Whatever peace there is in the world today is a false peace. As we near the close of this age, we will be hearing lots more about the peace that mankind can bring about. I Thessalonians 5:1-4 The more we hear about man’s efforts to bring about peace on earth, the more evidence we have that we are drawing closer to the return of Christ and to sudden destruction on this anti-Christian world.

Basically, there is only one reason for all the warfare in this world and that is that man, in his sinful, depraved condition, is at war with God. The natural man is an enemy of God. Ephesians 2:1-3 Colossians 1:20-21. As a result of this warfare with God, he is at war with himself. When a man opposes God he is opposing himself also. Acts 18:6; II Timothy 2:25 Because he is at war with God and with himself, he finds himself also opposed to his fellow men. James 4:1-4.

False preachers don’t talk about sin and depravity. Like the false prophets in Jeremiah’s day, “From the least of them even unto the greatest of them, every one is given to coveteousness, and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone dealeth falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace.” Jeremiah 6:13-14 They ignore sin and preach a gospel of positive thinking and help people to think good about themselves. They teach that warfare and division over moral issues is evil.

Listen to what Jesus said in Matthew 10:34-38 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I am come not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. He that findeth his life shall lose it and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.”

What is Jesus doing here?

He is not teaching us that we should hate our families. He is basically continuing the war He declared in Genesis 3:15. To be a Christian involves joining Him in the fight against Satan and his followers.

He is not talking of a warfare of flesh and blood, but a warfare for the minds and souls of men and women; a warfare of rescuing people from the captivity and slavery to Satan. When we stand for Christ, this may involve the misunderstanding and hatred of those who are closest to us. Though we continue to love them and pray for them and show kindness to them, we love the Lord Jesus Christ, our Saviour to a far greater degree. When Christ’s Church has fulfilled her task, Christ will return and bind Satan and make him powerless to thwart God’s plan. Then He will set up His Kingdom on this earth and we will live in everlasting righteousness and peace.

What then is the Christian’s responsibility now as a peace maker? That will be the our topic next time.

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March 4, 2006 - Posted by | Beatitudes Series

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