Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Prince of Peace

In this message, we conclude our study of the names or titles of Christ as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6-7 by considering His final title in this passage, Prince of Peace.

 

WHY IS THERE WAR AND HATRED TODAY?

 

Why does peace evade mankind? Why is he in constant turmoil and filled with hatred?  The answer to those questions is sin.  When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden by listening to Satan and disobeying God, they brought the consequences of sin upon themselves and the entire human race.  Recorded in Genesis 3:15,  God declared war on Satan and on those who follow him. 

 

This sad, sin-sick, Satan-dominated world in rebellion to God  has cried out for peace ever since the Fall of man into sin in the Garden of Eden.

 

Cain killed His brother Abel.  Human history is a record of  wars and blood shed.  Much of religion is a history of so-called “holy wars.”   The persecution and murder of Christians worldwide is perhaps as great today as it has been throughout history. The ultimate cause of hatred and war is unregenerate man’s hatred towards God.

 

Isaiah 57:20-21 states clearly and dogmatically that there is no peace to the wicked.  Those who refuse the salvation Christ offers us through His blood sacrifice, forfeit peace. They will never have true peaceful hearts, no matter how much they spend on going to  the world’s counselors.

 

Into this dark, sinful world of  hatred and strife came Jesus, the Prince of Peace.  Jesus holds out His nail-pierced hands to sinful man and as Colossians 1:20 describes it,  offers him peace through the blood of His cross.  That peace with God only comes to those who receive Christ and are justified  by faith, according to Romans 5:1.   As a result of justification, we not only have peace with God,  but we also have the peace of God.  Philippians 4:7 promises us that we have the peace of God which passeth all understanding, keeping or guarding our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

 

THE ONLY ANSWER TO THE  WORLD’S MESS

 

One day Christ will return to this world as a conquering king and destroy Satan and all those who follow him and bring in the truly Great Society which the world’s politicians vainly seek.  That final victory over Satan and sin is described in Revelation 21:1-4. The events of this chapter take place at the end of Christ’s Millennium.

 

But first, comes the Millennium itself which I have dealt with in our series under the category, PROPHECY on this HIDDEN TREASURES web site.   This thousand year reign of  Jesus on this earth is described throughout much of the Bible.  Three outstanding passages that describe it in detail are Micah 4 and Isaiah 11 and  35. Revelation 20 shows where the Millennium fits into human history. It follows the Great Tribulation described in Revelations 6-19 and it precedes the eternal state described in Revelation 21-22.  During this times, Jesus will return from Heaven to reign over this earth from Jerusalem.  Faithful Christians who have suffered for their identification with Christ in this present age, will reign with Him under His direction, according to II Timothy 2:12. 

 

THE CHRISTIAN’S RESPONSIBILITY TODAY

 

The Church has only one great responsibility, and that is the fulfillment of Christ’s Great Commission to go into all the world and preach the Gospel, disciple converts and establish  churches.

 

The Christian’s responsibility is NOT

 

1.  To alter the Gospel to try to create a false peace with the world by giving them an inoffensive, guilt-free message that appears to make Christianity more palatable and attractive to them.

 

2. The Church is not  to judge this evil world by making resolutions and pronouncements against the world to try to Christianize a world that hates Christ and His godly standards of righteousness.  It is not our primary responsibility to try to abolish social evils, such as slavery and abortion.   The Apostle Paul, who is the model for every preacher,  did not get actively involved in fighting social evils.  Read the short, one chapter epistle addressed to Philemon.  There Paul won a run-a-way slave, Onesimus, to the Lord and then taught him to return to his master and  be a good faithful servant.  Then he wrote the epistle to Philemon, the Christian slave master and taught him how to treat his slave, now saved,  as a brother in Christ.

 

Is slavery evil?  Of course it is!

 

But the Christian solution to this evil is not to fight the system in place, but to win people to Christ. When Christians understand that they are brothers in Christ, God deals with regenerated hearts and the slavery issue disappears peacefully as Christians start treating one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. 

 

The same goes for employer/employee issues.  Labor unions are not the answer.  They only cause more friction, antagonism and hatred as employers and employees each try to get the best of each other. This results in forcing employers to continually pay higher and higher wages, raising the cost of goods and services and ultimately driving business from our nation to those nations who hire slave labor to do the same job.   On the other hand, when employers and employees become Christians, employers become kind and considerate and treat their employees as family  and employees have a desire to  give of their best to their employers, as they would to Christ Himself.

 

When Jesus Himself  dealt with the adulteress Samaritan woman in John 4,

He did not condemn her for her adultery; rather He dealt with her respectfully and kindly about the men in her life, but concentrated on her need for the living water of salvation.  She identified with that thirst and eagerly listened to Jesus as He presented her with the living water of salvation.  She immediately went to the city of Samaria that day and told her friends about Jesus.  As a result of her changed life and her testimony concrning Jesus,  many Samaritans came to faith in Christ.  

 

3. The Great Commission is not for the Church to concentrate their resources and effort on feeding and clothing the poor of this world.  Rather, the concentration of our effort must be on preaching the Gospel.  That Great Commission was given by Jesus just before He returned to Heaven after His bodily resurrection. It is found in  Matthew 29:18-20, Mark 16:15-16,  Luke  24:46-49 and Act 1:7-8.  It clearly deals with a heart need to be right with God.

 

Of course, as missionaries see medical,  material and physical needs first hand, we should do what we can financially to help them meet those needs for medical care,  for fresh, clean water,  for educating people to read and better themselves.  But these are all secondary needs.  The primary need is for people to hear the Gospel and come to Christ for salvation and then teach them how to reach their own people with the Gospel. 

 

So the concentration of our financial support to foreign missions must be on helping missionaries reach the lost with the Gospel, as well as disciple those who come to Christ and teach them how to win others to Christ.

 

IS THE GOVERNMENT OF YOUR LIFE ON JESUS’ SHOULDERS?

 

As Isaiah 9:6 promises, one day the government of world will be on Jesus’ shoulders. That is, Jesus will bear the full responsibility of  godly government and world peace.

 

In the meantime, we who claim to know and love Christ as Christians must  surrender ourselves to Christ our Lord and King and allow Him to bear the government of our lives on His shoulders. You’ve asked Jesus to be your Saviour. Have you surrendered to Him as your Lord?  Only then will you truly know the Prince of Peace in your life.

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December 20, 2010 - Posted by | Christmas Series

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